Good micro processor

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
Hi.

Working on my Halloween pirates and need the head, neck, arms etc to move at same time.
I’ve tried Arduino and that is not what I want to use.
Would the parallax propellor board and software be good for this? Anything else I can go with?
 

trebla

Joined Jun 29, 2019
365
What kind of actuators you want to use for moving these parts? Usually many MCU-s can output multiple control signals in almost same time. I depends mostly of programming the MCU.
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
Which Arduino did you try and why did you decide that you don't want to use it?
Hi. Thanks for responding. Used the arduino uno board with the add a fruit motor controller.
from my understanding, the uno board can only do one command at a time. if I’m wrong here I’d appreciate setting me straight. If there is another arduino board that can do multiple commands at the same time I’ll definitely look into it.
thanks again
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
What kind of actuators you want to use for moving these parts? Usually many MCU-s can output multiple control signals in almost same time. I depends mostly of programming the MCU.
hi thanks for responding.
For the head, neck and jaw I’ve been using just digital RC servos.
For making arms and legs move I’ll be going with electronic or pneumatic actuators. I’m still an amateur at this so I’d appreciate all the advice I can get.
thanks again
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,150
Most micro's control output simultaneously or one at a time, but you are talking μs between actions.
The RC servo's are going to be the slowest response, not the micro.
Max.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
I suspect an 8-core, 32-bit MCU is more than a bit of an overkill for that project. No doubt it will work. How experienced are you in programming?
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
Most micro's control output simultaneously or one at a time, but you are talking μs between actions.
The RC servo's are going to be the slowest response, not the micro.
Max.
Ok. Sounds like I should go with something different. What do you recommend for controlling movement instead of servos?
thanks
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
I suspect an 8-core, 32-bit MCU is more than a bit of an overkill for that project. No doubt it will work. How experienced are you in programming?
Honestly not well experienced in C+ basic but I’m learning more all the time by reading and experimenting with different commandS
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,150
If you are going to get into more projects in the future, You might want to look into Picmicro's, they can be a little more conserving as to space etc, but you need to learn C or Assembly, the former you may find easier as a newby.
Max.
 

andrewmm

Joined Feb 25, 2011
1,496
Arduinos were originally designed for the maker community for art works,
They are just like any other processor, they perform one task at a time,

have a look here
https://www.pjrc.com/blog/

http://arduinoarts.com/2014/05/9-amazing-projects-where-arduino-art-meet/

OK over simplification, there are multi core processors, such as i7's.

There are also real time processing languages , that allow a processor to simulate multiple controllers,

You do not use one core of a processor for each of the "arm" of a model
A Real time language would be way overkill, especially if you are learning code.

So a Uno is a very good, logical way to program up your display.

What you do need to do is learn Arduino codding though.
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
Arduinos were originally designed for the maker community for art works,
They are just like any other processor, they perform one task at a time,

have a look here
https://www.pjrc.com/blog/

http://arduinoarts.com/2014/05/9-amazing-projects-where-arduino-art-meet/

OK over simplification, there are multi core processors, such as i7's.

There are also real time processing languages , that allow a processor to simulate multiple controllers,

You do not use one core of a processor for each of the "arm" of a model
A Real time language would be way overkill, especially if you are learning code.

So a Uno is a very good, logical way to program up your display.

What you do need to do is learn Arduino codding though.
Ok. Yeah I really need to learn this. Just hasn’t come easy for this older dude. Wish I had a 12 year old son to learn it for me and then teach me.
wish there was a school that taught this.
Seems like all the reading On C basic I’ve
seen so far doesn’t go basic enough.
thanks again for the help
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
16,183
Any single core processor that you pick is only going to be able to do "one thing at a time". The thing is that it can do so many things one thing at a time, that on timescales within our perception it looks like they are happening simultaneously.

We have a reaction time to a visual stimulus on the order of 0.25 seconds.

In that 0.25 seconds, an ATmega328 running with a 16 MHz. clock can execute 4,000,000 instructions because each "one thing at a time" instruction takes only 62.5 nanoseconds. I know that you might not be familiar with nanoseconds, but there are one billion of them in one second or 250,000,000 in one quarter of a second. I think it is a pretty big stretch to conclude that an Arduino will have trouble performing what seems like a series of simple choreographed tasks.

If you are still not convinced then, maybe you cold think about doing the servos with one and doing the pneumatics with another. They could even communicate with each other on when certain events are scheduled to happen and finish.
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
Any single core processor that you pick is only going to be able to do "one thing at a time". The thing is that it can do so many things one thing at a time, that on timescales within our perception it looks like they are happening simultaneously.

We have a reaction time to a visual stimulus on the order of 0.25 seconds.

In that 0.25 seconds, an ATmega328 running with a 16 MHz. clock can execute 4,000,000 instructions because each "one thing at a time" instruction takes only 62.5 nanoseconds. I know that you might not be familiar with nanoseconds, but there are one billion of them in one second or 250,000,000 in one quarter of a second. I think it is a pretty big stretch to conclude that an Arduino will have trouble performing what seems like a series of simple choreographed tasks.

If you are still not convinced then, maybe you cold think about doing the servos with one and doing the pneumatics with another. They could even communicate with each other on when certain events are scheduled to happen and finish.
Ok. makes. What is your opinion on the parallax propeller?
They specifically claim simultaneous multi tasking.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,873
from my understanding, the uno board can only do one command at a time. if I’m wrong here I’d appreciate setting me straight.
Most single core processors will only execute one command at a time. Intel had hyperthreading that allowed processors with that feature to execute more than one instruction at a time.

If you use the PORTs on Arduino, you can change up to 8 I/O's at the same time (or at least with the same command).
 

TechWise

Joined Aug 24, 2018
151
Arduino is by far the most popular choice for hobbyists wanting to control things like robots or other gadgets. There is loads of material online to help with it, ranging from written tutorials to YouTube videos from beginner topics to more advanced designs. There are also dedicated Arduino forums online, as well as forums like this which are more general but still contain plenty of Arduino users.

For these reasons, a beginner would need a very good reason to go down the route of using a different processor, particularly one that's not so well known.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,700
Hi. Thanks for responding. Used the arduino uno board with the add a fruit motor controller.
from my understanding, the uno board can only do one command at a time. if I’m wrong here I’d appreciate setting me straight. If there is another arduino board that can do multiple commands at the same time I’ll definitely look into it.
thanks again
That controller can run up to 16 RC servos at once. I use an Arduino to run an animatronic figure with 11 servos at the same time.

If you’re not running servos, that shield will run up to four motors at the same time. And you can stack up to 64 of these shields and run up to 256 motors at once.

Just sayin’
 

Thread Starter

navyguy

Joined Sep 27, 2019
108
Well from all the great feedback I’ve received, it sounds like I have a lot more work to do than I thought and only a few months to do.
Every year I all out for Halloween by using all the electronics I can set up. This year I’m committed to winning the “Clark W Griswald award“ for best decorated Halloween show in the neighborhood.
Thanks again guys
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,700
Most single core processors will only execute one command at a time. Intel had hyperthreading that allowed processors with that feature to execute more than one instruction at a time.

If you use the PORTs on Arduino, you can change up to 8 I/O's at the same time (or at least with the same command).
That shield he mentioned is a co-processor, that runs multiple motors/servos. The response time of the motors is slow compared to the processor, so commands can be sent sequentially, but appear to be simultaneous.

What I’m trying to say is for his application, multiple cores aren’t necessary. An Arduino, the Adafruit shield is sufficient.

As I said, I’ve run an animatronic with 11 RC servo motors on an Arduino Uno.
 
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