Tethered, you don't need to worry about line of sight or interference,
and you can even provide power through the tether -- eliminating the
added weight of a power pack. Drawback is that the bot can trip over
the tether or get tangled in it and the tether can be severed by the
environment. Also, unlike the other control methods, your computer is
directly connected to the bot, so environmental damage *might*
translate back to the PC (eg. bot gets struck by lightning, the surge
might get back to the PC too).
IR or laser. Gives you fairly good range, and it's wireless. IR has
the advantage that you have a wider field of view. The emitter and
receiver don't have to be perfectly aligned to work, but it helps.
The Laser has longer range, but as there's little signal dispersion,
you practically have to aim the laser right at the receiver. Biggest
drawback is that you have to have line of sight. If the bot goes
around a corner behind something, that's it. It also requires a
smarter controller to interpret the signals.
Radio control. Decent range, and you don't have to have line of sight
for it to work. However, depending on the frequency you choose and
where you are, there can be interference from various sources, which
can cause weird behaviour in the bot or bring it to a complete stop
(depends on the programming you choose to use).
Pre-programmed EEPROM. Make the bot autonomous. You'll need a
controller board that's programmable, and include behaviours for
environmental stimuli. Program it with your PC and let it loose.
Never actually tried scavenging something like that. My preprogrammed
bots were all using stuff like the MIT miniboard and the Handyboard (a
related circuit board). Started using them after a robotics course I
took a while back. Searching for either of those terms will turn up
plans to build your own, or places that sell the pre-built boards in
You can then plug the board into a serial port (not sure if anyone's
built a USB cable for it yet) to store a precompiled program for it
defining behaviour. There are places to hook in inputs, and servos.
Those boards use a 6811 microcontroller for the CPU, and store your
programs onto an onboard EPROM. At least some of those sites should
have links to the assembler and C compiler to program it with and some
The processor isn't particularly powerful, but it's usually good
enough for most applications. What you propose for scavenging a
motherboard eprom is likely possible, but I've no idea how to go about
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