vb.net barcode reader tutorial Input and Output Methodologies in Software

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14.2 Input and Output Methodologies
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The robot s computer controller requires input electrical connections for such things as mode settings or sensors, as well as connections to outputs, for peripherals like motor control or speech. The most basic input and output of a computer or microcontroller are twostate binary voltage levels (off and on), usually between 0 and 5 V. Two types of interfaces are used to transfer these high/low digital signals to the robot s control computer.
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14.2.1 PARALLEL INTERFACING
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In a parallel interface, multiple bits of data are transferred at one time using (typically) eight separate wires as shown in Fig. 14-2. Parallel interfaces enjoy high speed because more
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COMPUTER PERIPHERALS
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Parallel Data to be Sent
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Multiple Data Lines
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Parallel Data Received
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Serial Data
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FIGURE 14-2 The differences between passing data serially or in parallel.
information can be shuttled about in less time. A typical parallel interface is the printer port on your personal computer; it sends data to the printer an entire byte (eight bits) at a time. Characters are represented by different combinations of the eight-bit data (using ASCII character codes).
14.2.2 SERIAL INTERFACING
The downside to parallel interfaces is that they consume a large number of input/output lines on the robot computer or microcontroller. There are a limited number of I/O wires or lines on the control computer; typically 16 or even fewer. If the robot uses two eight-bit parallel ports, that leaves no I/O lines for anything else. Serial interfaces, on the other hand, conserve I/O lines because they send data on a single wire (as can be seen in Fig. 14-2). They do this by separating a byte of information into its constituent bits, then sending each bit down the wire at a time, in single-file fashion. There are a variety of serial interface schemes, using one, two, three, or four I/O lines. Additional I/O lines are used for such things as timing and coordination between the data sender and the data recipient. A number of the sensors you may use with your robot have serial interfaces, and while they appear to be more difficult to interface than parallel connections, they aren t if you use the right combination of hardware and software. The task of working with serial data is made easier when you use a computer or microcontroller because software on the control computer does all the work for you. The BASIC Stamp 2, for example, uses single commands that provides a serial interface on any of its I/O lines.
14.4 SAMPLE OUTPUT CIRCUITS
14.3 Motors and Other Outputs
A robot uses outputs to take some physical action. Most often, one or more motors are attached to the outputs of a robot to allow the machine to move. On a mobile robot, the motors serve to drive wheels, which scoot the bot around the floor. On a stationary robot, the motors are attached to arm and gripper mechanisms, allowing the robot to grasp and manipulate objects. Motors aren t the only ways to provide motility to a robot. Your robot may use solenoids to hop around a table, or pumps and valves to power pneumatic or hydraulic pressure systems. No matter what system the robot uses, the basic concepts are the same: the robot s control circuitry (e.g., a computer) provides a voltage to the output, which controls interface circuitry, allowing motors, solenoids, or pumps to be turned on. When the control voltage changes, the output device stops.
14.3.1 OTHER COMMON TYPES OF OUTPUTS
Along with motors, some other types of outputs are used for the following purposes:
Sound. The robot may use sound to warn you of some impending danger ( Danger, Will Robinson. Danger! ) or to scare away intruders. If you ve built an R2-D2 like robot (from Star Wars fame), your robot might use chirps and bleeps to communicate with you. Hopefully, you ll know what bebop, pureeep! means. Voice. Either synthesized or recorded, a voice lets your robot communicate in more human terms. Visual indication. Using light-emitting diodes (LEDs), numeric displays, or liquid crystal displays (LCDs), visual indicators help the robot communicate with you in direct ways.
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