A recent Arduino -vs- Basic Stamp discussion over on the DIY Drones site really caught my eye. Jordi makes a nice argument for the Arduino, showing off the current state of his Arducopter, which you can see in the video above. Built using a low cost electric heli, an Arduino board, and the guts from a Wii Nunchuck, his system can currently auto stabilize roll and pitch. More detail and source code are posted at the link below. It’s a really great start.
I’ve also been working on an autonomous helicopter project. While I’ve been able to build a general game-plan and test a few things with my BS2 controller, I know it’s going to be insufficient for the device’s needs.
I can say this with a bit of certainty, because I’ve built a GPS-guided RC car in the past using the BS2. Even with heavy optimization, I used just about all the available memory on the Basic Stamp. There’s not much room to read additional accelerometer data and manage the control outputs of even a little 4 channel heli. Long story short, I’ve got a Boarduino in the mail.
Can a Basic Stamp manage reading and processing accelerometer, compass, and GPS data at the same time? If so, I’d love to hear it, but I’m thinking it’d be difficult to impossible. Don’t get me wrong—I love my BS2. It’s great for prototyping and quickly building smaller projects. Objectively, though, the Arduino is a little faster, has more ram, and costs much less.