The BASIC Stamp
This particular controller was something of a breakthrough for hobby robotics, for the first time it was both trivial to build a "computer" that could control your robot, and it was possible for complete novices to start programming it immediately.
The Stamp's ability to send relatively precise pulses out of any of its 8 I/O pins allows it to control R/C servos. This ability means that a simple gear drive motor can be obtained by taking an R/C servo and modifying it to allow full 360 degrees of travel.
The BASIC Stamp is built around a PIC microprocessor from MicroChip. The PIC is pre-programmed with a BASIC Interpreter that reads bit encoded tokens out of a serial EEPROM.
The program is compiled on a PC and then downloaded using a serial protocol (but connected to your parallel port!).
The Stamp has 8 I/O lines. These can be used as digital inputs and outputs, and with a simple capacitor circuit as pseudo analog out or analog in lines. Any I/O line can be used for serial data as well.
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