Erlang & Robotics

Vlad Dumitrescu (EAW) <>
Mon Mar 10 11:02:53 CET 2003


> I've been interested in doing something with robotics, and would hate 
> to give up on Erlang because of that. I know there's been others who 
> has shared this interest in the past and hoped to make the Erlang 
> runtime small enough for the processors (+memory) found in these 
> devices (in the affordable segment of the market. Think Lego 
> Mindstorms).
> Did anyone succeed in doing this ? Could Erlang be 'pruned' 
> of some of 
> it's features to make this happen (Erlang Lite?), and in that case, 
> what would that be ?

Hi,

I have been looking into this, but that's about it. From what I could see, this would require an almost complete rewrite of the runtime (if I remember correctly the old pointer tagging scheme allowed only 4k of RAM to be used with an 8 bit processor, which is a bit low :-) The new tagging scheme is much better but I have no figures.

Another issue is that the Erlang runtime should be part of the kernel. BrickOS might be used as a base for this: http://brickos.sourceforge.net/. 

My first idea was to try to run Erlang on a regular PC and let it communicate with the Mindstorms brick via the serial interface. Two years ago there were a lot of problems with it, and I couldn't make it work, but since then things have improved a lot.

best regards,
Vlad



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