To start we would advise using a Arduino UNO with a motor controller shield or a motor controller from DimensionEngineering. The motor controllers are not cheap but they are versatile and can be used from one project to another.

Arduino UNO – While there may be many copy’s out there, none will have the quality of a real Arduino UNO. If you purchase here you know you will get a official UNO and you are supporting the people who helped bring the Arduino open source project to life. https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-uno-rev3

Sabertooth dual 12A motor driver – https://www.dimensionengineering.com/products/sabertooth2x12

If you have moved past the Arduino then we have created a list below of popular choices to use. This is probably one of the most difficult choices you may make on the robot. A processor will decide many aspects of the rest of the design for you.

 

Lets first list a few common and not so common choices out there.

Arduino UNO

  1. Very common in robotics
  2. Easy to program
  3. Tons of resources online to interface with almost anything
  4. Robust programming environment
  5. Remote programming

Arduino mega

  1. Very common in robotics
  2. Easy to program
  3. Tons of resources online to interface with almost anything
  4. Robust programming environment
  5. More powerful then UNO
  6. More I/O then UNO
  7. Larger and more power hungry then UNO
  8. Remote programming

Parallax Propeller

  1. Multi-core
  2. Unique programming language
  3. Powerful for size
  4. Many examples of hookup and projects
  5. Dedicated cores instead of interrupts
  6. Remote programming

Parallax BASIC Stamp

  1. Basic programming language
  2. More expensive then Arduino’s
  3. Many different versions to choose from
  4. Compact size
  5. Tons of resources
  6. Beginner friendly
  7. Remote programming

Arduino Pro Microcontroller 328

  1. Easy to program
  2. Tons of resources online to interface with almost anything
  3. Robust programming environment
  4. Compact size for integrating into a project/robot
  5. Must be able to solder to use
  6. Not beginner friendly
  7. Remote programming

BrickPi Microcontroller Module

  1. Based on a Pi computer
  2. Use focused for Lego’s
  3. Intermediate controller
  4. Built in interfaces for Lego sensors and motors

Raspberry pi 3 Model B+

  1. Single board computer
  2. Advanced
  3. 4x built in USB 2.0
  4. Built in video via full size HDMI port
  5. A 1.4GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
  6. 1 GB of ram
  7. Built in WiFi
  8. Built in audio
  9. More power hungry then Arduino’s but way more powerful
  10. Runs a OS (mainly Linux)
  11. On board programming
  12. Does not run real time (important for mobile robots, often need a slave microprocessor to relay info)
  13. Many accessory’s (including cameras that can have higher frame rates then normal USB camera’s)

Nvidia Jetson TK1

  1. Single board computer
  2. Very Advanced
  3. Built in USB 3.0
  4. 2 GB DDR3 of ram
  5. Built in video (HDMI)
  6. NVIDIA “4-Plus-1” 2.32GHz ARM quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU with Cortex-A15 battery-saving shadow-core
  7. NVIDIA Kepler “GK20a” GPU with 192 SM3.2 CUDA cores (upto 326 GFLOPS)
  8. More power hungry then Raspberry Pi’s but way more powerful
  9. Runs a OS (mainly Linux)
  10. On board programming

 

 

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