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.



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------------------------ You need to use the LPT (parallel) port, go to:

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and download the parallel port tutorial. (PDF)

Then go here and learn about H-Bridges, steppers, and motor drive circuits.

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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!


Reply to
R. Steve Walz


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)


Reply to

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

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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...

Reply to
Terry King

-------------------- 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.


Reply to
R. Steve Walz

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

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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

Reply to

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.

Reply to
Mark Haase

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.

i bet its tough and i would want to focus on indoor environments atleast initially.. kind of like this

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that they are expensive. and i dont have that kind of money.

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)

-- |\/| /| |2 |< mehaase(at)sas(dot)upenn(dot)edu


Kunjan Shah

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