board choice


I want to built a smallish gyrobot and for that I’m looking at three controllers: make, arduino, and wiring.

I like the physical simplicity of the MAKE board, and fact that you can connect things directly without the need for resistors, motor driver chips, etc (most of the time).

Now, what I understand is that the only way to run independent projects on the MAKE board without the need of a computer is by writing your code in C, running it through the toolchain and finally uploading it. If that’s that’s case, I’ll stick to one of the other two since I prefer the wiring/arduino enviroment.

I know it’s not an Arduino specific quiestion but maybe you can help me.



Make Controller is the fastest and most expandable. On the downside it costs 2 X Wiring and 5 X Arduino.
Making things’ support forum has 250 threads; Arudino has 2,500 threads and over 11K responses.

On the other hand, the Make Controller would be good if you need a lot of IO, multiple serial etc. Have a look at wiring too.

The way to choose a controller is to block diagram the circuit and then see what the hardware requirements are, then the processing requirements, then the power requirements, and then have a look at the things like price, support, availability etc, as in the first paragraph above. A big consideration might be something like: do you want to learn assembler or C for a particular controller? How much time do you have to spend on it?

Often one feature or another will often make the controller choice obvious: say you need four serial ports or something like that. Arduino is great for flexibility, cost and community. If you need heavy processing, then it’s not what you want. And so on…


From what I’ve seen on assorted mailing lists, the ARM development environment is so confused that it’s a major accomplishment to get a a combination of development environment and hardware that will actually work (it doesn’t help at all that there are so many variants of ARM chip, board, jtag, loader, and so on.) A simplified development environment like arduino for some ARM platform would be … very useful.

Well, I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not but I ordered the make controller based only on speed (controller’s speed, not that I am on speed, heh).

I’m not sure I understood completely what [westfw] said, but if the arm/crossworks-makeController chain is buggy, that would suck. BADLY. Anyway, if it is buggy or I find that it’s too cumbersome or buggy to write/upload C code for it, than I’ll just keep it for computer controlled stuff (I’d rather it didn’t come to that).

As for my project, it’s pretty simple. I have an RC car that I’m using as a base, with an Electronic Speed Control (ESC) for the motors, powered by a battery. The make controller + gyro will tell the ESC which way to turn the wheels to keep it balanced. From then on, controlling it’s direction by remote control should be a piece of cake.

Of course, all this is the simplified version, there will also be some speed trimmings and corrections but I’m not gonna go into that here. I still have to decide on the gyro though, I’m a little confused on which one to pick (maybe somebody can give some advice here).
So that’s my project. What’s a block diagram ? ::slight_smile:

And BTW, thanks for the answers.