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Last year, I entered into the Robocup Junior Soccer competition using a robot built from the Lego Mindstorms NXT kit. It worked well, but we were thrashed at the international level, mainly because of the sheer speed and strength of the opposition.

This year, I'm intending to build the robot from scratch, as interfacing non-lego motors and sensors with the NXT is troublesome at best. However, I have absolutely no experience with any other microprocessor, and am wondering what to get.

The microprocessor needs I2C and PWM outputs (to drive 3-5 motors), and preferably should be cheapish, and programmable in some object-oriented programming language.

Would an arduino be suited to this purpose, or this that insuffient/overkill?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Two things need clarification: (1) How many motors do you want to control? That is a key limit of the Arduino for robotics - You only have 6 PWMs. (2) Why do you need an object-oriented programming language? Would a well-documented C library with lots of examples like avr-libc be good enough? \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Sep 29 '10 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek: 1. 3 - 5 motors, and perhaps a solenoid. I'll update the question. 2. Personal preference really. Having looked at the examples on the arduino site, it looks like it's semi- object-oriented (a cross between C and C++) anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Sep 29 '10 at 19:56
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Consider using the Parallax Propeller and dedicated motor controllers such as the DMC-1. The Propeller has 8 32 bit cores which can run up to 8 processes simultaneously. You can program it using its native OO language SPIN, or for more performance, its own assembly language.

The DMC-1 is a low cost I2C dual motor controller which can drive loads of up to 2.6A at 15V continuously. It's very easy to control. You can find out about it here: http://web4robot.com

Even if you decide to use the Arduino, I would recommend using the DMC-1.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ SPIN doesn't look like a very nice language. I think I'd rather stick with the Arduino's C/C++. I'll look into the DMC-1 though. I haven't yet decided on motors. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Sep 29 '10 at 20:25

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