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Im looking into starting a robotics project with microcontrollers. Whats a good noobycheap microcontroller I can get.

I would like it to be USB friendly and I have Windows XP. Thanks! Also is adruino good

AndyGadget4 years ago
Here's the answer I gave to a similar question.
You can use a COM port or USB connection (with their connection lead) from your PC to program it.

Have a look at the PicAxe. The PicAxe was developed for the educational market in UK schools but is being widely used by hobbyists. The PicAxe chip is based on various PICs but with bootstrap code to link to the compiled programs and handle the programming side. They come in all flavours from a (suprisingly powerful) 8 pin package up to full blown 40 pin.
Look at the manuals and datasheets on the PicAxe site to see the full capabilities. Programming of the chip is via a serial link and done in-circuit. Takes about 20 seconds and you don't even have to unplug the lead to run the program.
I've been in electronics since the early eighties and I've never found a programming environment where the coding / simulation / proving cycle is so simple. and I only realised my two boys has been using PicAxe for their tech classes when one of them took over a simple program I was writing. Documentation and support from the forum is excellent and there are many robotics enthusiasts using the chips. Control for servos, steppers, ADCs etc are built in to the BASIC-like programming language as well as a host of other goodies. You can also simulate the circuit before you build, and do real-time debugging on a running controller.
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