March 11, 2005

Parallax BASIC Stamp Kit

Finally... after nearly a year of promising myself I'd get into BASIC Stamp kit programming and BOE-Bot creation (to do Mini-Sumo robotics and smaller, other robotics stuff) my kit arrived at my doorstep. And I've had a total of 1 hour with it, so no conclusions yet.

But, for the ten gazillion people who don't know what BASIC Stamp kit programming is: it's programming a microprocessor, using a specialized set of BASIC commands built into the microprocessor. This means, for example, you can control a set of electronics through programming, which is a lot easier to create higher level logic than using pure wiring (for me, at least.)

The other cool part is that it's a pretty simple introduction to robotics, outside of Lego Mindstorms. Not that Lego Mindstorms is anything to sneeze at, no sir. It's just limited to what Lego provides (or that you can create. Check out Extreme Mindstorms for more info).

Parallax's system has more components that you can put together, and you can hook in your own electronics easily. The coding language, though, is smaller; so if you're looking for better logic, best to aim towards NQC or leJos for Mindstorms; the languages they have are subsets of (respectively) C and Java, which hold more functionality. LeJos is especially cool, but as a Java programmer I'm a little biased.

Anyway, this should be interesting. We'll see how it goes! Posted by Ted Stevko at March 11, 2005 12:16 AM