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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:15 pm    Post subject: gentoo robotics Reply with quote

does someone have experience with small hobby robots that run with linux or even gentoo?

I've just bought a gnublin with debian linux preinstalled. First I want to install gentoo on it and then I want to build a small robot :)
I've absolutely no experience with it and I don't know what to buy or not to buy...

the only specification of the robot is that he can walk (bipedal) and that I can control it from the command line..
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lxg
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say much about robotics, but as this post is unanswered since a while now, I'll try to help you getting forward.

I think this topic is not distro-specific, hence nothing Gentoo-special. This means that in general, it is sufficient to search for devices or kits that run on any Linux distro. Of course, you are welcome to discuss this at the Gentoo forums, and “Gentoo Chat” is the right place. But as it turns out, not too many people who are occupied with this topic have showed up so far. Therefore, you might want to expand your research to other websites (as you certainly did).

As for Gentoo: If you find a device that is supported by Linux in general, and you want it to run on Gentoo, there are a couple of questions to answer:

1. Can you install another OS at all? Sometimes, hardware does run on Linux or BSD, but you cannot (or only with hellish hacks) install something different – think of Android.

2. Are the device-specific hardware drivers available in the mainline kernel, or are they at least open-source? If a kernel module is proprietary, you might be unable to run it with your distro's kernel.

3. Are the user-space tools (if any) compatible with your distro? For example, if there's an SDK, and it relies on different versions of libraries than your distro ships, you may also run into trouble.

4. Do you really want to take the pain of running Gentoo on embedded hardware? Don't get me wrong, Gentoo is a maybe one the best-suited distributions for embedded usage, but you need to build *everything* from outside and then deploy it, whereas with Debian you'd have a solid basis and painless binary updates.

Hope that helps.
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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your answer...
I think the installation of another OS isn't a problem (maybe for me, but not in generall)

http://gnublin.embedded-projects.net/ if somebody is interested...

Quote:

4. Do you really want to take the pain of running Gentoo on embedded hardware? Don't get me wrong, Gentoo is a maybe one the best-suited distributions for embedded usage, but you need to build *everything* from outside and then deploy it, whereas with Debian you'd have a solid basis and painless binary updates.


well the goal of my small project is to learn how gentoo and computer hardware works and if it fails, so what.. but I guess I will need good nerves.. :D
anyway I'll maybe start with debian and move to gentoo later..
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aCOSwt
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: gentoo robotics Reply with quote

LoTeK wrote:
I've just bought a gnublin with debian linux preinstalled. First I want to install gentoo on it and then I want to build a small robot :)

I'm not sure I understand.
Well the first..., then... sequence I mean.
Do I understand better if I read that FIRST you want to build a robot and THEN find the appropriate software tools to drive it ?
Or is it just that you found that driving a robot would be a good idea as an application / a possible use you would find to your gnublin ?

One thing for sure in robotics : If you want to drive a robot : The question is not gentoo-linux or debian-linux. You first want a true real time kernel.
BTW, Support on Gentoo portage for the official linux rt kernel is rather limited.

Another advice I would give to beginners in robotics : Start your robot following a simple-stupid approach.
BTW... Simple-Stupid is not... exactly... the first quality of a Gentoo... :D
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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well on one hand I've always wanted to build some small robot, but every time something else came between and on the other hand I've read in a magazine that if one belongs to the kind of programmers that also want to run their programs in "reality" then programming a microcontroller is a good start therefore I've googled a bit and found the gnublin. There I've read that an application could be to control a robot.
Quote:
Do I understand better if I read that FIRST you want to build a robot and THEN find the appropriate software tools to drive it ?
Or is it just that you found that driving a robot would be a good idea as an application / a possible use you would find to your gnublin ?

So both understandings are correct :)

Quote:

One thing for sure in robotics : If you want to drive a robot : The question is not gentoo-linux or debian-linux. You first want a true real time kernel.
BTW, Support on Gentoo portage for the official linux rt kernel is rather limited.


ok, I just thought that because Gentoo supports the largest number of different hardware among the linux distributions, it would fit best, and for a learning experience because one day I want to install gentoo on a smartphone

Quote:

Another advice I would give to beginners in robotics : Start your robot following a simple-stupid approach.
BTW... Simple-Stupid is not... exactly... the first quality of a Gentoo... :D

So what is such an approach?
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aCOSwt
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... something that just starts with a single ON / OFF capability I mean.
OK... that sounds just too simple ? So let's go for an ON / OFF capability triggered by one external binary event.
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