Basic Micro, Inc.
Basic Micro produces the MBasic
line of compilers for PIC microcontrollers. Among their products are:
development boards, getting started
kits, programmers, BasicAtom microcontrollers, and prototyping boards.
The BasicX is a general-purpose
microcontroller with a built-in programming language. You write programs on
the PC using a Basic-like syntax, then
download them via a cable to the
BasicX, including the BasicX- 24 — an
all-in-one module that is pin-compatible
with the Parallax BASIC Stamp.
Developers and sellers of the
MAVRIC line of Atmel AVR-based
microcontrollers, designed principally
for use in robots.
Makers and sellers of the MEGAbitty
miniature microcontroller board. The
MEGAbitty is based on the Atmel MEGA
AVR microcontroller. Though small —
literally postage stamp sized — these
boards offer full function. They are
perfectly suited for mini Sumo and other
size-restricted robot competitions.
Blue Bell Design, Inc.
Blue Bell offers a unique co-processor dedicated to robotics control. The
co-processor adds servo control, A-D
inputs, switch debouncing, and other
features, and connects to your robot’s
Chuck Hellebuyck Electronics
Chuck resells the Basic Atom from
Basic Micro, as well as his own custom
boards. His BasicBoard is a general-purpose microcontroller board with
LCD panel, speaker, LEDs, and other
components built in. It’s designed as a
get-it-working-quick solution for a
variety of embedded tasks. Various
single function module boards help
speed the development of common
types of circuits. Modules include switch
I/O, light sensor, and relay control.
Dontronics specializes in microcontrollers, as well as the SimmStick prototyping development board system.
Based in Australia, he ships worldwide.
Single-board computers and
microcontrollers in a range of sizes
and types. A line of their single-board
computers are PC compatible, and can
run DOS, Windows, or Linux.
Gleason Research sells the MIT
Handy Board and Handy Cricket
single-board computers. The Handy
Board (see the end of this article) is a
favorite at MIT, and many university
and college robotics courses.
Offers microcontrollers designed
for simple one-wire connectivity.
Applications include home automation,
home and garden, and weather. Of
course, robotics encompasses many of
these aspects, as well.
Kanda Systems Ltd.
Offers programmers for microcontrollers for the following microcontrollers and sub-systems; the 8051,
Atmel AVR, CAN, Internet/Ethernet,
Scenix, ST7, and Xicor.
Support for the Atmel AVR line is
a specialty. Also sells starter kits,
microcontroller chips and development
boards, project boards, compilers and
programming software (for both Basic
and C), books, and PC interfaces.
Additional offices in the United States.
Kevin Ross offers the BotBoard Plus
microcontroller boards, and BotBoard
interface products. Many of the boards
are available in kit or assembled form.
The BotBoard Plus uses a Motorola
68HC11-based microcontroller and provides various connectors to attach robotic parts to it. According to Kevin, “The
BotBoard Plus is widely used by universities and hobbyists for learning and
experimentation. The members of the
Seattle Robotics Society have been using
the BotBoard design for several years.”
Kronos has developed a line of microcontrollers in various lines (Dios, Athena,
Perseus, and Nemesis) where speed and
low cost are key features. The chips
support code libraries of functions, which
allow you to readily program the chip
without having to re-invent the wheel.
Additional products include various co-processor boards and adapter modules.
Sells a unique microcontroller using
the FORTH programming language.
Controller boards and development
tools for microcontroller-based robotics.
microEngineering Labs makes and
sells development tools for the
Microchip PIC microcontrollers, the
PICBASIC Compiler, and other products.
Microchip makes a broad line of
semiconductors, including the
venerable PIC microcontrollers. Their
website contains many datasheets and
application notes on using these
controllers; you should be sure to
download and save them for study.
MicroMint offers single-chip controllers with built-in Basic interpreters,
stackable controller boards, PicStic micro
modules, miniature modems, and more.
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