how to interface microcontroller/Pic with PC(matlab)?

I am building a bot. I hv decided to use a microcontroller/Pic to control basic movement, data acquisition and object avoidance and
leave the PC for highend matlab image recognition stuff. I have difficulties understanding how the PC can interface with the controller using the serial port. I have start looking at controller such as
OOPic-R (need to drive 2 solvo, 4 sensors, suggest me if there's something easier to use)
1. what C/java program do I use to control the serial port in win2000/XP that can be called directly by matlab? or how do i control a serial port in general?
2. Do I have to map the Pic memory somewhere onto my computer or I can just send/receive to it directly?
3. when Pic is running its own program rountines, how would I use the computer to interrupt it and tell it to do something else? For example if the Pic is driving the bot forward, acquiring data along the way.. now computer see some image interesting and would like to temporily stop/turn the robot, how would I do that?
thanks in advance ^^R
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You do not need C/Java code to access Serial port from Maylab. Matlab has build-in support for using serial port. Look at the following adr and matlab's help file. http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/ref/serial.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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