Knowledge & Learning
In order to build increasingly complex robots, most professionals and hobbyists use knowledge they have acquired when building previous robots. Instead of building one robot, you can learn how to use individual components with the objective of building your own “knowledge library” to use to undertake a larger, more complex design in the future.
Amusement & Companionship
Building a robot is in and of itself is fun and exciting. Robotics incorporates aspects of many disciplines including engineering (mechanical, electrical, computer), sciences (mathematics and physics) and arts (aesthetics) and users are free to use their imagination. Amusing others with your creations (especially if they are user-friendly and interactive) helps others to become interested in the field.
Competitions & Contests
Competitions give the project design guidelines and a due date. They also put your robot against others in the same class and test your design and construction skills. Although many competitions are specifically for students (elementary to university), there also exist open competitions where adults and professionals alike can compete.
Humans are natural creators and innovators. The next great innovation will be to develop a fully autonomous life form that rivals or surpasses ourselves in ability and perhaps creativity. This goal is still being accomplished in small steps by individuals, research organizations and professionals.
Domestic or Professional tasks
Domestic robots help liberate people from unpleasant or dangerous tasks and give them more liberty and security. Professional and Service Robots are used in a variety of applications at work, in public, in hazardous environments, in locations such as deep-sea, battlefields and space, just to name a few. In addition to the service areas such as cleaning, surveillance, inspection and maintenance, we utilize these robots where manual task execution is dangerous, impossible or unacceptable. Professional and Service Robots are more capable, rugged and often more expensive than domestic robots and are ideally suited for professional and/or commercial use.
Security and Surveillance
Most mobile robots are used to venture into areas where humans either should not or cannot go. Robots of various sizes (either remote controlled, semi-autonomous or fully autonomous) are an ideal choice for these tasks.
We anticipate that most of you following this guide have the objective of building a robot for learning and knowledge, but also for sheer fun; though many will have a specific idea or project they want to materialize.
The last major consideration is budget. It is difficult to know exactly what people have in mind when they build their first robot; one might already want to build an autonomous snow removal robot, while another simply wants to make an intelligent clock. A simple programmable mobile robot might cost about $100 while a more complex can be several thousands of dollars.
In this exercise, we have chosen to make a mobile platform in order to get an understanding of motors, sensors, microcontrollers and programming, and to include a variety of sensors. We’ll keep the budget to about $200 to $300 since we want it to be fairly complete.
For the original version:- How to Make a Robot – Lesson 1: Getting Started – Lee Hnetinka