Hi - I am a newbie here and am presenlty messing about with C++ and controlling the Parallel port. I would like to build a robot, but have no idea what parts from the printer I should use and how to design such a robot - any help/advice or links would be much appreciated - thanks
I would suggest perusing a few robotics related books first. Books like "Robot Builder's Bonanza", "Building Robot Drive Trains", "Mobile Robots", "Build Your Own Robot", "Absolute Biginner's Guide to Building Robots", "RobotBuilder's Sourcebook", "Robot Building for Dummies", et cetera. That would gie you a good start, plus give you lots of ideas too. You need two identical printers to take apart. As to what parts you need, it depends on your imagination, skill, and abilities when it comes to what is useable out of a pair of printers. I don't think anyone can tell you what parts to use as all the printers are different and have different parts. The basic technique is to take apart a couple of printers and lay out all the parts and see what you can put together for a robot to use. The most practical method of using a PC to run a robot, is to have the PC communicate with a microcontroller, which serves as the I/O processor for the PC. Basically, all the serial motor controllers do exactly this anyway. So learning how to program microcontollers (just pick the one you like the most, they are all about more or less equal), and learn how to program it.