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The Robotics Wiki Book

Robotics brings together several very different engineering areas and skills. There is metalworking for the body. There is mechanics for mounting the wheels on the axles, connecting them to the motors and keeping the body in balance. You need electronics to power the motors and connect the sensors to the controllers. At last you need the software to understand the sensors and drive the robot around.

This book tries to cover all the key areas of robotics as a hobby. When possible examples from industrial robots will be addressed too.

You'll notice very few "exact" values in these texts. Instead, vague terms like "small", "heavy" and "light" will be used. This is because most of the time you'll have a lot of freedom in picking these values, and all robot projects are unique in available materials.


Design Basics[edit]

Note to potential contributors: this section could be used to discuss the basics of robot design/construction.

  1. What you should know 75% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  2. Physical Design25% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  3. Design software50% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  4. Tools and Equipment75% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  5. Electronic Components75% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  6. Mechanical Components50% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  7. Building materials75% developed  as of June 2, 2006
  8. Basic Programming50% developed  as of June 2, 2006

Physical Construction[edit]

This section could be used to discuss various means through which robots are constructed.

  1. The Platform
  2. Construction Techniques
  3. Resourcefulness


This section could be used to discuss components used in robotics or the making of robots.

  1. Power Sources
  2. Actuation Devices
    1. Motors
    2. Stepper Motors
    3. Shape Memory Alloys
    4. Air muscle
    5. Linear Electromagnetic
    6. Piezoelectric Actuators
    7. Pneumatics/Hydraulics
    8. Miniature internal combustion engines
  3. Grippers
  4. Audio
  5. Video

Computer Control[edit]

This section could be used to discuss the things involved with controlling robots via computers.

  1. Control Architectures
    1. Reactive Systems
    2. Sense-Plan-Act
    3. Brooks' Subsumption Architecture ( w:Subsumption architecture )
    4. Hybrid Systems
    5. Swarm Robotics
  2. The Interface
    1. Personal Computers
    2. Single Board Computers and multichip modules
    3. Microcontrollers
    4. Remote Control
    5. Networks


Sensors that a robot uses generally fall into three different categories:

  1. Environment sensors tell the robot what is happening around it
    1. Thermal Sensors
    2. Pressure Sensors
    3. Ranging Sensors
    4. Touch Sensors
  2. Feedback sensors tell the robot what it is actually doing, and
  3. Communication sensors allow a human or computer to provide a robot other information.

Sensors aren't perfect. When you use a sensor on your robot there will be a lot of times where the sensors acts funny. It could miss an obstacle, or see one where none is. Key to successfully using sensors is knowing how they function and what they really measure.


  1. Navigation
    1. Localization
    2. Collision Avoidance
    3. Exploration
    4. Mapping
    5. Trajectory Planning

Exotic Robots[edit]

This section could be used to cover "special" robots.

  1. Special Robot brains
  2. BEAM
  3. Cooperating Robots
  4. Hazardous Environment Robots
  5. Types of Robots
    1. Contest Robot
    2. Entertainment Robot
    3. Arms
    4. Wheeled
    5. Tracked
    6. Walkers (with legs)
  6. Modular and fractal Robots
  7. The LEGO World
    1. LEGO Robots
    2. Introduction to the RCX
    3. Programming the RCX

See also[edit]


Papers on various robot related subjects