I am good at prog.,good at 8051uC,basic electronics,knows wat a
parallel port is..Now i want to enter the world of robotics.What do
you experienced guys suggest me to start with?(an auotomated
car..etc)What do you think one must really poosssess to be good at
such things?Like any pre-requistes??ANy links for robotics beginners
that shows how to construct from scratch instead of using a
rrobot-kits.At my place its very tough to get a robot kit so i want to
start everything from scratch any suggestions???
You need imagination, some creativity. Then you need some mechanical
engineering, electrical engineering, and both software and hardware
engineering skills. Plus you need some machinist skills and access to some
tools that can be used to machine parts depending on how many parts you need
The first place to look for robot suitable things is a local RC car or
aircraft hobby shop.
The second is parting out old broken computer printers and scanners for
Basically you need a couple of gear motors or some way to get a couple of
motors to gear reduce down to about 200 RPM or less for the two drive wheels
(assuming differential steering). Obviously DC motors of 6 to 24v work
better as these can be powered with batteres.
Then you need one or two wheels to work as castors (if your using
Then you need something for a chassis, a peice of plywood works good, easy
to machine or drill holes in and stuff, doesn't short out easily if some
wires touch it. Aluminum or stiff plastic sheets work good too. A large old
printed circuit board works too, just sand it down some to remove all the
PCB traces you don't want, if it's too thin you can epoxy two or more PCBs
together to make it thicker and stiffer.
Wheels and tires is a imagination or creativity thing, old lawnmower wheels,
baby strollers, barbeque grill wheels, RC cars and such things work.
If you are lacking some of these skills or just don't want to bother with it
that much a robot kit is still a good way to go.
I think I'm in the same boat as you lol. Although I'm not experienced I'm
looking at getting a foot into robotics so I've found a few websites:
http://www.parallax.com (micro-controllers, learning and kits)
http://www.robotbooks.com (uh... robot books lol)
http://www.britishrobotics.com (sells components, kits, etc)
I can't really say what the best thing to do for starting because I haven't
yet lol. However, I'm interested in the micro-controllers and the
educational/development resources on the parallax site so it seems a good
place to start. Not sure how relevant these would be for you but I figured
it wouldn't harm to say :-)
If in your place it`s difficult to mail-order a robot kit off the web
you may be off to a bad start already?!
For all my own projects (not neccessarily for robotics), an
environment suitably prepared to work in is the most important
part of starting from scratch. This is because things can get very
disorganised and messy very quickly as enthusiasm takes hold
of common sense.
Once you`ve got over the newspaper on the dining table to work
on then you might consider what you want this robot thing to do.
Make the working systems first, then hang them on the framework
which will make the general shape of the robotic thingy; this could
be anything from Cardboard to Stainless steel.
The rest is your own imagination.
If your programming experience is in C, I would recommend that you start
by buying "Programming Robot Controllers" by Myke Predko. Myke's book
includes all the software you need to program a PIC microcontroller. It
also includes plans for building a cheep programmer (~$17). Microchip
will send you the chips for free (about 3 per quarter year) or you can
buy them for around $4 at Digikey and other locations. Myke's book
steps you through projects that cover most of the basic sensors and
controllers you will need to do robotics. The book is $19 at Powells
and it is also available at Amazon, Borders, and many other sites.
[Personally, I hate C, but I still got the book. If you also hate C,
look at programming Atmel AVR chips using BASCOM. There is a free
version of BASCOM that is great to start with. There is also a simple
programming cable you can use to program AVR's that costs about $10 to
build. Here is a good place to start on BASCOM and AVR's:
(http://www.dontronics.com/basc-avr.html). BTW, there is also a version
of BASCOM for 8051's.]
Once you got Myke's book, you can order the parts for the projects form
many places. One of my favorites is All Electronics
(http://www.allelectronics.com/). They have fixed rate shipping and the
cheapest breadboards I have found yet.
Once you have gotten started with the book, take a look at Gordon
McComb's site, Budget Robotics (http://www.budgetrobotics.com/). Gordon
is one of the godfathers of hobby robotics. His site has a lot of low
cost ready made platforms - not full kits - that you can use to build
your bot. He also wrote "Robot Builder's Bonanza". Which is a must
read if you want to build bots from scratch.
Finally, subscribe to "Servo" magazine(http://www.servomagazine.com/).
You will be glad you did.
Practice interfacing to the RealWorld, namely transistor driving from
TTL to control low-volt high-current DC devices, H-Bridges to control
motors and steppers, the study of steppers (see Prof. Doug Jones at
Iowa), and for good measure the use of thyristors, (TRIACs, and SCRs
and Solid State Relayes/Switches), to control 120VAC devices from TTL.
Also get acquainted with sensors you want to use, momentary switches
or membrane for touch, light sensors: LDRs, phototransistors, opto-
couplers, mics and audio amps for hearing, and the use of pot-pendulum
for attitutde, accelerometers, straingauges etc.
The rest is art/mechanical assembly.
-Steve Walz email@example.com ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew
Electronics Site!! 1000's of Files and Dirs!! With Schematics Galore!!
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.