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I'm planning on building a robot using Microchip PIC 16-bit MCUs, which I'm familiar with, and for which I have supporting hardware (demo boards, programmer, debugger, etc). After spending hours online understanding the open-source robotics scene, I've understood that most robotics projects aim to create robots that drive around, hear spoken commands, speak, and the like. I'm currently looking at something a lot simpler. My robot simply needs to read some sensors and move some motors. Is there an online library of open-source building blocks such as motor control, sensor interface, etc, that I can easily utilize on my current hardware? (PIC 24/32 or dsPIC). Obviously the Arduino scene has a lot of more code that can be reused, but I'm not planning on using an Arduino. Or should I? Tell me your views. Any advice is appreciated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question would be a good fit for the upcoming Robotics SE. Don't forget to go over there and 'Commit' to the proposal, so we can bring it into existence. \$\endgroup\$ – Rocketmagnet Sep 10 '12 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ And also, @Geotarget: do consider Arduino. Which platform you choose to learn won't make too much difference once you spend enough time, but there are lots of robotics (and other) projects that are well-documented by Arduino users on the net. You can also start experimenting with the Roomba as a base: optionally even with the Arduino. \$\endgroup\$ – boardbite Sep 10 '12 at 17:29
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The Derbot robot from University of Derby UK uses PIC Microprocessors for motor and sensors. I purchased the book Designing Embedded Systems with PIC Microcontrollers which uses the Derbot and PIC as examples. I purchased the Derbot kit direct from the author of the book. The Derbot uses Pumpkin Salvo Realtime OS which is interfaced from C++. I am currently looking at ROS Robot Operating System capability and how hard to send messages to the Pumkin OS.

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