[IAEP] [Butia-list] XO robotics

Yama Ploskonka yamaplos at gmail.com
Thu Sep 27 14:29:24 EDT 2012

WOW! Thank you, Jorge

1) I looooove the connectors for the USBButiá.
8-wire ethernet. Once a standard exists :-), makes compatibility in 
development by the many a viable option, i.e, I or anyone can develop a 
motor or sensor, and it will work with the Butiá. VERY powerful! 
exchangebale parts, the birth of the Industrial Age. Exchangeable 
circuits, possibly a jumping point (salto cualitativo, decía un otro 
Jorge) for mechatronics in education, and then in national development!

1.b) I do not like digital servos, adds enormously to the cost IMHO, 
*have* to be purchased, but then, they /do /have advantages. Askjerry 
gets feedback from a LED/sensor pair. So far I have only used dead reckoning

2) hmmm.  I guess that Butiá can run either with an Arduino *or* with a 
USBButiá, the latter connected direct to an XO?
So the USBButiá has an MCU with some pretty good code! aha, a PIC 
18F4550. I assume that you falsh them... Could you please point us to 
more details? Source code seems to be here 
I guess I'll have to take a look. How expensive is it to get the stuff 
(PIC programmer)to flash?
Does Eneka sell ready-made PCBs?  PCB fab is something that the folks at 
Kidbot could help, I will check, some of our people seem to have good 
connections for that sort of stuff (maybe $1.50 for each at this 
complexity, in smallish quantities).

I must admit this is more advanced than where I am right now in my own 
skills and hacks.
I merely can flsh 430s with an XO, and would totally love to be able to 
have real i/o XO<->MCU. Hope we can follow up and I can learn. (of 
course I can flash arduino with a Linux PC, but I feel that is cheating 
- anything that needs more than an XO is, an ideology issue for me :-) )
Jorge, could you point me to suitable resources I could learn from? Thanks!


On 09/27/2012 01:08 PM, Jorge wrote:
> On 27/09/12 13:35, Yama Ploskonka wrote:> 1) I wouldn't say better... 
> rather, complementary, and certainly
> > cheaper. Visiting the Butiá pages, the only picture I see showing an 
> > http://www.fing.edu.uy/inco/proyectos/butia/images/pistaButia.jpg is
> > showing an Arduino. Add a motor driver, and we are well above $30, plus
> > shipping. The USBButiá board is maybe cheaper IF done in quantity by
> > experts (then add labor).
> Besides the microcontroller the USBButiá board provides standard 
> connectors for attaching sensors. It allows autodetecting what sensor 
> you connected and were (something like the NXT brick, but with a wider 
> spectrum of attacheable stuff, more connectors, easier to hack, and 
> plug&play).
> We sidestepped the motor driver issue using digital servos.
> > MSP430 + (L293D OR some darlington array) can be "free" if you get them
> > as samples from TI, or less than $5 when purchased, /plus shipping/, 
> the
> > old bane. the advantage of using a darlington driver is that then you
> > may use plain DC motors, which can be free if lucky with old electronic
> > parts (beautiful gear system available in old CDROM drives)
> >
> > 2) yop - the XO "drives" the vehicle with the MSP430 option also. 
> Now, I
> > put quote marks as I have no idea - yet - on how to send data direct
> > realtime from the XO to the robot, bypassing the MCU. What seems to be
> > happening is that Butiá depends on sending code/program to the Arduino,
> > and the the 'duino does the brains of the robot.
> Nop, the control runs fully on the XO. MCU only interfaces 
> sensors&motors and supports the plug&play functionality. No user logic 
> runs on the MCU.
> The user programs on the XO access sensors/actuators connected the MCU 
> and whatever the XO provides (mic, cam, accelerometer if there is one) 
> transparently. The most frequent programming environment is TurtleArte 
> (kisds already know it), but there are also Python and Lua 
> environments for when the problem or the user outgrows Turtle Art.
> In my opinion, what MCU is used is not actually important. What is 
> important is the programming environment, how it interfaces with 
> whatever your robot offers, and the mechanism you provide for adapting 
> your robot for solving different problems.
> Jorge

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