Public fascination with robots goes back a long way, and it was only a matter of time before people decided it would be a fun hobby to build them at home. Take this quiz to learn a bit about the parts involved in building your own robot!
Which components are used in a home-brewed robot?
All of those components will be found in a home-built robot. The frame is the base of the design, to which everything else will be attached; motors will run things like wheels and arms; and electronics will provide the brains and juice to keep the robot working.
How much does it cost to build your own robot?
If it's your first robot, you should anticipate spending about $100 to $400. While experienced robot builders could build one for very little money, that's only because they are experienced and also have likely built up a supply of parts over the years.
What is the simplest control method for a robot?
Differential drive is a way that a robot can be controlled with just two wheels. The algorithm it uses is simple, such that: to drive straight, the wheels move forward at the same speed; in reverse, the wheels move back at the same speed; to turn left, the left wheel moves in reverse and the right forward; and to turn right the right wheel goes in reverse while the left goes forward.
Which type of wheels are generally easier to handle for robot-building beginners?
Small wheels will be easier. While big wheels can get a robot moving faster, it also means the robot has less torque for carrying heavier cargo and typically makes fine positioning control harder too.
Which key consideration goes into the choice of motor for a DIY robot?
A motor's size will correlate strongly with its battery life -- the bigger the motor, the shorter the battery life. Size will also play a role in how complicated the robot's circuitry will be. So all three considerations should be weighed together.
Servo motors are very popular with robot builders but they typically are NOT used for what?
Robot builders like servo motors because their positioning makes them well suited for use on robot arms and legs, in rack-and-pinion steering and with sensor scanners. And while they can rotate about 90 to 180 degrees (sometimes even a full 360) servos cannot rotate continuously, which makes them a poor choice for wheels.
Why is it advisable for robot beginners to use different batteries for the motor and circuitry in their first simple robots?
It's considered advisable to use different batteries because beginning designers' motors could cause interference with or even destroy circuitry.
What is a photoresistor?
A photoresistor is an electrical component that is sensitive to light in that it will alter resistance in accordance with the amount of light placed over it. When it receives more light, it offers less resistance. Robot builders use them to, for example, make a robot do something (whatever the designer wishes) when a hand is waved in front of the robot, blocking the light.
What is the most common sense for a robot to have?
The most basic, common sense a robot has is that of movement and the ability to keep track of its own motion.
Who said "I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one."?
Industrial robotics pioneer Joseph F. Engelberger uttered the quote. Defining a robot is tricky, and a one-size-fits-all definition even eluded the man often called the "Father of Robotics" for his pioneering work on industrial robots.
What do most serious robot builders consider the key to any definition of a robot?
While there's no standard definition, roboticists (people who build robots) keep it simple and consider a robot something with a reprogrammable brain that moves a body.
What's the best material to use on a homegrown robot?
There's no single "best" material, although experts recommend going with lighter weight materials when possible. Even styrofoam can be used!
Which material is easier to work with for the fledgling robot builder?
Plastic materials are softer and easier than metal for beginning roboticists to work with.
What is a robot microcontroller?
The microcontroller is essentially the robot's brain. It gathers data from various sensors and switches and then executes a program of some sort based on the conditions the data shows.
Which skill is a new robot-builder most likely to need?
Any new robot builder should probably learn a bit about soldering electronic components. There probably won't be too much call for extreme welding projects or heavy drilling and carpentry at the outset.
Why would a robot maker use a phidget?
Phidgets are electronic components, such as sensors and motor drivers, that can be connected to a computer via a USB port and then programmed using a special application programming interface. For roboticists, it's an easier way to program.
What is the typical DC motor voltage for a robot?
Most robot DC motors will be in the 6- to 12-volt range.
How much voltage should a robot's DC motor use?
Motors should use voltage very close to their rating. Too much juice and your robot motor could seriously overheat; too little and the motor won't work.
What is an omni-wheel robot?
An omni-wheeled robot can move in any direction at any angle without first having to turn. The individual omni wheels themselves are not like ordinary wheels and are actually more than one wheel.
What is a typical mistake for a beginner in robot building?
Newbie robot builders sometimes don't consider the texture of their robot's wheels. For example, wheels that are too smooth might skid, depending on the terrain they're crossing.