Tag Archives: UART

Control robot via serial port

Robots can be controlled by a microcontroller (MCU) or a computer installed on-board – autonomous robots, or connected to a computer via communication channel – remotely operated robots. Both approaches have pros and cons:

  • Autonomous robots have everything they need on-board, they do not depend on a quality and bandwidth of communication channels. But they may have limitations on computer performance and size, its not easy to modify controlling algorithms and monitor state.
  • Remotely operated robots can be controlled by more powerful computer, monitoring is available for operator or developer, modification of a controlling program is much easy. But quality and¬†bandwidth of communication channels are critical and limiting part of such system.

Intermediate solution is develop the controlling program on remotely operated robot and when it is completed – setup the program on on-board computer, leaving communication channel only for monitoring which is not such critical.

This article describes how remotely operate a robot where on-board MCU (represented by Arduino) takes care about hardware – controlling motor-drivers, monitoring sensors, providing communication, etc; a remotely connected computer displays monitored data and runs controlling algorithm. Program will be implemented on C++. Platform is Ubuntu.

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