Author Topic: Microcontroller Help  (Read 1212 times)

pina_coleata

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Microcontroller Help
« on: June 22, 2016, 10:34:19 pm »
A team and I are creating a robot. The robot will have two wheels, and use differential drive. I am looking to program the micro-controller myself. I understand how to program, but I don't know what micro-controller to use. Should I use an Arduino, an AMD, or something entirely different? This robot will be RC controlled.

Thank you in advance,
Cole

Jeff Gier

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Re: Microcontroller Help
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 11:40:22 am »
Hello and welcome!

Short answer:
Unless you are doing some sort of autonomous control, a supervisory controller isn't needed.

Long answer:
In an R/C system, the Transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) communicate. The RX takes the signals received from the TX and converts them into a pulse with length 1-2 milliseconds.  1 millisecond is reverse, 1.5 is neutral and 2 is forward. This pulse is sent to an Electronic speed control (ESC).  The ESC has a microcontroller which converts this signal into a motor output.  The ESC also has an amplifier that amplifies the signal to a level that will cause actual movement of the motors. 

You could use a single microcontroller to communicate with the RX.  Then, you would need an amplifier (like an h bridge) per motor. 

For nearly everyone in the sport, off-the-shelf ESC are often more cost effective, time-effective and size-efficient over creating your own system.

Addtionally, most TX are programmabe.  You could program mixes, switches, de-rates, cutoffs and much more with them.  This allows you to keep a dedicated controller in a safe place outside of the robot.