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How do I control a robot with PalmOne Tungsten E2? Answered

I have a PalmOne Tungsten E2 that I want to use to control a robot. I need to know how to make a robotic platform that will take commands from the palm via its serial port, and interpret them to control 4-5 motors. Any ideas?


Well, taking a serial signal to control the robot is moderately straightforward -- the simplest way would be to use eight on/off signals to directly control the robot's motors, and feed those from the parallel outputs of a UART (serial-to-parallel) chip through appropriate driver transistors (and back-EMF shunting diodes) to handle the motors' current.

Providing feedback from the robot to the palmtop would essentially be the reverse path through the UART, as long as all you need is on/off signals.

Then it's all a Simple Matter Of Programming...

so the on/off signals would just be a matter of the program running on the palm sending a signal to the palm's serial port then right?

what are driver transistors and back-emf shunting diodes? how do i know which to use?

how do i know which UART to use?


You know so little about the basic problem, we can't really explain it. Start with something a LOT simpler.

Well, we could explain it. But then we'd essentially be designing the whole project for you.

Go look at some of the other robotic Instructables, and robotics websites, and you'll learn at least some of this.

... And to simplify your task, you could actually adapt one of the other projects. Using a microcontroller such as an Arduino just as a serial-directed motor control is overkill, but not _much_ more expensive, and it would minimize the changes you'd have to make -- basically, all the new work would then be programming. Of course once you've got the microcontroller in the system, there _is_ the question of why you need the Palm, though it might be a convenient portably-reprogrammable console.

Magic, the answer is magic.