Getting started in robotics

I want to get started in robotics and build some for myself, but I don't
know where to start or what tools I may need. I am an electronics engineer
with some programming experience in C and assembly and have used VHDL.
Before I go to the DIY/model shops and spend my hard earned money on tools I
may never need I would appreciate it if you could let me know what tools you
have found useful as robot builders.
My tool box currently holds digital multimeter, soldering iron, cutters and
other basic circuit board building/testing tools.
Also is there a step by step guide to building a walking robot or robot arm
or something similar out in the world that someone can point me to?
Many thanks
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After spending the whole night debuging an I2C digital compass, I would say having a decent oscope is fundamental.
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This question is asked alot here isn`t it?
I basically went overboard and experimented with as many tools and materials that I could find!
Still, no Robot. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashley Clarke -------------------------------------------------------
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Ashley Clarke
Where are you in this world? Maybe my shop could be of help if you are in SoCal...
Reply to
Wayne Lundberg
If you live in a metropolitan area, there is a reasonable chance that there is a robot club. If you can find one, you might want to attend a meeting to meet other people who have are perhaps a little further along than you.
My $.02,
Reply to
Wayne C. Gramlich
An oscilloscope is essential for debugging complex circuits and often makes debugging simple ones much quicker.
My current favourite construction technique is sheet aluminium, joined by machine screws with nuts and washers. Threaded rod (all-thread) and aluminium tubes make for excellent spacers and braces. The only specialist tool you need is some good tin snips, assuming you have a drill. I use straight jewelers snips mostly, they have a non-serrated blade (so they don't mark the metal) and are easy to handle. They are fine for the thin 1-2mm aluminium sheet you get a DIY and hobby stores, but you'd want meatier snips for steel or for cutting big sheets. You can't beat sheet metal for instant sensor-mounting brackets and the like, it's as quick and easy as using card but a million times more durable.
A Dremel-type tool can be anything from a precision PCB drill to an angle grinder for chopping motor shafts. There not much it can do that you can't do with a drill, file, hacksaw, knife and some time, but it does make some cutting jobs quicker and easier.
Reply to
Tim Auton
Kits are good starting points, and not always more expensive than making yourself, especially if you don't have a lot of shop tools. Several outfits sell walking robot kits; enter "robot kits" in Google and you'll be flooded with good hits.
I personally like the mechanical construction, so my toolset is heavy on that end. Scopes are handy if you're designing your circuits. Dabble first to see what interests you the most. Then you can invest on that part of the hobby. You'd go broke trying to get everything.
-- Gordon
Reply to
Gordon McComb
Main thing is to have fun. Can get buy with basic tools , good set of screw drivers , nut drivers , spanners , pliers, cutters etc
How about starting with a few servos and going from there. Could get some blank pvc / lexan panels and have a go making your own simple bot to start with.
For building your own raid the local hardware store and look at some of the kits that are out there like
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Alex Gibson
My advice is to get some knowledge regarding basic robotics and the common components like PWM, Speed Controllers, etc... From there, I would hack apart an old RC car and play around with that. Its fairly cheap and easy. You'll learn the specific tools you'll need, as you go. But the baseline knowledge is invaluable.
-- Lee V. Mangold Research Assistant University of Central Florida Institute for Simulation and Training
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Hi Everyone
Thanks for the replies. I guess I have most of the tools I need to put the hardware together. I just need to start on a project. I think I will go for a walking robot.
Thanks Naveed
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Have a look at
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Regards Sergio Masci
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- optimising PIC compiler FREE for personal non-commercial use
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Sergio Masci

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