What microcontroller should i use?

Am planning on building a robot that would have the abilitty to navigate , avoid obstacles and collect some items.

What chip should i use?

Whats the difference between pic and picAxE?


thanks in advance :)

Picaxe has a bootloader that
Picaxe has a bootloader that allows you to use basic. A lot of PICs require assembly. If you’re new go with PICAXE.

hmm thanks any suggestions
hmm thanks any suggestions on the software i should use ?

PICAXE is the way to go for
PICAXE is the way to go for beginners. IIRC, it comes with a free code editor.

I’d recommend…
I’d recommend an Arduino. It’s pretty much as easy to program but WAY more powerful and flexible. It’s also cheaper and has a very nice community with lots of helpful people. It also comes with a free compiler.

Depends on your programming

Depends on your programming experience. PICs, the Picaxe, Arduino and others are all capable of the tasks you describe. So it comes down to what you know (and what you want to learn).

Most PICs require assembly, as jklug80 points out. I hear great things about Arduino if you know C or other higher level programming languages. If you are a beginning/middling programmer (like me), Picaxe is a great place to get started, since it has a Basic-like language.

All: We get this question so much. We should collect some good replies and include it in a FAQ.

I wouldn’t even rule out a

I wouldn’t even rule out a basic stamp. I had a lot of fun when I was programming those.

- P

PIC’s can be programmed in
PIC’s can be programmed in C. PIC’s and Arduino (Atmel) are equally as powerful.

The Propeller is also cheap
The Propeller is also cheap [$7USD] for an 8-core processor and can be programmed in either a Basic like language called Spin, Assembly and a combination of both. There is also a good selection of Spin Objects ready for use in your own design on the Object Exchange site. Tech support is also very good.

multiple servos

Hello everybody !

I’m making a biped and i need to control 8 servos and 3 dc motors. Can anyone plz tell me which PIC microcontrolller i should use ?

8 servoes = 8 digital

8 servoes = 8 digital outputs, 3 DC motors = 6 digital outputs (typical, you could use more or less depending on functionality).
Are you using any sensor of communications lines?

If that’s all there is to your biped, then you can use just about any PIC with the required number of outputs - go to Microchip.com and run a search based on the specs you need. You have to think about what type of internal oscillator you want, whether you need ADC/DAC, communications modules, etc.



I’ve done a bit of searching and I think i’ll use 18F4320.

Can anyone give me some links for programming mutiple servos ?


Baby steps first

If you’ve never programmed a microcontroller before and you decide to go pic then start with the baseline first. There is a lot to learn at once if you start on a chip with gazillions of peripheral functions. As you only wish to drive servos then your main consideration is pin count. If it’s only 8 servos then a 14pin pic would be sufficient. Like a 16f505 for instance. You would still have some pins left for leds and sensors. If you need more io then go for a 20 pin pic like the 16f631.

While I’d love to see heaps more people using pic and assembly I think it is best to start out on picaxe if you are a first timer as you can take bigger steps sooner that way. And the support in this site is awesome.


Hello !Can anyone give me

Hello !

Can anyone give me links to tutorials that teach to write PWM for multple servos using PIC


thanks in advance !

BS2 a good start
I am also sort of new and am learning Parallax Basic Stamp. I know they are a bit pricy but their forum has also helped with their staff engineers and members. Their support is excellent. They have been around a long time and many school courses use there stuff both high schools and colleges. They also have tons of books and software you can download from their site for free.Nuts and Volts magazine also has alot of their stuff through the years. I heard they now have a Pbasic version for the propeller. The Propeller is their superchip but a totally unique language. I have nothing against PICAXE but no morey $$ to invest and learn another language at the moment. Parallax does have some unique add ones that may be difficult to use on other chips unless you are a programming wiz.One processor at a time for me. lol Electronics is my expertise but software is another can of worms. Ebay is a good source and sometimes you get lucky. I wheel and deal in home robotics stuff if interestted. Parallax keeps a high resale value.

support at parallax is brilliant

I’d have to agree with you prettybird on the good support at parallax for their products. I started with the basic stamp2 myself. I’m not sure that price is really that much more when you consider everything needed to get started with a particular brand of controller. But the main issue I think is that parallax hasn’t got much following outside of their forum while picaxe and arduino and microchip pics can be found in a multitude of places on the net.

Another Option

Anoter option would be a visual language like 12Blocks that runs on the Parallax Propeller chip. It can get you started and it self generates SPIN code that you can alter to any level of complexity. It has a 100+ building blocks to work with various hardware. Plus you can use other objects on the OBEX site to add more.