IAP 97 Introduction to Robotics Homepage

This is the homepage for a course taught by the MIT Robotics and Electronics Cooperative during 1997 IAP. This 16 hour workshop was designed to teach participants how to program and interface a small microcontroller to perform robotic functions. The course used iRX boards fitted with PIC16C84 chips, graciously provided by Rob Poor at the MIT Media Lab. H-bridge drivers using MOSFETs were introduced, and students were shown how to use these circuits to control a small DC motor and a stepper motor. Servos of the kind used in model airplanes were also given out, and IR communication was touched upon. The workshop aimed to show students how to use the PIC both as an autonomous controller and in collusion with a computer. The goal of this page is twofold; to provide a resource for graduates of the workshop and others interested in pursuing projects with the PIC to exchange useful code and tips, and to serve as a sele paced guide for those who did not have the opportunity to take the workshop, yet wish to learn the course material.


Participants were given hardcopy of the following:
1) iRX 2.0 This page includes documentation for the boards, gerber files for their production, sample code, parts lists, and useful links.
2) Datasheet for the PIC16C84
3) Maxim's page. The company that makes the serial interface chip (MAX233) used on the iRX boards.
4) Manual for the CCS PIC C compiler. This compiler is commercial, so if you want it you will have to buy it. There are some free C compilers out there on the web, but I have not personally tried them out. I am sure they work fine. More on this at a later date.
5) Manual for the ITU Technologies programmer. This programmer stinks. It takes forever and sometimes needs three tries to successfully program a device. But it is cheap.
6) Data Sheets for the Sharp IS1 U60 infrared demodulator used on the iRX boards.
7) Data sheets for the L298N 2A dual H-bridge driver used for motor control.
8) Notes on stepper motor driving, by SGS-Thomson.
9) Notes on H-bridges.

Workshop Log




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