TWiki > Rise Web>ClimbingRobot > RobotPlatform>NxtGen (31 Jul 2003, AMcClung? )
Review new platform
  • new controller (SuperBasicStamp, SuperPICs, XScale)
    • start basic and build
  • wireless communication (Bluetooth)
  • processor speed, output lines

Summary of Next Generation findings

The program the Microchip PIC16F84? or the Basic Stamp I/II microcontroller can be programmed to be used as a dedicated servo motor controller. The Stamps can send/recieve serial data with 1 I/O pin. Stamp can be used to control servos or the PIC, with serial PC input, or digital pin input PIC can control servos with serial input from PC or Stamp, dgitial pin input

Parallax has a 433MHz RF transceiver module that can achieve 2400 baud data rate. It also has an IR transceiver that can get up to 9600 baud. One way communications can also be achieved through 418MHz RF transmitter/receivers (combine 2 to imitate transceiver). Parallax also has a floating point (control loop calculations) coprocessor and data acquisition (sensors) coprocessor available.

PICs have many of the capabilities of the TERN in one chip, such as AD, serial I/O and timers. There are higher voltage versions, but they cant source the 130mA required by the valves (max 25mA by any pin). Some versions can run IR comm up to 312.5kBaud with higher frequency clock input (requires UART) and have USB capabilities. Other versions can have seperate UHF transmitter/receiver (Maximum data rate:- ASK: 80 Kbps NRZ, FSK: 40 Kbps NRZ).

Many Bluetooth products/modules can communicate with USB (Full-speed, 12Mbit/s;Mbps) and UART (max. 921 kbit/s;kbps) protocols. The different operation ranges are Class 2 (up to 10 meter range) and Class 1 (up to 100 meter range), both at 2.4GHz. Bluetooth modules can be used to replace serial, USB and LAN connections. ABACOM also makes FM/AM serial links, transceivers, data loggers (?sample rate) that are at least 115.2kbps.


Google search: basic stamp servo controller

  • Stamp I or II can be used with PIC16F84? to control many servos
  • Stamp can send/recieve serial commands with 1 I/O pin
  • Storage space (RAM) may limit capabilities (control integrations) on STAMP
  • Can use 433MHz RF transceiver to achieve 2400 baud data rate
  • Can use IR transceiver to get up to 9600 baud
  • Floating point coprecessor available (for control loops)
  • Data Acq coprocessor available (only used as comparitor)
  • CAn use seperate 418MHz RF transmitter/receivers


  • PICs have many of the capabilities of the TERN in one chip
  • High voltage versions are available (cant source 130mA needed for 12V valves)
  • Can run IR comm up to 312.5kBaud with higher frequency clock input (requires UART)
  • Seperate UHF Xmit/Recv (Maximum data rate:- ASK: 80 Kbps NRZ, FSK: 40 Kbps NRZ)


  • USB (Full-speed, 12Mbit/s;Mbps), UART (max. 921 kbit/s;kbps)
  • Class 2 operation (up to 10 meter range)
  • Class 1 operation available (up to 100 meter range)
  • 2.4GHz
See BlueTooth for more info


  • May need special driver circuit to actuate high current valves
  • Some specs depend on the actuation used (servo/H bridge accessories)
  • Stand-alone pics (either for main or servo controllers) may require crystal, capacitors, resistors

Embedded ICs?

  • heat/venting issues
Rotation/gravity sensor to determine gravity field/adjust gait/foot strategy

-Links last checked 04/28/2003

-- AMcClung? - 09 Jul 2003

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