Can I build a patentable robot?

Thinking about making a robot for sale. Robot will consist of mechanical, electrical, and computing. So I looked up "Robotics" at
the Patent office - there are about 6,000 patents! And software has about 185,000 patents!
Q: If my robot mechanics couldn't be patent, should I pay royalties or built something close but not exactly? Also, every computer program is slightly reorganized. What constitutes a program infringement? Thanks. Rick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In order to get a patent your product / robot / software etc must have a specific feature.
It is the feature / method of achieving something that gets patented.
Thus you could not simply patent a robot, but you would patent "using x to achieve y in z environment".
If you phone the patent office they'll probably be able to explain things to you a bit clearer, and also look up existing patents that relate to your idea.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I see, one other thing. If I decide to purchass hundreds of gyroscopes invented by another man do I have to pay him directly or just paying for the gyroscope is enough?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You pay the person who sells you them, who paid the factory who manufactures them, who paid the company who designed the specific model of gyroscope you bought, who in turn paid the guy who invented it. Except the gyroscopic effect is a fundamental physical property, and almost certainly isn't in itself patentable. However, a device that uses the effect in an ingenious way, such as a gyrocompass, is patentable.
So, paying for the gyroscope is enough, assuming the person who sold you it is authorised to sell it in the first place.
There may be certain criteria, just like software licenses, though they aren't usually explicitly stated in many other products. The only one you probably need to worry about is if you use a patented technology or process as a component of a device you yourself want to patent or sell commercially. I think (in some cases) you need permission of the patent holder of the component in order to use it in a commercial product of your own. (obviously, you don't need to explicitly ask for this for everything, eg a certain type of basic logic chip like AND gates or soemthing which will have patented design, but say in the case of the latest processor, you may need to pay for the right to use it's interface protocols or something in order to interface with it)
This is all mostly guesswork and gut feeling, however. The golden rule is: For private/hobby use, just forget about it. For any kind of profitable enterprise or mass production or anything, do your homework and get professional legal advice.
Tom

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
By the way, applying for a patent is expensive, but copyright is free and automatic, as long as you have proof of when you created the thing. Interestingly, software seems to be covered by copyright, because it's technically a document, though patentable processes could still be stolen simply by writing the functions to do them differently, so in the case of software, you may actually need both, or may be able to get away with just a copyright (which is free!) in the right circumstances.
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.