Can I turn a gaming laptop into a robot?

I just got a new asus laptop for christmas 2010. It has an intel core2duo with centrino technology clocked at 2.53GHz, 6GB of DDR2 RAM, 1 500GB HDD with a second HDD bay available, 4 USB ports, Ndivia GeForce GTX 260M with 1GB GDDR3 and a 17" screen but at the sacrifice of only a 2hr battery life. Could a set of motors/sensors be used through USB? Are there any instructables on making usb motor/sensors? Don't want to break my laptop ($740). Being a laptop, it gets the issue of battery power down, but it's the only laptop I have.

So basically, can I use the powerful "brains" of the laptop to run a robot?


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lemonie7 years ago
The PC would only run software, and it would largely be wasted as hardware 'cos you can run robots with very little processing power (Re-design).

L
epicnoobpwn (author)  lemonie6 years ago
But how about use the advantage of power to make a smarter robot/larger programs?

Do you have some thing to start with, like AI software, or is this just an idea so far?

L
epicnoobpwn (author)  lemonie6 years ago
It's just a concept
Start looking for software, and see what other people have done.

L
jeff-o7 years ago
Well, since it's a desktop model it'll probably be permanently tethered to a power cord.  And if that's the case, then you may as well use it to control a robot remotely, either wirelessly or through a smaller cable.

Which brings me to my next suggestion:  Use it to control a CNC machine!  A low cost CNC machine will cost the same as a robot to build, and will be about as complex.

Of course, you'll need to drop in a new hard drive, too.
epicnoobpwn (author)  jeff-o7 years ago
Hard drive is fine actually. It was just "sleeping". I installed windows xp on it. Turns out it had the most stubborn raid controller, as windows did not contain the driver. It was hard to install windows on it but i did it in the end.

Computer is dead now :(. The power supply's emergency shutoff didnt activate one time and the mobo and/or processor died. It was because i was adding hardware while it was running (I know, I'm stupid).

The pc is now sitting in my basement stacked on top of 2 other nonworking PCs.
It can be done. the book"Robot builder's bonanza" is an excellent starting point and reference book.It is usually at most libraries if you do not want to get it right away. I know it has helped me. Most robots now a says are built on micro-controllers. You need to know a little mechanics (physics and math), electronics. programming, tech intuition, and etc or willing to learn about it.. Hint: you can get dc-dc atx power supplies which makes things a lot easier easier. Good luck.
Re-design7 years ago
You can very easily run a desktop computer on 12 volt and 5 volt batteries.  I believe there are instructables.

You'll have to do some programming and adapting to use it for the brains but it's doable.

It might be easier to just start out with a couple of arduinos though.
epicnoobpwn (author)  Re-design7 years ago
Can you tell me the names of the instructables made on this topic? I searched and searched, but didn't find them.