How to make a robot – FutureLearn

Do you want to learn how to make a robot? In this article we explore what a robot is, some types of robots and discuss how to make a robot at home.
A girl holding up a handmade robot.

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Sci-fi and popular culture have featured all kinds of robots in movies and books for decades, and it ’ s not rare to find a child ’ mho bedroom adorned with automaton memorabilia. We are fascinated by robots – but it doesn ’ t have to be in a fabricated adjust .
then, what are automaton made of, how are robots programmed, and how can we build our identical own automaton ? hera, we will dive into these questions and much more. Read on to discover all you need to know about building a automaton – including how to make a automaton at home.

What is a robot?

Whether through the context of movies or possibly in an industrial set, you credibly have some concept of these machines. But what precisely is a automaton ? When we hear the word automaton, we may think of a human-shaped entity made of screws and metallic. But this international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate always the character .
We can define robots as interconnect, synergistic, cognitive, and forcible machines that can perform a assortment of tasks. As we discovered in our assailable dance step, robots can perceive their environment, cause about events, perform actions, and make plans using algorithm .
Built to replace human attempt, they are used for versatile purposes. We ’ ll take a closer attend at some examples of robots in everyday life curtly .
Robots can carry out their tasks based on their scheduling and environment and are powered by electricity. They learn by exploring their environment and interacting with their surroundings .

A brief history of robotics 

Although robots are often tied to the imagination of futuristic settings, the being of robots is far from fresh. In fact, the word ‘ automaton ’ was first used way back in 1921. Derived from the condition ‘ forced british labour party ’, the password was beginning used in a toy titled Rossum ’ s Universal Robots .
beyond that, there were even earlier depictions of robots. Documents for plans of making mechanical devices to carry out tasks date binding to 3000 BC. The first digitally operated automaton was invented back in 1954 – the Unimate. It was made for industrial work and could perform multiple tasks .
Robots may have been around for a while, but that doesn ’ thyroxine mean they aren ’ thyroxine however quickly developing. technological advances are constantly happening, and preexistent robots are continuously getting updated and improved .

  • University of Reading

    Begin Robotics

  • Raspberry Pi Foundation

    Introduction to Machine Learning and AI

  • Raspberry Pi Foundation

    Robotics With Raspberry Pi: Build and Program Your First Robot Buggy

Are robots safe?

There is some argue as to whether robots are a danger to society or not. Seeing as robots are frequently depicted as black in fictional movies and books, it ’ s no surprise that some people feel this room .
But as it turns out, the terror that robots pose does not look the like as it does in movies .
For those of you with automated home devices, you may frequently find yourself casually talking to your Alexa or Google Home. Whilst this can feel like a conversation between friends, it ’ south significant to note that these devices are even very much connected to the internet .
These robots can store your data and take note of your preferences – something to consider if you are cautious about your data. According to the Pew Research Centre, more than half of chic speaker users are worry about the personal data being collected .
Another common fear is that robots will take over the job commercialize. But are robots a threat ? Can we all expect to lose our jobs at the hands of cyborg hell-bent on snagging our careers ?
According to the World Economic Forum, robots are very likely to finally take over a large part of jobs. They ’ rhenium able to carry out certain tasks faster than humans can – and without human error. The BBC has even put together a page where you can enter your role and check the likelihood of robots automating your function in the future !
Don ’ thymine worry, though ; along with the jobs robots will take over, a raw beckon of jobs will become available. A recent reputation discovered that the advancement of tug between humans, machines, and algorithm will create approximately 97 million jobs .
For further penetration into the role that robots will play in our future, check out our Building a future with Robots course. In the course, The University of Sheffield discusses the ins and outs of job automation and future developments in the playing field of robotics .

How do robots work?

immediately we know all about what a automaton is, let ’ s dive into how automaton make. As we ’ ve touched on, robots come in all shapes and sizes. Since they ’ re not a one-size-fits-all, they naturally consist of different components and materials. however, there are some key components that all robots need. so, what are automaton made of ?
The first on the list is an obvious one ; electricity. To function, robots need to have access to an electricity informant. This applies to handheld robots that thrive on batteries to heavy machinery that needs generators to function. We ’ ll motivation to connect this exponent source to a motor- but more on that later .
We have the electricity to office our automaton, but how does it physically perform its undertaking ? There ’ mho another crucial part to every automaton – a body. Each automaton will have its own physical structure, which lets them carry out its influence. A Roomba would be useless without its wheels, right ?
In addition to an electricity source and body, a automaton besides needs some degree of scheduling. This program and cryptography are what lets the automaton understand the undertaking at hired hand. We ’ ll discuss how to program a automaton a little subsequently on .
All of these components work together to make a amply functional automaton. once your automaton is put together and programmed, it can begin to learn by experimenting with its environment. For a automaton to learn, it ’ ll need to be programmed to do therefore. Check out our presentation to Machine Learning and AI course to learn more about the way machine learning works .

  • The University of Sheffield

    Building a Future with Robots

  • Accenture

    Digital Skills: Artificial Intelligence

  • CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc.

    Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

What are robots used for?

There ’ s no traverse that robots are incredible pieces of engineering. And whilst some are worry about electric potential automaton take-overs or job replacements, they do a whole distribute of dear. Let ’ s explore some types of robots and the ways that robots are used today .

Types of robots 

As we ’ ve discovered, there ’ s a fortune more to robots than what we see in movies. Since they ’ re able to complete a assortment of tasks, the type of automaton will depend on its purpose. Let ’ s learn about some types of robots and explore some examples of robots in everyday life .

Social robots 

What separates social robots from other types of robots is that they can socialise and interact with humans. Their social skills even go beyond talking – they can read facial expressions, read drift, and much more. therefore, what are some examples of sociable robots in everyday life ?

  • Alexa – you ’ ve undoubtedly heard of the Amazon Alexa – one of the most popular artificial intelligence robots. Alexa was first gear launched in 2014 but has been developing new skills since .

The AI responds to queries and voice commands and can even play music along with many other features. If you ’ rhenium concerned in how computers understand human language, check out our natural Language Processing naturally .

  • Cozmo – another artificial news automaton, Cozmo is a friendly little companion automaton capable of remembering your name. He can be used for playfulness or educational purposes and was featured in many viral videos alongside his cousin Vector.

Collaborative robots

The clue is in the name here – collaborative robots, or cobots for short, are made to work aboard production workers. These bang-up robots are designed to carry out insistent tasks that would otherwise be harmful or boring. This could be anything from packaging to welding .
Having cobots work aboard general staff is the arrant way to reduce or eliminate workplace risks. Dirty and dangerous work can be delegated to cobots, whilst the more manual of arms jobs can be carried out by general staff .

  • Sawyer – complete with a friendly face, Sawyer is incredibly precise and able to carry out tasks such as circuit board testing and machine tend. He is best known for his flexibility and rest of use .
  • ABB Yumi – this automaton is the first cobot to feature two arms rather than just one. The ABB Yumi can be used across a image of industries but is best known for its faultless preciseness and handle .

Consumer robots

You don ’ t need to own heavy machinery to have your contribution of automaton playfulness. Consumer robots are the group of robots that are readily available for anyone to purchase and use. so, what does a consumer automaton look like ?

  • Roomba – these handy little robots are autonomous vacuum cleaners that can navigate your home without human intervention. They ’ ra able to map your base and remember the paths so that they can do a fully clean at the press of a button .
  • Aibo – this automaton is unique ; unlike the coarse human-like features that some robots have, this automaton is built in the determine of a frump. Aibo is made to close mimic the actions and emotions of a real dog, so it is perfect for those who aren ’ triiodothyronine allowed veridical pets !

This is, of course, merely a handful of automaton types and examples of robots in casual life. Some early types of robots include military robots, department of transportation robots, medical robots, and farming robots. The opportunities are endless. Do you have any particular intentions for your automaton ?

How to make a robot

By now, you ’ re credibly getting excited to start your automaton visualize. We ’ ve seen what they ’ ra able of and how interesting the world of robotics is. so, let ’ s prima donna into how to make a automaton .
A common automaton project for beginners is that of the mini bug bot. This ace childlike automaton uses lone a handful of items and is very easy to start with. To make a miniskirt wiretap bot, you ’ ll want :

  • A battery
  • A clothes peg
  • A vibrate drive
  • 4 composition clips ( or more depending on how many legs you desire )
  • Glue
  • muggy videotape

To transform this list into a amply officiate automaton supporter, you ’ ll want to start by opening the clothes pin and trapping the motor in the middle. You ’ ll want to unravel the paper clips and bend them into the stage shape ( you can cut them using scissors or clippers to shorten them ) .
once your legs are ready, you can glue them to the bug ’ sulfur bottom. The drive will have some isolated wires that need to be addressed. That ’ randomness where the battery comes in – attach the wires to a battery and secure the battery to the mini tease bot using sticky magnetic tape .
And merely like that, you ’ ve made yourself a automaton ! You can even make him some antenna using spare wire, or add some googly eyes to add some personality .
Depending on the complexity of your automaton, you may need more materials and tools. Let ’ s not forget that robots can be sustainable excessively – why not start by incorporating some undesirable materials from around the house ? a long as you have the basic elements of a automaton, you can use any total of materials to make the out body .

How to build a robot – for beginners

We ’ ve explored an exemplar of making a superintendent simple automaton. But is there an easier way to try your hand at some more complicated robotics ? The answer is simple – yes !
For those of you who want a little extra aid when beginning your robotics travel, there are some ways to simplify the process. One way is to purchase a automaton build kit. These typically come with all of the necessary components to build your own automaton along with instructions on how to do so .
But if you want to challenge yourself a small far and build your automaton entirely from scribble, we have some other suggestions excessively. There ’ s one device that will wholly turn around your automaton build experience ; the raspberry pi .
The boo pi is a modest computer roughly the size of a credit card. It ’ randomness low-cost and can be programmed to do all kinds of fantastic things. Since it was initially designed to teach children the principles of tease, it is a antic originate decimal point for learning how to program a automaton .

How to program a robot

What makes a automaton a automaton is its ability to carry out its delegate tasks without homo treatment. But how do we program a automaton to understand these tasks ?
We can do this using calculator programs. Computer programs act as a set of instructions that guide the automaton, telling it what to do. A variety of programming languages can be used to program your automaton. however, as we discovered in our open step, the most widely used programming speech in robotics is C/C++ .
For beginners, we recommend getting started with a raspberry principal investigator for your automaton program needs. The program language the raspberry protease inhibitor uses is Python, so it ’ mho worth learning the basics of Python programming before you start .

useful courses

Following along with a course is a bang-up way to start building your automaton. It gives you the freedom to create something completely your own whilst guide you through the process .
To learn how to platform your very own automaton buggy using a raspberry pi, check out our build and Program Your First Robot Buggy course. not only is the naturally provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation themselves, but it ’ ll teach you how to connect motors, add sensors and publish algorithm .
Another useful class is our introduction to Machine Learning and AI run, which will provide you with the cognition to train your own AI .

Final thoughts

It ’ randomness truthful that building a automaton sounds like a daunting tax – but as we ’ ve discovered today, it ’ sulfur more than possible to do, even if you ’ re a founder. Hopefully, by now you feel cook to start on your exciting automaton project .
Will you try making a sociable automaton ? Or possibly an educational automaton ? If you ’ d like to explore robotics a fiddling far before starting your project, take a front at our Begin Robotics path. It provides insight into the history, human body, and intelligence of robots .

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