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Robotic Programming

Two main programming languages used in robotics are C++ and Python, often used together. C++ is used in control loops, application of image processing, and to interconnect low-level hardware. Python is used to handle high-level behaviors and to quickly develop a proof of concepts or testing.

Though a robot can replace human force nowadays, humans are the one who gives the command to it either by guidelines or off-line programming. Industrial robots are guided from point to point for its operation stored in its control system. Instructions received by robots from computer is called manipulator level off-line programming where high-level languages are needed.

If you are a robotic programmer you should have at least a basic knowledge of these programming languages for smooth operation and processing. For industrial machines, programming languages have an insightful impact for robotic integration where sky is the limit for innovation in industrial robots.

There are nearly 1500 programming languages in the world and here are the top 5 programming languages in robotics:

C/C++

It is the best programming language for aspiring robot makers as it is a general-purpose programming language which is also the number 1 programming language in robotics.C++ allows real-time performance with interfacing low-level hardware.

The three main parts of coding are:

  • Constructor

Initialization code runs in this step to create a class before enabling the robot. The constructor initializes sensors and WPILib objects where positioning of actuators is not performed.

  • Autonomous method

It is programmed during the automation period of the robot which is also an important step.

  • Operator Control method

In this method, a loop is performed for interfacing joysticks and switches and also to operate the actuators until the teleoperation period.

Example: The default Simple Robot template project

The sample robot consists of a joystick on USB port 1 for arcade drive with two motors on PWM port1 and port 2. Create objects for Robot drive as my Robot and joystick as stick.

Python

Python plays an important key role in building and testing robots as it is a high-level programming language with a good platform for automation. The entire process of calculation, recording, and simulation is done easily without complex statements step by step.

It is the most used programming language in Robotics as it has fewer lines of code, software framework, compatibility for embedded systems with a huge number of libraries.

Example program:

This example showcases placing all the objects automatically through Python.
Using the Python API we can create, modify, or delete any objects. 

Java

Robotic systems must be included with functions using a programming language like python for making the robot perform tasks like humans. Java language has an array of APIs for the functionality of the robotics realm. Java Media Framework is used to receive and process virtual images where the Java Speech API is used for speech recognition. 

It is used as it can support artificial intelligence, efficient algorithms for machine learning, and neural algorithms for language processing. JVM is used to interpret instructions at the run time itself.

Example code to create robotics voice listener using grammar format file:

C# / .Net

C#/.Net is Microsoft’s proprietary language used to develop Visual Studio applications. It provides a solid foundation for aspiring programmers in different fields which are used in port and socket level programming with horizontal scalability. It is a unified environment with pre-tested tools in the network where language integration is seamless.

Example:

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