Scott Hanselman

Controlling a Microbric Viper using .NET and a custom IR Serial Port

December 08, 2006 Comment on this post [0] Posted in Coding4Fun | Programming
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The first part of my Coding4Fun article on controlling a Microbric Viper with a custom IR Serial Port controller and .NET. The second part will integrate the robot with PowerShell.

I've already got some complaints about not using the Microsoft Robotics SDK. I will try to get a version out sometime that does use the SDK, but I found it to be a little overkill for this project. If you have experience using the SDK and want to help me understand it, please do email me.

This article is the one that I was working on a while back when I blogged about my troubles with fast timing using managed code while trying to get the serial port to toggle DTR faster (than was reasonable). We ended up taking your advice, dear reader, and building a custom IR port with a hardware carrier. I included that post in this new article.

The Microbric Viper can be ordered online in North America, check out for North American distributors. It's only US$89 at Saelig and CAD$99 at RobotShop. They have a number of educational robots that can be assembled by kids of all ages and skill levels. They're great for the classroom, and include projects like Sumo Robots, and a line-following bot, as well as a Spiderbot that climbs rope - all from the same kit.

You can order the IR Transmitter/Receiver from IguanaWorks. The serial version works on Windows or Linux, and there's a Linux USB version. It's not just a Transmitter, but also a learning receiver that works with WinLIRC and turns your computer into a learning remote control.

Also, check out the Coding4Fun 2006 Holiday Gift Guide for gift ideas.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.