This post is for people especially beginners and kids who are getting started with robotics; nice and easy robotics for beginners post. In this robotics tutorial, we will guide you through the basic of ‘Robotics for Beginners’ and you will learn how to how to Make a Robot for Kids easily.
Getting Started with Robotics for Beginners and Kids
In this post, we will explain – What is a Robot, different parts of a Robot, how to make a robot for kids, what are the things to be taken care to get the best robot kit for kids, choosing the best battery for robot, choosing the best microcontroller for the robot and in the end you will build your own robot. Lets get started.
How to Make a Robot for Beginners?
Before answering ‘how to build a robot?’, There is another thing you should know; another question you should answer first – ‘What is a robot?’ A robot is simply an electromechanical device which will sense its environment, process it, takes a decision by itself and reacts to its environment without manual intervention.
Robotics for Beginners Video Guide – How to Make a Robot for Kids?
What are the Parts of a Robot?
As this is a Robotics for Beginners Guide, I will try to make it as simple as possible. To make it more understandable, imagine a robot is like any other organism; like a human being.
We have sense organs. We see things with our eyes. We hear things with our ears, feel things with our skin, taste with our tongue and smell with our nose. Our neurons transmit the signals from our sensors to our brain where we process them. Our brain process the signal, takes a decision and send the signal to our muscles to move your hands, legs or do whatever you want. Then we have a heart that circulates blood, supply oxygen, provides energy for the working of your entire system. Then we have a body, where the sensors, muscles, heart, veins and all other parts are neatly ‘assembled’.
This is the same as in the case of a robot.
The Robot Chassis – The Body of the Robot
A robot has a chassis/ robot frame; which is similar to our body. A frame that will support the whole robot. A system which is having enough space and is capable of handling the weight of all the sensors, power source and all the cables used in the robot.
Sensors – The Sense Organs
A robot has sensors; sensors such as IR sensors, which will sense infrared rays, ultrasonic sensors to sense ultrasonic waves, heat sensor to sense temperature, a pressure sensor to sense touch/pressure and so much more.
So we now have all the data from the sensor. What to do with this sensor data? We need to process it. For that, we will have a processing unit. Normally, we will use a logic circuit.
This can be a simple circuit consisting of resistors, capacitors, transistors to perform simple logical decisions or a microcontroller such as an Arduino or PIC that can perform complex calculations. That depends upon the complexity of your robot.
Arduino and Raspberry Pi are the most commonly used controllers in the field of Robotics.
Arduino is simply an open source base employing easy to use microcontroller boards with simple programming technique. Combining the power of strong microcontrollers and user-friendly IDEs which can be used to write and upload programmes, which runs on your computers, less price, and less power consumption, it is effectively used in various industries, robotics, and home automation projects.
Raspberry Pi is a small credit card sized, lightweight and compact computer which is used by both professions and hobbyist alike. This mini computer can do (almost) anything a normal Linux machine can do. It is widely used in various industries, robotics, home automation projects.
Muscles – The Actuators (Motors and other moving parts)
Once the signals are being processed, the result/reaction will be sent to the actuators. Actuators can be any electromechanical device such as motors that will move the motor, or servo motors that will lift the hand; or anything.
Heart – The Battery
Now we almost have everything we need now. All we need is a power source. A power source that can provide enough energy to power up all the sensors, motors and the microcontroller. For that, we will use a current source such as a battery or a power adapter.
A Small Example of a Robot – Robotics for Beginners
As this is a Robotics for Beginners Guide, I will try to explain everything with an example. Consider this line follower robot using Arduino. This robot uses IR sensors to detect the track and use motors to move around depending upon the color of the track. Here,
IR sensor is the Sensor
Arduino is the Brain
LiPo Battery is the Heart
Robot Chassis the Body
Using all these parts, the robot senses the path, takes a decision by its own and react to its environment by moving only through the black path.
Now How to Make a Robot for Kids?
So once again we are back with the same question. How to make a robot for kids?
Now you know what all things we need to make make a robot for kids. But there are different types of sensors, motors, batteries and micro controllers available in the market. But all of them cannot be used to build a robot you want. For that, you will need a plan for a Robot.
Steps to Build a Robot – Robotics for Beginners
Now, as promised at the beginning of this Robotics for Beginners post, Let us learn how to build a robot.
Step 1 – Plan Your Robot
First, decide what you want to build; a line follower, a pick and place robot or whatever you want. Decide what you want your robot to do.
For example – A Line follower that will follow a path without human intervention.
Step 2 – Know the Inputs
Understand what all are the inputs and outputs. For the robot to do whatever you want it to do, it should get maximum data from the environment, in order to process it. So find out what all things it need to know to perform that particular action.
In the case of our line follower, we need something that can sense the color of the path in front of it. For that, you can use an IR sensor or a color sensor.
Step 3 – Processing the Inputs and Decision Making
Once we have collected all the input parameters, we will have to feed it to the Brain for processing. We have to process the inputs and make the robot to make the right decision in various conditions.
In our line follower, we have an Arduino microcontroller board which will act as its brain. The Arduino will read all the inputs from the IR sensors, process it and send the decisions/outputs to the motor driver board which will drive the motor.
Step 4 – The Output
Now the robot knows what to do. Now, all we need is to execute that action. For that, we will use an actuator. An actuator can be an electromechanical device.
In the case of our line follower, when the black line is curved towards left, it should go left.
When the black line turns right, the robot should go right. We have 2 DC motor which will drive the bot.
Step 5 – Power On the Robot
Our robot is almost ready. All you need is a power source to power everything up. Remember, you have to power all the devices including the sensors, microcontroller board, the motor drivers. the motors and all other actuators.
You have to choose the right power source for your robot. Different components have different voltage range for its working; below which it won’t work or above which, it will burn off the component. So choosing the right power source can be a crucial task.
Step 6 – The Robot Chassis
Chassis is a frame where you mount all the parts of a robot together. You can either build one yourself or get one online.
Qualities of a Good Robot Chassis for Kids
- Have enough space for all the components
- Provide good mechanical support for all the components
- Have mounting/screw holes where you can fix all the components in place
- Have enough strength to hold the entire weight of the components
Here are some of the best robot chassis which are available online to make your own robot.
Simple DIY Robots for Beginners
Now you know what a robot is and what are the parts of a robot. Now let’s get practical shall we? As you are all beginners in this field, in this session, I will show you and explain some of the basic, DIY Beginners robots which you can build and learn basic robotics. All of the equipment, tools and components used in these robots are cheap, simple and easily available at online markets. Give it a shot.
Line Follower Robot for Beginners
What is Line Follower Robot?
This is the easiest robot you can build for getting started with robotics. This robot uses IR or Infrared Sensor to ‘See’ a line in front of it and follow it automatically without human intervention. These line follower robots can be made with or without using microcontrollers.
How Line Follower Robot Works?
Simple Line follower Robot using IR sensors (mounted on either side of the robot) to sense the line, and uses these signals to drive DC motors using a DC Motor Driver. You can make a Line Follower Beginners Robot with or without micrcontroller.
What Will I Learn?
Here you will learn how IR sensor works, basic microcontroller coding and how to control DC motors using a motor driver IC.
Obstacle Avoidance Robot for Beginners
What is an Obstacle Avoidance Robot?
Obstacle avoidance robot is a simple robot equipped with UltraSonic Sensor which will automatically detect obstacles in front of it and change its direction by itself.
How an Obstacle Avoiding Robot Works?
An obstacle avoiding robot is able to sense whether some object is present in front of it using an ultrasonic transmitter/receiver pair. If there is any obstacle, the ultrasonic waves will hit the obstacle, bounce back and hit the receiver. This signal can be used to change the direction of the robot using DC motors.
What will I Learn?
You will learn to use the Basics of Robotics sensors like UltraSonic Sensors and Several motors such as DC motors and/or Servo Motors.
Remote Controlled Robot for Beginners
What is a Remote Controlled Robot?
Remote controlled robots are those which can be controlled wirelessly using a remote controller. Here we will have a robot part and a remote controller part and the robot can be controlled using the remote controller.
How a Remote Controlled Robot Works?
Working of a Remote Controlled Robot is really simple. Here you will be having two parts – The Robot and the Remote controller. Here we will use a Wireless signal transmitter module in the Remote controller and a Receiver in the Robot. The signal from the remote controller is transmitted directly to the Robot using a Wireless module.
What will I learn?
You will learn the working of Wireless Communication modules such as Bluetooth, HC12, Zigbee etc and apply them to your Robot.
Robot Kits for Kids – Robotics for Beginners
Robot kits are packages that contain all the components (and sometimes tools) that you need to build your own robot from scratch. Robot kits can be really useful for kids and beginners who are getting started with robotics because they don’t have to worry about what all things to buy and how to assemble.
Qualities of Good Robotics Kits for Beginners
- It should have all the components you need to build your robots
- It should have all the tools you need to assemble them together.
- Robot Kit should include a Chassis to mount all the components.
Now you know the qualities of Best Robot Kits for Beginners.
Best Robotics Kits for Beginners
Advanced Robot Kits for Beginners Online
Here we are presenting you with some cool robot kits which are available online and can be used by beginners, kids as well as experts to build their own robots easily. Links are also provided with the product description which will be redirected to trusted product pages from where you can buy your own robots.
Robotics for Beginners and Kids – Get the Best Robot Kit Online