Making a Serial/parallel port controlled robot?

Hello ppl
I am trying to make a robot controlled by a laptop via a serial/parallel port interface. Could you guys point me to some links
to websites that show projects like that already made?
specifically i need information on controlling 4 motors from the port. i need schemetics for the external ciruit that controls the motors from commands reveived form the computer.
Thanks
ER
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ER wrote:

------------------------ You need to use the LPT (parallel) port, go to:
http://www.beyondlogic.org
and download the parallel port tutorial. (PDF)
Then go here and learn about H-Bridges, steppers, and motor drive circuits.
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/step/
It will teach you how to run any motor, not just steppers.
You can run your robot best and fastest from DOS, no need for bulky Windows!
-Steve
--
-Steve Walz snipped-for-privacy@armory.com ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew
Electronics Site!! 1000's of Files and Dirs!! With Schematics Galore!!
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----------------------
thanks a lot for replying..
i read the tutorial about the parallel port
however i feel more comfortable with the serial port. serial port is less confusing for me .. here's what i need to do i am trying to make a laptop controlled robot . i need the laptop to control the motors. and pan/tilt head motors so in all i think i need about 5 motors.. i need this robot to be a base robot. i should be able to hack and expand on it in the future.
so what i need is this
serial port -> serial in parallel out -> control motors
also this is my first robot. i have basic electronics background.
i am confused about what motors i need. servo or stepper. i need some motors that can bear the weight of a laptop + 1-2 lb. more.
so i need a circuit that actually controls the motors.
thank you again ( i had almost given up)
ER
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@rediffmail.com says...

ER, I have used both parallel and serial ports for this kind of thing. I think that these days the best approach is to use a small microcomputer to actually run the motors, and use a serial port to the main computer.
My son did a project like this using a Dios micro. See www.kronosrobotics.com We used the 28 pin chip which is about $20, and programmed in Visual Basic-like language (development software is free).
This makes it easy to try things out and repeatedly update the software in the micro quickly. Worked for us...
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Hey thanks for the info. that was a cool site. if i dont find a better solution i will fall back on it...
the reason is coz i want to use the simplest solution available. besides my main aim is the software see this http://oap.sourceforge.net /
what i aim of making is the simplest robot that is intelligent enough to navigate my appartment's parking lot. it has to successfully move from point A to B without the aid of any premade maps. GPS is ok but it should be able to do without it. like the robot should not fail if its inside a tunnel( where there is no GPS)
so i think i will fall back on either that site or the Basic stamp. i have just one question on the basic stamp can the laptop tell the stamp in real time on how to control the robot????
Best regards, ER
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snipped-for-privacy@rediffmail.com (ER) wrote:

Out of curiosity, what kind of navigational goals do you have for your robot?
Simultaneously localization and mapping (SLAM) is pretty tough to do--so I hear. I'm presently collecting materials to start on a project to implement this, except I'm focusing on indoor environments.
If this is what you're doing, I'd be interested in hearing about your progress.
--
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mehaase(at)sas(dot)upenn(dot)edu
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ER wrote:

-------------------- That's only because you didn't read the material. And because you don't know what you're talking about re: the serial port.

---------------------------------- Think, MAX 232 chip and shift registers. And then be prepared for extensive headaches unless you are brighter than you have proven so far.

---------------------- You need to read more, and opine less until you know more.
-Steve
--
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Electronics Site!! 1000's of Files and Dirs!! With Schematics Galore!!
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snipped-for-privacy@rediffmail.com (ER) wrote:
>>
>>Out of curiosity, what kind of navigational goals do you have for your robot?
i think the robot i am making should be able to navigate to the destination(given its direction and distance from the origin) without any maps.
it could generate a map in real time and store it. but the environment is assumed to be dynamic.. for example
my parking lot
=============== =====================^^^^north
^origin (robot facing north) ----- ----- car car ----- -----
----- ----- car car ----- ---- ----- car ----- car ----- |car| -----
----- ----- car ----- ----- *destination =============== =======================so in a place like that above i should be able to tell the robot to go"800 feet at your 120 degree"
the robot should automagically move around destinations. i think its basically like the DARPA challenge.
>>Simultaneously localization and mapping (SLAM) is pretty tough to do--so >>I hear. I'm presently collecting materials to start on a project to >>implement this, except I'm focusing on indoor environments.
i bet its tough and i would want to focus on indoor environments atleast initially.. kind of like this http://oap.sourceforge.net / except that they are expensive. and i dont have that kind of money.
>>If this is what you're doing, I'd be interested in hearing about your >>progress.
so this is what i am up to. right now i m studying to become a electrical engg. so i dont know a lot of things... but i have quite a good level of software skills. so i need a hackable robot i can run my stuff on.
interested in working together?
K. (ER)
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===Kunjan Shah snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com http://kunj1029.tripod.com
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