The Ultimate Guide to Building Your First Robot
Building your robot will take a lot of preparation and skill while considering the elements of robotics to make sure your creation is worthwhile and unforgettable. However, getting started with building robots can be difficult and challenging, especially if you don’t where to start and how to get on with your plans.
Keeping things simple to ensure that you’re enjoying building your first robot should be your number one priority. One of the elements of robotics that you should always take note of is that the robot is capable of moving right and left as well as forward and backward. Besides, you should also be able to know how to control the robot wirelessly.
Starting strong with the basics of building your first robot can provide you a rigid foundation where you can improve later on without facing any issues. Keep in mind that the planning and preparation phase will take you a long time to master. Thus, here is the ultimate guide to building your first robot.
Research About Electronics and the Robot’s System
The least exciting part of building your first robot is learning about electronics, specifically the wirings and circuit, and the essential components of the robot’s system. The robot’s essential elements will be responsible for connectivity and conductivity that’ll allow the robot to operate.
Here are the basics and information about the robot’s components you’ll have to know before you start building your first robot. Following this, you’ll be able to prepare and collect these components to help you make your robot.
Resistor : The resistor is responsible for controlling the current, power usage, and voltages.
Capacitor : The capacitor is responsible for preventing current fluctuations of the robot’s motors in the circuit you’ll be controlling.
Diode : The diode is responsible for making sure that the flow of current is going in one direction. The resistor-capacitor circuits have currents that change directions.
Thermistor : A thermistor is a form of a resistor responsible for taking up the heat from the current to prevent the circuit from overheating.
Light-Emitting Diode or LED : LED is responsible for indicating whether the current is flowing because it’ll emit light, showing you whether the robot is on or off.
Transistor : The transistor is responsible for controlling the lights from a microcontroller pin or high-voltage motors to balance the input and output of current.
Photoresistor : The photoresistor acts as the robot’s sensor that’s an optical switch whenever the light is present or not, thereby activating another feature of the robot.
Integrated Circuit : The integrated circuit is a small chip responsible for holding all the other components. It’s also the building block of your robot.
Potentiometer : The potentiometer is responsible for measuring and moving the position of the axle or shaft of the robot’s arms.
Switch : The switch is responsible for turning the robot on or off by creating an opening in the circuit.
- Start Small
Building your first robot should always be small and simple because taking on a more significant robotic project as a first-timer can lead to failure. Keep in mind that a small and simple robotic project can already be challenging, especially if it’s your first time. Familiarize yourself first with the different components and improve from there.
- Using Robot Kits Over DIY
Most people with experience in electronics and mechanics build everything from scratch even if it’s their first-time building a robot. However, if you don’t have any experience in electronics and mechanics, the best thing to get to help you start is a robot kit. There are various types of robot kits that’ll help you gain the necessary experience you’ll need.
- LEGO Mindstorms
LEGO’s Mindstorms allow you to build up to 17 types of robots using programmable bricks, motors, and sensors. Mindstorms incorporates EV3 programming that helps you command each of the 17 types of robots. This kit also comes with a tool called EV3 Programmer App that turns your phone or tablet into a remote control to steer and command your robot.
- Makeblock DIY 2 in 1 Starter Kit
The Makeblock DIY 2 in 1 Starter robot kit allows you to learn the basics of electronics and mechanics by building either a tank or a three-wheeled robot car. Apart from learning the basics of electronics and mechanics, you can also develop coding skills with the help of mBlock Software that uses simplified Scratch 2.0 programming.
Compared to LEGO’s Mindstorms, the Makeblock DIY 2 in 1 Starter Kit allows you to play with the wirings of the components without the use of soldering. STEM education also uses this type of robot kit. It’s the closest you can get to learn and enhance your skills if you were to pursue robotics engineering.
The importance of building your first robot will always depend on mastering the basics and knowing each of the essential components of robots. Understanding how the components work will also help you in the future when you’ve already gained experience in electronics, mechanics, and programming.
You can also visit robots.net if you want to gain ideas and learn about the different types of robots and their functions for you to incorporate in your further robotic projects. Keep in mind that keeping it simple can provide you with a solid foundation. Thus, you can improvise and even change later on as you enhance your skills.