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Chapter 4. Robot Anatomy Class > Robot Soul (Software)

Robot Soul (Software)

Some roboticists, when detailing robot anatomies using human analogies, have playfully suggested that robots even have souls: their programming. It is certainly the programs running in most robots that bring them to life, that animate them. There is a dizzying array of programming environments and software tools for building robot brains. Some researchers and developers roll their own languages and software; others make use of existing and popular languages, such as Basic, Visual Basic, Java, C, and C++. Most popular microcontroller modules have programming tools available, such as Windows-type program editors and built-in compilers (for turning code into executable programs your robot can run). These tools can make programming a lot easier, especially for the novice. Popular microcontrollers also have active mailing lists, online discussion groups, and file servers where robot builders can talk about and exchange programs. The software is often frequently updated, with new features, squashed bugs, and so forth.


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