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PICList Thread
'PIC Networking.'
2000\02\11@124114 by Russell Farnhill

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Hi all,

I want to build a 12 channel R/C Servo controller for a
six legged hexapod robot.

The controller needs to have positional feedback using
potentiometers, and current monitoring feedback to detect
obstacles and jams etc. The controller must be able to receive
commands from a master controller that deals with higher level
functions and also be able to send back information on the state
and position of each leg.

Each leg needs:
2 PWM signals for servos.
2 ADC channels for position feed back (Swing/Lift).
2 ADC channels for monitoring current e.g. jammed leg, obstacle, etc.

I thought of using one pic or micro controller to do the whole thing,
but maybe a modular approach would be better and have a pic controller
for each leg and network them all together. I was also thinking of having
a master supervisor pic that handles all the network traffic commands/info
from the main controller to the leg pic modules.

Also the controller would need some scope for future expansion as each leg
has currently got 2 servos giving a leg two degrees of freedom vert/horz,
but
I would like the option to add a third servo to each leg bringing the total
to 18 servos, This is why I thought a modular approach would be better.

My questions are:

Is this type of networking possible,easy,hard ?

What type of pic(s) would be suitable for the job of leg controller
and master controller ?

Does the whole architecture sound ok or is there better ways of
doing this ?


Cheers,

Russell.

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