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Topic: Arduino vs Mindstorms (Read 10037 times) previous topic - next topic

paucarre

http://www.google.es/trends?q=arduino%2C+mindstorms&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

¿what do you think about it?

mowcius

#1
Jan 24, 2010, 11:04 am Last Edit: Jan 24, 2010, 11:04 am by mowcius Reason: 1
I think that we're almost the same as meerkats:  ;D
http://www.google.es/trends?q=arduino%2C+meerkat&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=1


Mowcius

mowcius


n00b

;D did you just compare the meerkat!

mowcius

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did you just compare the meerkat!


Indeed I did!
I was just trying to think of things to compare arduino to and meerkats just fitted perfectly.  ;D

Mowcius

Coding Badly

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what do you think about it

Mindstorms is a more popular Christmas gift than Arduino.

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I think that we're almost the same as meerkats

;D  I love those critters!

mowcius

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Mindstorms is a more popular Christmas gift than Arduino.

Is it? Is it really? I suppose it depends on what age group you are talking about. I have heard of at least 5 people who got an arduino for christmas but I haven't heard of anyone who got a lego mindstorms kit (They are so darn expensive!)

Mowcius

Coding Badly

#7
Jan 24, 2010, 10:34 pm Last Edit: Jan 24, 2010, 10:36 pm by bcook Reason: 1
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Is it? Is it really?

It's an observation based on the OP's chart.  Notice the spikes starting in late November through December?  It looks like queries about double.

mowcius

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It's an observation based on the OP's chart.  Notice the spikes starting in late November through December?  It looks like queries about double.

Oh yeah. Hadn't really seen that before...

Mowcius

poldoj

If it hadn't been for arduino I wouldn't have approached electronics. I always thought mindstorms as a childish thingy. Besides, I love the fact that Arduino is cheap, open source and with endless possibilities.

pwillard

Mindstorms are not quite a childish thingy in the hands of electronic tinkerers.  Many have worked out ways to add new sensors to the Mindstorms...  and it goes on from there...

Example: http://www.extremenxt.com/lego.htm

There could very well be a logical connection between Arduino and Mindstorms.

cr0sh@inexo

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There could very well be a logical connection between Arduino and Mindstorms.


I've recently looked to see if anyone has done anything with Mindstorms and the Arduino; I noticed at least one person who created these little pieces of acrylic that allowed you to mount the Arduino (and other non-standard things, like servos) to Lego.

The thing that Mindstorms didn't have (well, perhaps before the NXT series) was more than three inputs/outputs on the controller. Short of various modifications or special adapter electronics, there wasn't much you could do to get around that limit. With NXT, they use an I2C bus (or something similar), as well as more easily sourced standard connectors (I think RJ-11?) to the motors and sensors, plus the controller is a lot more powerful overall.

This, of course, comes at a price; I invested a bit of money into my RIS, and didn't do much with it. After thinking about it, I realized that for prototyping small table robots, some larger carpet rovers and the like, Lego was a pretty good platform. But there were drawbacks.

Mainly its cost; for similar amounts of money I could build a stronger and larger robot using standard materials and components. While it certainly wouldn't be easier (or cheaper) to prototype things this way, when what you want is a finished platform you won't take apart later, Lego just wasn't cost effective in the long run. If you are the kind of person constantly trying out some new robotic idea, though, Lego works great for that (but at a certain point, you have to ask whether the money would be better spent on Fischertechnik).

Something that I am keeping an eye on is the Contraptor project (http://www.contraptor.org/); standardized, open-source CNC hardware. While seemingly geared to CNC, such a standard can easily be applied to all sorts of construction (see http://www.gridbeamers.com/) - so other kinds of machines like robots and such become possible.

I envision that someone out there is working on a completely open-source PCB assembly line, with Contraptor-like pick-n-place machines assembling SMT PCBs that were just routed on a Contraptor CNC system; I certainly don't see why it wouldn't be possible to build such a system in one's garage (you could even do IR/hot-air soldering of the components, potentially; wave soldering might also be possible - heck, people make homebrew laser-cutters with custom CO2 laser heads, so why not?).

:D

mowcius

That contraptor stuff's pretty awesome! Controlled by arduino too although I wonder how much is actually the arduino and not just the computer telling it what to do...

Mowcius

cr0sh@inexo

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Controlled by arduino too although I wonder how much is actually the arduino and not just the computer telling it what to do...


If you look at the build page for the Mini-CNC machine:

http://www.contraptor.org/mini-cnc

Under firmware you will note "Arduino GCode Interpreter". Now, I have yet to find the sketch on the site (maybe there's a google code section somewhere?), it hasn't been that important to me since I have no near-future plans of building the machine. Since it is also using the RepRap stepper motor driver, the code may be based on something from there (IIRC, the RepRap machine uses Arduinos as well; don't quote me on this, tho!).

If it is running a g-code interpreter, that means it would be doing a lot (actually, I think the Arduino being used is a Mega); not much processing needed on the host CPU (unlike other CNC builds). The real beauty of the Contraptor system is the standardized components, based off the gridbeam system (which is a cool system unto itself - its a pity it hasn't become more common in the 30+ years its been around!).

Also, another thing to keep in mind: On another list I am on for the TRS-80 Color Computer, there is a guy on there who is running his own custom built CNC machine using a repackaged CoCo 3 - basically an 8-bit machine (Motorola 6809, though he might be running a 6309), with 512K RAM, and a floppy drive - at 2 MHz. His code is written in BASIC-09 (running under OS-9, a multi-tasking, multi-user, windowing-capable OS for the 8-bit 6809).

Even with a ATMega8 @ 8 MHz it should be possible (RAM needs aside, that is).

TroyO

Haha, actually I'm one of those who got a Mindstorms for X-mas. I already had a few Arduino's.

The cool thing about the Mindstorms (IMHO) is the snap-together, give  it a try on a whim aspect. They do have more advanced programmers for the MS that are C based, although I haven't tried them yet.

It is kind of limited, with only 3 motors/4 sensors stock, BUT... if what I have gathered so far is correct it speaks I2C, so there is potential to be in command of a lot more.

I think that's how the stuff at www.mindsensors.com works. It looks like they have a motor multiplexer to add 2 motors and a servo controller to control 8 servos.

I don't know... it's all just tinkering, LOL. Just a different flavor. :)


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