Simple microcontroller, UK?

Hi,
I want to get started in building a simple robot, mainly to help get my kids interested in science, programming etc. Also because it is kind of
a childhood dream of my own :)
I am a programmer, with a somewhat rusty background in electronics. I think I can find the bits to do the mechanics, but I don't know what to use for the controller.
Ideally I would like a little board with built in IO, and programable in some reasonable language via serial (or USB?).
Any recomendations?
Dom
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http://www.parallax.com/ ?????
to start........
enjoy
Paolo
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snipped-for-privacy@umpire.com wrote:

For UK suppliers you could try: http://www.milinst.com Have a range of Stamp hybrid ICs and development kits that can be programmed in Basic or Java
http://www.robot-electronics.co.uk/shop/index.htm Stock the Brain stem modules that are programmed in a C variant. and have a couple of output modules available to plug straight in.
http://www.active-robots.com/products/controllr / have a broad range of single board controllers including the Handy board.
I've bought stamps from Milford instruments before and found them fairly easy to play with. If a little lacking in hardware facilities and speed for anything but the most basic applications.
Hope this helps. Jon.
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Hi,
Have a look at an Atmel AVR experiment board (go you you next Ebay and have a look around) or this:- http://www.chipenable.co.uk/products.htm .
Simple boards with a Mega8 or 32 can be picked up for a good price. And to program them have a look at Bascom AVR, the demo version has a limitation that it only compiles 4Kb code but that's alot for AVR's (my webcam controller base only requires about 3.5Kb including the NE2000 network driver).
Regards Ian Dobson
Home of the Atmel based UDP mobile web cam http://www.planet-ian.com All mails scanned with av-filter.pl (F-Prot / perl)

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www.parallax.com has a wide range of controllers from the Basic Stamp 1 to the newly introduced Propeller. They also produce excellant quality documentation that explain everything in great details.
I would start with the Basic Stamp 2 - What's a Microcontroller package. It's a great value for the money.
Ken http://www.speechchips.com
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snipped-for-privacy@umpire.com wrote:
> I am a programmer, with a somewhat rusty background in electronics. I > think I can find the bits to do the mechanics, but I don't know what to > use for the controller.
Take a look at the PICaxe in terms of bang for bucks it's an ace start.
There's a range of devices, with and without external oscillators, and variation on numbers of I/O and capabilities. Low end you've the 8pin device with 5 I/O at 1.35 this heads up thru' 18 and 28 pin devices to the 40 pin device with 32 I/O at 6.90.
They are all programmed with a serial cable, with a couple of resistors on the interface. The software is freely available and allow programming using flow charts as well as basic.
Documentation isn't bad but the support forum is great. check out www.picaxe.co.uk and their sales on www.tech-supplies.co.uk
Best regards, colin
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www.minisumo.org.uk

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snipped-for-privacy@umpire.com wrote:

Check out this picaxe based emulator www.electro.ology.org.uk it is currently free, it is used in universities, colleges and schools for training picaxe programming. It will give you some idea what sotware skills are required to get the picaxe going and comes with plenty of example snippets for each command.
Mike Collier (author).
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