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Topic: The EZ-B vs Arduino (Read 3343 times) previous topic - next topic

algeraist

I maybe asking the wrong people but as most of the experts here would of played with lots of different microcontroller I would like your options.

I'm new to electronics,, like not even started out yet but I'm keen do have a go - I'm good on computers but not so good with coding logic.

I'm interested in improving some toys I own by including my own microcontroller and I came across both the Arduino and EZ-B. The EZ-B looks interesting because it comes out of the box with blue tooth however it seems fairly reliant on been connected to a computer and it does quite a few thing well but probably not as scalable as Arduino.

My ultimate goal would be to build a tracked robot with all the bells and whistles. (Web cam, remote control, sound, autonomous and maybe voice control)

I know most of you will say buy Arduino and I will certainly learn more about electronics and coding with arduino but what's your thoughts on the EZ-b as a starting point albeit a bit expensive (in long run adding blue tooth ect to anduino is about the same and I can always but a andunio later and interchange parts)

Appreciate feedback

robtillaart

I have no idea what EZ-B is, can you provide a link?

The question you should ask yourself is what do I need to learn to master one or the other? Am I prepared to do that?  It might take a year or .... What are the limits of the two platforms? Are there active forums if I need help? and more....

Look at it as if you would give the advice to someone else, what are the good questions the other person should ask? just like the ones above ...

Rob
O yes, price may be an issue too ;)
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

algeraist

http://www.ez-robot.com/


cr0sh

I can't offer any specific advice one way or the other, but I will ask this: Which offers the greatest freedom forward?

I can't speak for the EZ-B, but I would say that with the Arduino (or more accurately, the ATMega328 - and by extension, the entire AVR line) seems to offer a more open framework to expand your skills and take them well beyond the level of a beginner, if that is your inclination. Sure, there's no hand-holding, coding in C/C++ is going to be more difficult (but not really that difficult) - but those skills you do pick up can translate into skills to be used across the entire AVR (Atmel) line. At some point, you may even want to drop the use of the Arduino library and IDE altogether, and more on to AVR coding; what's nice is that the compiler (avr-gcc) and base libraries (avr-libc) won't change, and you can use the skills you learned from playing with the Arduino to bootstrap to that next level (indeed, the Arduino board simply becomes a carrier board for the 328, which you can program using an ISP - from the command line or other tool with avrdude). At a later point, you might even want to leave the AVR line behind, and maybe switch to a more powerful controller based on the ARM chipsets - but you still have the skills of gcc and such to take with you, which also will support ARM...

Now, perhaps the EZ-B offers the same or similar path (this I don't know) - but what about your development platform? Will you always be stuck using .NET/C# and Windows? What if you move to a Mac? Or BSD? Or Linux? Is there support there? Maybe with Mono? I don't know. This may all be a discussion not even worth having if your ultimate goal is simply "play" or other work, where you aren't expecting it to become a lifelong pursuit (or career).

It's better to ask yourself these questions early, though, before you get committed to a platform in time, money, and learning - and you have no way to easily or cheaply change your path...

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

algeraist

Don't think I'd ever go and use a Mac but I'm a fan of linux (Carry a copy with me on my USB)

You make some good points - The learning curve seem to be very steep with arduino.

Guess I need to way up what I want to invest - Short term toy vs long term hobby.

Thanks


cr0sh


Don't think I'd ever go and use a Mac but I'm a fan of linux (Carry a copy with me on my USB)


Nothing inherently wrong with a mac; they're really just a BSD variant with some customization added - but to each his own!

:)



You make some good points - The learning curve seem to be very steep with arduino.


It really isn't that bad, honestly - in fact, with the Arduino IDE and libraries, a lot of very difficult stuff can become easy, quickly. Once you understand how to interface to the external hardware you're controlling (without burning anything up, and giving it the proper voltage, current, and control signals), and you understand the syntax of the language (C/C++) - it almost becomes like Lego at that point. Once you have all of that down (and the best way to learn both is to play with the examples given with the IDE, plus the various tutorials on this site and elsewhere, as well as the various beginner's books and kits), the greatest challenge is thinking about what you want to do, and coming up with a step-by-step, rational and logical plan/schema on how to translate all of that into the program code.

You won't be able to escape that part no matter what system you use. It's really the entire crux of the matter. Especially when it comes to robotics, knowing how to come up with solutions to potentially intractable problems via the combination of hardware and software is both a skill and an art, but one with rewards seldom found in other hobbies. It's long been my opinion that robotics is probably one of the most difficult, interdisciplinary studies that one can pursue, whether as an amateur or a professional researcher - the number of subjects to have a potential command of via the computer science side of things alone is staggering; add in the bio- and neurosciences, not to mention the various skills and knowledge for the mechanical components - well let's just say it can easily become an expensive but gratifying pursuit.

You'll know what I mean when you see your robot first lurch forward under your "command"...

Guess I need to way up what I want to invest - Short term toy vs long term hobby.


...or potentially - a long-term career or business, if that is something you wanted to pursue!

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

jagatia

I gotta say Arduino...
EZ-B seems like a nooby way to go.

Arduino has is pretty much unlimited.
EZ-B needs .NET framework.

Trust me, the harder something is to use, the more powerful it is.

Like Arduino Programming Language.

The stupid drag&drop or dropdown menu feature is so useless and limited.

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