Mobile robot ActivityBot for Education
The Educational mobile robot ActivityBot
The Educational mobile robot ActivityBot is the last small robot from Parallax. The ActivityBot uses the same hardware architecture of its predecessors such as the Boe-Bot or the Boe-Shield. The difference is that, instead of using a basicStamp microcontroller or an Arduino board, the ActivityBot uses the Propeller microcontroller from Parallax. This microcontroller has 8 cores that can run in parallel which adds a lot of programming power to the ActivityBot.
Technical specifications of the educational mobile robot ActivityBot
The educational mobile robot ActivityBot has the following technical specifications:
- An aluminum chassis
- Activity Propeller Board
- 2 High Speed Continuous Rotation Servos
- One ultrasound sonar sensor Ping)))
- 2 Wheels & Tires
- 2 encoders
- 1" Tail Wheel Ball
- 1 battery holder for 5 AA batteries
- 1 screwdriver
- 1 mini-USB cable
- 1 microSD 2GB board
- A set of passive electronic components (light sensor, infrared sensor,...)
The Propeller microcontroller
The Propeller microcontroller is a microcontroller developed by Parallax itself. The microcontroller is programmable either using high-level languages like C or SPIN (language specifically designed for the Propeller) or with a low level language as assembler.
Application development is simplified by the availability of native functions (pre-built objects) for video processing, management of the mouse or keyboard, or the management of sensors and other stepper motors not.
The originality of the Propeller microcontroller is that it has 8 cores also called "cog". Each of these cogs has 32 bits accessing 512 32-bit long words instruction and data CPU. All cogs have access to 32KB of RAM and 32KB of ROM shared through an internal bus called the hub.
Many tutorials on microcontrollers programming using the language Propeller C are available on http://learn.parallax.com/propellerc . An IDE, as well as libraries and code examples are provided in addition to tutorials.
Programming the educational mobile robot ActivityBot
The ActivityBot is programmable in C using SimpleIDE, a free software that can be downloaded at http://learn.parallax.com/propeller-c-set-simpleide.
Many tutorials and examples are available on the website of Parallax: http://learn.parallax.com/ActivityBot.