You’ll need a computer to program the Hercules robot. This computer will be used to compile and upload programs to the robot. Any Windows or Mac with a USB port should work. These instructions are tailored to the Windows PC but the process for a Mac should be similar.
1. Install Arduino IDE
Start by downloading and installing the Arduino IDE (integrated development environment) from here:
Select the latest beta version (1.5.8 at the time of this post). The older versions may be more stable but they don’t have support for the controllers that we’re using. The default install process should be sufficient … just download the install and double-click to execute.
2. Install UartBee Serial Driver
Since we’re programming the Hercules controller though a UartBee USB to Serial interface, you’ll need the Virtual COM port drivers from FTDI. Here are the instructions on the UartBee wiki page:
And here’s a direct link to the driver download page:
Just download the appropriate version (Windows or Mac), double click and follow the default installation steps.
3. Install Libraries
There are a couple of libraries required for this project. Download each library, unzip and copy the files to your Arduino documents folder. On Windows this will be:
The location may be different on your system. You can check the location from the File -> Preferences screen in the Arduino IDE.
Hercules Motor Controller Library
4. Getting Started
To get started with programming, click the icon on your desktop or start menu for the Arduino IDE.