Getting started with robotics

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Getting started with robotics

Postposted on Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:04 am

I want to start playing around with robotics. I've only been able to find a little bit about arduino-based systems. So, I'm asking you gerbils where I should start. Any recommendations for info? I'm open to books, websites, or anywhere else. I'd really love to be able to use managed code to program the micro controllers (netduino maybe?) or even better yet to use USB sensors and commodity x86 hardware if it even exists in this realm. So, any suggestions?
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Re: Getting started with robotics

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:09 pm

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Re: Getting started with robotics

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:32 pm

While I hear that is actually a good way to learn a bit about robots, it's geared toward non-programmers who are developing toys. I'm interested in something a little more... robust. I'd rather learn on a real world platform I guess. Thanks for the suggestion though!
"I take sibling rivalry to the whole next level, if it doesn't require minor sugery or atleast a trip to the ER, you don't love her." - pete_roth
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Re: Getting started with robotics

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:43 pm

Mindstorms is awesome. I prefer cRIO w/ VXWorks running Java code, but that's expensive and complicated (high school robotics team #1 used that).
If you don't like the look of NXT-G and the fact that it's drag and drop programming, look up RobotC. It's a variant of the C programming language from Carnegie Mellon designed for the NXT and is fairly simple to get started with while still being quite powerful (used by team #2).
The different programs were for entirely different leagues though. If you're middle or high school aged, look around your area for FIRST Robotics teams. If you're out of high school, but still want to get involved I know many teams are always looking for mentors, though they usually prefer people who already have technical skills.
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