OT: Robotics or embedded or hardware programming... what is this called?

Modulok modulok at gmail.com
Thu Jun 21 01:54:28 UTC 2012


Sorry for the off-topic post. There are a lot of technically adept people on
this list, so I thought I'd try my luck here:

I want to get started programming for hardware. Motors, sensors, actuators, etc.
I have a programming background, (python, PHP, C++) but no experience with code
that drives hardware. (Motors, sensors, etc.)

I *don't* want closed-source "kit robots" where the point is to build the robot
the book and thats it. I also don't want ladder logic-based PMC's. Some kind of
micro-controller that runs a *nix flavor (or a BSD flavor!) would be great! (If
that's what I need.) Basically, I want to do stuff like "if input1() is True
then apply_voltage_on_output3()", etc. Build my own traffic light, coffee
maker, mars rover, automatic-plant waterer, whatever.

What do you call this? Embedded programming? Generic hardware programming?
Robotics programming? Are there prefabricated, standard embedded boards and
hardware specs that play together like PC parts do? In short, I don't even know
where to start.

Even general pointers to books/websites would be great. Once I know what it's
called I can google much more effectively ;)


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