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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

From the RobotRule discussion forum:

Question asked by Chrome:

I have an old 486 Compaq Contura 400CX laptop, 8meg of ram, 400meg HD.
I am wanting to build a robot somewhere around the size of R2D2 ( just the size as a reference) with this laptop incorporated for control.
I presently have DOS 6.22 installed, and am wondering if I should use QBasic or ASM to program the 'bot. I'm not very familiar with ASM, but somewhat familiar with QBasic (Maybe use C? Not very familiar with it either).
Eventually I want to upgrade Laptops and have it connected wireless to my home network. The PCMCIA slots on this laptop are hosed, so that isn't an option right now. As well as any CD installs, as it only has a floppy drive.
Any websites with tips for serial and parallel control would be appreciated.
and of course any snippits of code to study would be great.

This is basically going to be an experimental mobile base for whatever I find interesting to try.

Thank You


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Answered by Robert


Parallel Port

This web page has a good deal of information on programming the parallel port interface for use with a robot:

Robotics India has a good paralle port tutorial, here's part I:

And part II:

Serial Port

This site has some information and sample "C" code for programming an RS-232 (serial) port for use with a robot:

BTW, that site (Mobile Robotics), focuses on PC based robotics using the Linux operating system.

A Linux PC based tutorial on programming the serial port (generic, not targeted to roboteers):

Programming Language

Regarding a choice of language, assembler is pretty tough stuff, especially for a novice. I'd go with a high level language at least at first. I'm not sure which Basic is best (QBasic, etc) , but if you aren't a skilled "C" programmer, you might want to try Basic first.

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