Robotic Fertilizer Project

Hello all. I just came across this group today. I am in a senior project group at the University of Houston College of Technology. Our
idea is to build a robotic fertilizer that will fertilize a square or rectangular space.
We plan on interfacing a keypad and LCD screen with a microcontroller for interactivity with the user. We also will need this microcontroller to be able control the motor so the device stops and turns.
None of us have worked with a microcontroller before, but we know C and Assembly.
Do any of you know what kind of microcontroller would be best suited for this task? And also what kind of motors best interface with microcontrollers...motors that could carry a 45 pound bag of fertilizer.
Thanks a lot, Blake
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would recommend the Atmel AVR 8-bit microcontrollers. They are supported by the free (and high quality) GNU GCC compiler. You can use any motor you want as long as you have the correct circuitry between it and the microcontroller (e.g. h-bridge for example). It would be unusual to drive the motor directly from the microcontroller. It sounds like you need a big motor, which would damage the microcontroller if connected directly.
Interfacing the keypad and LCD would be quite straightforward. You should take a look at I2C LCD's, which would connect to the I2C bus of the microcontroller.
Good luck,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Blaketheturtle wrote:

Pretty much any microcontroller will do.
If you're not familiar with microcontrollers, I would suggest something with a built-in high level language such as:
If you like Basic, the Dios chip from Kronos Robotics http://www.kronosrobotics.com/
If you like Java, the uVM chip: http://www.muvium.com /
These both are based on PICs which are easy to interface to the outside world.
As for motor control, you will need a simple motor control circuit.
Another option is the use of a radio control Electronic Speed Controllser (ESCs).
Good luck! -- D. Jay Newman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Where could I find information about motor control circuits that would be good for handeling a large motor? I've only come across small motor circuits on my google search.
Thanks a lot, Blake
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.