How to Build a Robot From Scratch

Robots look incredibly complex, but you can learn how to build a robot from scratch provided you have the right tools. To make a robot, you will need to have the right equipment.

Required Tools and Materials

Hand tools
Drive system
Power system

Step 1

Decide what the robot will do. Is it going to walk and talk? Is it going to pick up certain objects? Or will it do something else? Answering this question will go a long way towards determining the robot characteristics.

Step 2

Once you have determined the purpose you can design the chassis. The chassis is where the robot’s components will be attached to. Mold the chassis on the hardware that it will be using.

The chassis material should be lightweight. Popular choices would be aluminum or plastic. You can also use recycled items when you learn how to build a robot from scratch.

Allow room in the chassis for expansion if you will add more components to the robot. If you are making a large robot, use customized, industrial grade materials.

Step 3

Next you have to install a power system. Batteries are the most popular choices. You can use an external charger or onboard charging system for powering up the batteries. There are different types of batteries so you have plenty to choose from.

Step 4

Next is the drive system. The drive system will be determined by the robot’s purpose. A set of treads is recommended for robots that will be used outdoors and on diverse terrains. If the robot will be used indoors, you can settle for small rubber wheels and a pair of motors.

Step 5

Choose between a computer or micro controller. The two most widely used controllers are the AVR and Basic Stamp line of chips. There are now numerous programs, software and programming tools for controllers. Micro controllers have support for wireless chip sets, GPS device, motors and clock sources.

Step 6

Sensors can be very basic or complex. The most fundamental is the simple rotary encoder. The most complex robots will have a GPS system. A robot designed for grasping things requires sensors that can detect objects. Photo sensors are for line following robots.

The final step in learning how to build a robot from scratch is by writing the code. When writing code for the robot, make sure to test it. This will make it easy for you to test the robot. Proceed carefully when you make a robot.

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