Having you heard for programing languages? Perhaps you have in terms of computer and data programming, but you may not have known that robots also operate off of computer programming languages. It makes sense if you think about it. Since a robot needs to operate from a computer brain remotely, it is defined and programmed with a programming language.
When people are building robots, whether they are amateur or professional, the robotics engineers will have to use some form of programming language in order to make the robot be able to function at all. Through the programming languages, the robot understands what it is supposed to be doing. You have to be able to use the software in order to write the language or the robot will not be operational.
There are a number of robotic programming languages out there, believe it or not. Just like in the world of programming, there are a number of languages out there that you can use if you are building your own robot. It is hard to master more than one at the same time. I recommend starting with one language and mastering it before you attempt to delve into others.
Keep in mind as well that most manufacturers will supply the robot software when you purchase the hardware. Though if you are building your own robot from scratch, you will need to select your own robot platforms and software. Since there are more than 30 languages, because there are more than 30 manufacturers of robots in the world, it will be impossible to master all of them. They do have a substantial amount of overlap between them though, so you may find that some of them make sense even if they are languages that you have not seen before.
The two most common robotic programming languages are:
ROBOTC: This is a C-based programming language that employs a development environment that is meant to be user friendly. You do not need to be a computer nerd in order to use or to understand it. This is also one of the main programming languages used to control the Lego Mindstorms since children are even able to use it. Though ifyou think about it, children are far more computer savvy than most adults due to the early exposure to technology. Regardless, this is a great one to start with because it is meant to be easy to use.
Microsoft Robotics: Just like everything else in the world, Microsoft has also gotten involved in the world of robotics. The Microsoft Developers Studio created a robotic programming language to work well with Windows computers. You will need to download the plugins onto your computer, but you can do that from Microsoft’s website.
In addition to languages, there are several robotic platforms around that you will have to decide between. Thankfully, Amazon has a whole line of robot platforms that you can order from, keeping things simple for you.
Some of the better platform types are:
SainSmart: They make a few different kinds of robot platforms that you can purchase. They offer some in 4WD as well as a car kit that has a sensor on it to make things easier.
Whippersnapper: This is one of the bestsellers on Amazon. Its Runt Rover is affordable and has some pretty great reviews.
CanaKit: CanaKit has several different models that you can choose from depending on the type of platform that you are looking for. They do have 4WD options as well as aluminum bases and lower end car styled platforms to make it more lightweight. Just depends on what you are after.
When you are looking at platforms, do not pay attention to the price at first Think about what it is that you need to complete your robot and then search that way.