Robot Home School

This is a site for teaching Robotics to kids of all ages at home. I haven't figured out how to receive questions yet, but once I do, you can ask robot questions and I will try to help answer them.

A robot is a "worker" designed and built to do a task or set of tasks.  Usually these tasks are dirty, dangerous, difficult; or in some other way a problem for people, so we delegate it to a machine.

To build a robot, three things are needed, in general.
 * A micro controller, or brain for the robot.
 * a body to hold to robots sensors and actuators and other parts
 * a program so the micro controller can read teh sensors and respond with the actuators

Robot Micro Controller
  Any micro controller can be used.  While the details of using an individual micro controller part may differ, the general use is pretty must the same. Some parts have built in dedicated hardware to do a certain task easily; other allow us to do a wide selection of diverse tasks using software.  This page tend to use the Parallax Propeller micro controller in the examples, but pretty much any micro controller will do.  As long as you can sort out the details for the specific part it should be fine.

Robot Body or Chassis
  The robot chassis can be anything.  It should be able to hold the robot's sensor and actuators.  The sensors get information about the robots environment, and the actuators do things to the robots environment.
  Sensors can detect energy: light (photo sensor), heat (temperature sensor), magnetism (compass), position (GPS), change in position (gyro scope), change in motion (accelerometer), and other engery.  Other sensors can detect electromagnetic energy (radio), sound (microphone), and user input (user interface).  Ususally something can be devised to detect anything one is interested it.
  Actuators make some action. Motors can make things such as turn to make the robot move. Servos can make thing move back and dorth or side to side with high accuracy. Relays can control switches to turn things on and off.  Solenoids can open and close valves. Pretty much anything can be done with the proper actuator.
  Designing and Building the Robot is the Fun part.
Robot Program
  The robot program is a set of instruction that tell the robot what to do and when to do it.  At the highest level, the person making the robot gets to decide what the robot will do and when to do it.  At the lowest level, the instructions do the specifics of reading the sensors and moving the actuators.  Get from the High Level to the Low Level is the fun part. 

Last edited 20110805

Project 20100805 Hive Jupiter ACE
A  'Jupiter ACE' type PC.  A FORTH development environment built from a handful of parts
Subpages (1): Hive Project