[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Last points

6502 vs. 68HC11:  

*** I repeat, there is a compiler provided in the lab for the 6502, ***

in fact it is integrated as one seamless unit with the assembler/
simulator executable.  The chapter explaining the high level language
is not in the manual, it is found in the simulator/assembler 
distribution.  It is a structured language tailored to mixed assembly/
high level programming.  It is not C however.  Because it is one
seamless unit with the assembler and simulator, there are a lot of
advantages that the garden salad of tools available for the 68HC11
cannot provide, first of which is a simulator of any type, let alone
one that is entirely aware of the internal variables of the 
assembler/compiler, like the structured language and assembly 
symbols and many more things.  The simulator/assembler/compiler was
written to provide complete functionality, along with the
separate module --- the console/monitor --- for all AER 201S 
needs.  But it is not C.  There is a "Small C" compiler for the 6502.
I tried it 5 years ago.  Neither I nor the top academic student in
that class could see how to used it easily.  

     I wrote the compiler to do image processing in assembly language.
and used it successfully.  Last year, one student, the first to try it,
used the compiler successfully.

Pancake Makers

6502 and 68HC11 are single board computers.  A SBC will be used with the 
robot projects. 

An 8255 is an interface card that goes in a PC/XT/AT/ATX machine.  It, or
something like it, will be used for the Pancake Makers.  Pancake makers 
may get a PC motherboard to include in their project if they want to 
make it self-contained.  A SBC will not be permitted.

Tag Players

A student asked about potential beacon/sensor transducers for the
Tag Playing Robots.  Ultrasound and infrared have been tried and used
successfully.  A high output visual spectrum flash was used by one group
as a beacon once.  

MilliRobot Groups

The CPLDS we have are:


The ones we have are U-66's.  The first one is about 1x1cm, the second
about 1x1 inch.  Code is written in VHDL and compiled and written
using things in the lab.  The specs say each draws 100mA, a very large

Someone powered up one of the free millikit motors and found it 
moved only forward and back, not around and around.  I was unaware
such things existed.  I do have alternate motors and will look
into these ones we have further.
Someone noted that the solar cells in the millikits are large.  Yes,
but if you mount them upward like a sail, because the walls are about as
tall as the local unit cell size, you can keep them from jamming with 
walls in the small part.  In the large part, you have to sense when they
touch walls.


Just so you do not go away thinking I believe humans have no conspicuous 
skills here are what I would estimate our most distinguishing traits 
are over the animal kingdom, from least to most debatable:

A tie for first:  Tool Use and  Art,
Language or Communication,
Ability to understand our environment **** (a composite skill)
Ability to shape our environment ****
Abstract thought (it is more debatable, since we understand neither our
                  thought nor those of higher animals very well) ****
Ability to form large operable collectives
Ability to eliminate competition ****

The dexterity of our hands and ability of our minds is most 
respsonsible for these advantages.

**** These were mentioned in one way or another by students.

Equally, all of the other questions I posed in class have good answers 
and the position I take in class is not unassailable.  If someone would 
just take me up, the debate is more lively that way.

Have a good weekend

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
M.J. Malone,  Assistant Professor
University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies
4925 Dufferin St., Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T6
Email Address: malone@aerospace.utoronto.ca     **** Email is best!
UTIAS Office: rm 183, phone: (416) 667-7942
Downtown Off: SF4003, phone: (416) 978-3130  Fax: (416) 667-7799
http://www.aerospace.utoronto.ca   http://www.utias.utoronto.ca