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'General walker stupidity: Divide and Conquer!'
2000\01\20@140323 by Thomas McGahee

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Adam has brought up a good point. Distributed processing is
a very useful technique. Each sensor/microprocessor combination
has its own private interrupt mechanism, and a means to
respond quickly to the local stimulus. Such local action might
include some form of immediate action such as movement towards
or away from an object, and two-way *communication* with
a Master CPU that controls the "big picture".

Other examples of specialized processing would be:

    An LCD controller that communicates serially;

    A "math co-processor" PIC that does all the math
      stuff, and which you communicate with over
      a serial line;

    A Data Ram that accepts an index number and then
      returns a sequence of data such as ASCII text
      string messages for the LCD, or Conversion Table Data;

    A Stepper Motor Controller that moves a stepper motor
      to an "absolute position". You tell it "X=12,345",
      and it moves from the current location to the one
      specified;

    A Servo Controller that accepts an ID and a Position value and
      then moves one (of several) servos to that position.


All of the above PIC based "distributed processing" functions already
exist. Many of them have been designed by members of this list. Sometimes
two or three low-end PICs can do a job better than one expensive cpu.

It is also often MUCH easier to program a Master CPU to control a
couple of "local intelligence" PICs than it is to try and program
a single PIC with limited interrupts to do all the tasks. As the
ancient Romans used to say, "divide and conquer".

Fr. Tom McGahee


{Original Message removed}

2000\01\20@153436 by Dwornik, Sebastian

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This falls right into my current robotics project. I will be using my
68HC11 as the master controller for a couple of PICs. Slight dillemma to
still deal with is the inter-processor communications (IPC). If I stay
with two processors, then serial (RS232) will suffice, but more
processors, then I need some form of network. This will be new to me.


> {Original Message removed}

2000\01\22@062232 by John De Villiers

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Take a look at RS485. Maxim has some chips that can drive an rs485 line at
10Mhz provided the cabling isnt too far and youve terminated it correctly.
Your serial routines is almost identical to that of normal rs232 ( u need
one more bit for the address indicator - the parity bit of old ) .

John

> {Original Message removed}

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