'Where to start' suggestions

Hi All,

I have just joined this forum so this is my first post!

I really want to start building my own robot but I don't know where to start? I am a C# programmer so have lots of experience of coding and I have had a look around and seen that the Picaxe chips are programable.

My question is - where should I start? Is there a particular place I should start bearing in mind my C# knowledge? Are there any kits out there that I can use C# with?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have for me!


Start here

Hi James,


Welcome to LMR. As so many who have asked the “where to start” question before you, you’ll get the same answer from anyone answering. Click on the start here link top left of this website and follow the tutorial.

If you program C#, reading the attached code that Frits provided, will be easy to understand so focus on the electronics.

Also: download the picaxe software and read the manuals that have good examples of coding and how to attach devices.

Thanks for the pointer

Thanks for the pointer mintvelt I’ll take a look!

Is the Picaxe kit the mainstream for everyone or is it just a ‘starter’ kit?

The picaxe kit is good for

The picaxe kit is good for starters, hence the name. Picaxes are programmed in basic as far as I know.

An arduino and a picaxe starter kit are pretty similar, but the arduino language used is much like C so you might feel more at home.

Yes - the Arduino looks very

Yes - the Arduino looks very good and I understand the language straight off which is always a plus!

I have been researching all afternoon and I have a couple of questions which may be obvious but I just dont know the answers:

  1. What happens when you run out of inputs/outputs on the Arduino - can you add more?
  2. What happens when the code excees the size of the memory - again - can you add more?
  3. Is there a way to work with your project when its running - E.G sending commands or reading values with your PC connected to it (wired or wireless) E.G can it send back values?
Hope that makes sence??


Some answers:

  1. There are a variety of ways to add inputs/outputs such as Multiplexes, Shift Register ICs and I2C IO expander chips.
  2. You can add EEPROM memory via I2C but it requires extra work to store data. There is no way to add RAM that I’m aware of.
  3. There are many examples of doing this. Simple ones use the serial connection that is used to program the Arduino. More complicated ones use IR, RF, XBee, Bluetooth, or even ethernet.
There is the Arduino Mega board that helps with the first 2, if you really run out of memory and IO pins.

With regards to the Arduino

With regards to the Arduino - do I have to buy specific servos, motors, switches ETC or can I buy any brand?

If any brand - I assume they have to be a certain rating? If so - what do I need to look for?

servos, motors and the such

servos, motors and the such can be anything as the Arduino is only the controler, it’s how you interface(connect) the two that makes the difference.

like a motor you’d never connect it like so


you’ll pull too much current and fry the proc.

You’d do something like


The l298 translates the input from the arduino and puts out a higher current that the motor can use.

Servos should be fine since you would only hook the signal line to the arduino.

Oh ok - I seeI understand

Oh ok - I see

I understand more about the code than I do the electronics to forgive me if I am asking stupid questions!

Thank you for explaining. Is the a page that details more on how to rig things together?

I’do go mintevelt’s way. You
I’do go mintevelt’s way. You should check the “start here” at the top. It doesn’t use C, but it still helps you understand how things work together.

We’re all begginers in the

We’re all begginers in the begining. :smiley:

and I’d go with ct’s recommendation above.

Thanks for the reply guys -

Thanks for the reply guys - I’ll check it out properly!

1 Last question - does anyone here program Arduino using Microsoft Visual Stuido? If so - how?

Sorry for all the questions, after a whole day of looking in to this I cant wait to order my first bits of kit!