Building a Robot

Lets talk about some of the considerations involved in building a robot.

You could start with questions like

  1. what will be the purpose or function of robot?
  2. what is your budget?
  3. how autonomous will it be and how many sensors and complex AI is needed?
  4. will it be battery powered and will it only be used indoors?
  5. how realistic will it be if it is a bipedal/humanoid robot
  6. will it be male/female/cultural and will clothes cover up most of it to avoid using latex skin
  7. will it be from traditional materials or are you trying for “soft robotics” or using tendons/rubber

In this website we will assume that we are planning for fairly budget oriented robots under $20,000 and preferably under a few thousand.

We will also shoot for open source code for the most part running on affordable boards like a $50 Arduino, am $80 Raspberry Pi or similar and using advanced boards like a $300 Netvidia Jetson for the AI if needed.

We would use consumer level $20 servos and $10 sensors for the most part with a $200 LiDar probably being the most sophistocated sensor.

So we will choose between these options

  1. humanoid/bipedal that walks or dances or jumps and picks up or throws things
  2. animal like walking/crawling multi leg robot with some tasks
  3. a rolling platform like a robot vacuum that could do work
  4. some underwater or air born or micro sized robot

Now in terms of moving lets address the bipedal human robot first.

We need to decide its height/weight and if it is a full or half body robot and how well it would do the following: (usually called locomotion or moving)

  1. walking just like a human or the “drunk” walk or a no-knee joint walk or similar
  2. rolling on a platform with wheels or treads or a half robot on a wheeled tray
  3. will it jump/dance/run/bend/get up when it falls/lift a leg/climb/

What will the arms/hands and head/neck and waist/shoulders do?

  1. will the arms bend at the elbow and will the hands grip with 2 fingers or all 5 or a tool?
  2. will the arms and body be clothed and will visible parts have latex realistic skin on?
  3. will the limbs be 3d printed or just use traditional materials and cover with clothing?

Then you would get into the questions of how it was powered and cooled and controlled with software or autonomous sensors.

  1. what language are you going with? Arduino with C or Python with Raspberry Pi
  2. do you use control software from MRL or EZ Robot, or ROS toy software with Lego Mindstorm EV3 or Meccnoid software or Blockly or Microsofts Robot software