Saturday, April 04, 2009

My Bol-Bot (robot) has arrived!

Yesterday was one of my better days. I worked from home in the morning attempting to get some required training done for work. The training required the use of a joystick to complete various tasks. It's really a neat training package but unfortunately, as usual, I found some rather interesting bugs. In several spots I could get the software into a deadlock. To finish task A you had to do task B but I had an item that needed to be let go but couldn't because task B was not complete. After several hours of frustration I manage to complete the training. To cheer me up the postman delivered to me a nice new Bol-Bot Kit (small robot base). After many hours of frustration I got to spend some time checking out and assembling the kit. It as therapeutic, relaxing and easy to put together. The CD that came with it is meant to use Microchip's MPLAB and their student version of their C18 C Compiler as the bots CPU is the Microchip 18F6520 chip. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Microchip CPUs. In assembly language they're tricky to use. But when using a language like C or BASIC then thing are much easier. Of course the chips are cheap, easy to get, easy to use and have lots of features so it's not like I'm going to walk away from them.

As usually when ever I put something together I put up a page describing what I did. This time is no different. I've create a Linux/Bol-Bot page to explain how to setup the Bol-Bot environment under Linux. At the moment I've only put up the Makefile that compiles a test program. I haven't compiled a Bol-Bot program yet and, of course, not downloaded anything. I have leads and I'll post them when I get time (hopefully in the next few weeks).


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