Introduction to Robots: Get Inspired to Make Your First Robot

By Abhinav Gandhi

The robotics and automation industry has moved leaps and bounds ahead in a very short period of time. There are a number of companies that have brought about a huge amount of innovation in this field. Robotics has a wide application in today’s world. Some particular applications that I am interested in are bionics and adaptive technology. Watch some of the latest innovations and get inspired to learn robotics and build your own. Check out these introduction videos:

 

 

 

And this awesome TED video by Hugh Herr on Robotics:

 

 

 

So what is a robot? A mechatronic system that is capable of performing a complex set of tasks repeatedly without getting tired. Basically, that’s exactly what all machines do. In the early days robots were widely used in large industries to automate tedious jobs that required a lot of time or energy and efficiency. Unlike humans, robots obviously don’t get tired or bored of repeating the same task over and over again. Modern robots are slightly more complex and developed from the early age robots used in industries. These robots are designed to look like humans and blend in a home like environment to assist and entertain us humans. Some of the best examples of a modern robot would be Honda’s Asimo and Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao. These two projects are the perfect systems to start to learn robotics.

Learn robotics

As you already know, robotics is a very interdisciplinary subject and to able to learn robotics and build robots independently you must know a little bit of everything from soldering wires to writing code and drilling holes! In the following posts, I will try to compile a short list of some basic skill sets, tools and resources that might be helpful to get you started to learn robotics. The list is not exhaustive but at the same time may seem overwhelming. However, it should be very easy if you take it one step at a time and keep progressing.

We can break down robotics into four segments – electronics, mechanical, coding and control. Each of these segments can be further divided into smaller parts, which I will speak of in detail in later posts. For now lets just explore the different robots out there today and think of the problems you would want your robot to solve and picture the robot you would want to build in your mind.

The posts after this will help you learn some basics and will give you introductions into the different segments of robotics. You will also find awesome tutorials to learn robotics and on building different types of robots like – wheeled robots, walking robots, simple underactuated robots and so on that I will upload and update.

Learning Resources for Beginners in Robotics

Here is a short collection of robotics courses, textbooks and online resources that you can use to learn Robotics. Use them to conceptualise and build your very own robot.

This guide has been intended to allow beginners to learn Robotics and get started on DIY Robotics easily. Stay tuned to DIY Hacking’s Robotics to learn more. You can also connect with me on our online Slack channel to get more guidance and check out my learning path to become an expert.

 

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