Brand-n00b-> Joystick, LabVIEW, arduino, PAINTBALL

Hi Everyone,

Bear with me here, I'm in the predesign stages of trying to use a joystick to control a pan-tilt platform from LabVIEW. My dilemma is whether to use the dual-potentiometer 'joystick' and program the motor control into the arduino firmware, or use the LabVIEW joystick interface and a regular computer joystick. The only reason why i would use the pot-joystick is if the response from the serial connection would be too slow for smooth motion control. My application is a stationary paintball gun, which will initially simply pan-tilt and fire, but in future iterations, will have a zoomable camera sight (only zoom controlled by arduino) and physics calculations based real-time environmental sensors for long distance shots.

I'm not too clear on serial communication, but heres what i understand:

If i were to go with the computer based joystick (prefered option) i'd have to be able to transmit pan-tilt and firing information simultaneously, which seems dubious with the sequential character of serial transmission. In order to be useful, the controls have to seamlessly integrate, real-time, with the device; any choppiness or delays just wont fly.

Which led me to the idea of controlling the pan-tilt motors with the arduino and the pot-joystick. Rather than relying on back and forth information transfer for movement, by localizing the actuation of the position motors and firing, the response speed would be much better. The arduino would then simply send positioning information to the computer for monitoring

Any thoughts on this? is the speed of the USB serial port fast enough to appear seamless?

Its my first post, gimme a break ;)



A computer joystick is a two pot joystick. It either feeds a chips which feeds the serial port or the USB port. If you take it apart you will find two pots.

I use the analog inputs on the arduino board. Its on less piece in the equation.