The robotics and automation industry has moved leaps and bounds in a very short period of time. There are a number of companies that have brought about huge of innovation in this field. Robotics has a wide application in today’s world. Some particular applications that I am interested in are bionics and adaptive technology. Check out some of these latest innovations and get inspired to learn robotics and build your own! Start with this tutorial:
Next, watch this awesome TED video by Hugh Herr on Robotics:
So, what is a robot? It is a mechatronic system that is capable of performing a complex set of tasks repeatedly without getting tired. Basically, that’s exactly what all machines do. In the early days, robots were widely used in large industries to automate tedious jobs that required a lot of time or energy and efficiency. Unlike humans, robots obviously don’t get tired or bored of repeating the same task over and over again. Modern robots are slightly more complex, and they developed from the early age robots used in these aforementioned industries. These robots are designed to look like humans and blend into a home-like environment and assist and entertain humans. Some of the best examples of modern robots are Honda’s Asimo and Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao. These two projects are the perfect systems to start to learn robotics from.
As you already know, robotics is a very interdisciplinary subject, and to learn robotics and build robots independently, you must know a little bit of everything, from soldering wires to writing code and drilling holes! In the following posts, I will try to compile a short list of some basic skill sets, tools, and resources that might be helpful. The list is not exhaustive, but, at the same time, it may seem overwhelming. However, it should be very easy if you take it one step at a time and keep progressing.
We can break down robotics into four segments: electronics, mechanical, coding, and control. Each of these segments can be further divided into smaller parts, which I will speak of in detail in later posts. For now, let's just explore the different robots out there today and think of the problems you would want your robot to solve. Picture the robot you would want to build in your mind.
The posts after this will help you learn some basics and will give you introductions to the different segments of robotics. You will also find awesome tutorials on building different types of robots, like wheeled robots, walking robots, simple underactuated robots, and so on.
Learning Resources for Beginners in Robotics
Here is a short collection of robotics courses, textbooks, and online resources that you can use to learn robotics. Use them to conceptualize and build your very own robot.
- MITx – 6.832 Underactuated robotics
- Mobile Autonomous Systems Laboratories (MASLAB) | MIT OCW
- Robotics at MIT
- Control of Mobile Robots | Georgia Institute of Technology | Coursera
- Springer Handbook of Robotics | LCSR | John Hopkins University
- Fundamentals of Computer Vision | Mubarak Shah | Youtube
This guide is intended to allow beginners to learn robotics and get started on easily. Stay tuned to learn more. You can also connect with me on our online Slack channel to get more guidance.