Robots can be described in many ways. In general terms, robots are electromechanical devices that can react in same way to their surroundings and make autonomous decisions. Moreover, they are also capable of taking actions to achieve a specific task. Here some electrical items like toasters or running vehicles like cars aren’t considered to be robots because they don’t perceive their environment. On the other hand, a solar panel seeking the sun or a vacuum cleaner navigating through a room can be described as a robotic system.
There is no doubt that making a robot itself is a real fun. This article will enlighten you some general information about how you can make your robot. Let’s take a look at the steps.
Determine The Purpose
When making a robot, you first need to determine what you want the robot to do. Since, robots are structured with the intention to facilitate humans in some way; they can be utilized in almost all situations. Some ideas for robots include knowledge and learning, amusement and companionship etc. So, it is very important to determine the usage and purpose of your robot before you start making it.
Choose The Robot Type
Next step is to choose the type of robot you are willing to make. Usually, designs for custom robots start with a vision of what it should look like and what functions it will perform. While, there are unlimited possibilities for robot types, some popular designs include aerial planes, land wheeled, swimming, helicopters and so forth.
Choose The Right Microcontroller
Unless you use a RC system or a tether for controlling your robot, you will need a microcontroller for whatever robot project you consider to build. Here, choosing the right microcontroller may sound a daunting task for many people especially those who are making their robots for first time. Some popular microcontrollers include Basic ATOM, POB technology, parallax and so forth.
Choose a Motor Controller
After you’ve chosen your actuators, it’s time to go for your motor controller. It draws a current that is correlated to the torque it can offer. Note a small DC motor doesn’t have much current but it can’t provide enough torque. A large motor, on the other hand, is capable of providing higher torque and requires a higher current to achieve this. Different types of motor controllers include DC Motor Control, Servo Motor Control, stepper Motor Control, and Linear Actuator Control. Here you will also need to select the appropriate control method.
Get The Right Tools
When you are all set to build your own robot, it is very important to make sure that you have all key components such as actuators, communication systems, motor controllers, microcontrollers, and sensors. You will put all key parts into a custom frame of your robot. Usually, this is done in a workshop, or laboratory or a bat cave tools. Having the right tools is very vital to perform the task in the right way. For that reason, if you want to build your robot like professionals, then you will need to invest a little more in tools and equipments in order to make the process of fabrication, assembling, testing as well as troubleshooting easier. Besides some technical equipment, you will also need some essential mechanical tools including a pen, a marker pencil, a ruler, small screwdriver set, a set of needle nose pliers, wire strippers or cutters, a wire stripper, a pair of scissors, and exacto knife. Furthermore, you may also need rotary tools such as Dremel, drill, saw, and so forth.
Assemble the Parts
After you’ve selected every basic building block for making your robot, the next thing will be designing and building a frame or structure that is important to keep all the blocks together and give the robot a special look. There are a few steps required in order to make the frame including collecting the right and essential construction materials, flat structural material, using Laser cut, metal or bent plastic, applying 3D printing, performing polymoph and putting all the parts together. Read another interesting post on how to make a robot.
Program Your Robot
Programming is the last final step to build a robot. Now since you have assembled your robot and it looks like what you wanted it to be, it’s now time to do some programming for your robot to function. There are several programming languages that are being used for programming microcontrollers. Some most commonly used programming languages include Assembly, Basic Micro, C/C++, Java,.NET/C, Netduino, Processing (Arduino), FEZ Rhino and Python.