Building robots: Is it possible if you have no experience in electronics or computer science?

I want to build a robot and was wondering if someone who is more or less inexperienced can do this. I don’t want to buy a kit where all I have to do is click a few pieces in place, I would like to be more hands-on.
Do you have any hints, tips or ideas on how I can get started?

There are 3 parts to the hands-on approach, building the mechanics, building the electronics, and programming the computer. If you don’t have at least 2 of the 3 general skills already, you really would be better off with a kit to start with. After all, you are not going to build a Martian explorer to start with: you need a beginner’s model to learn some general principles and gain some working skills, after which you can move on to your own designs.

4 thoughts on “Building robots: Is it possible if you have no experience in electronics or computer science?

  1. Yes it’s possible but you will probably struggle more and there will very probably be a limit to its sophistication and complexity.

    EDIT: Where to start? I would suggest some basic manuals in programming in C compiler and some basic texts on electronics (preferably with some build-able projects). Then read the manual of a microcontroller such as the z-80 or one of the simpler ATMEL models.
    It would also be a good idea to get a book on mechanics to try and design good move-able parts rather than trial and error ones that fall to pieces. The biggest thing you’ll probably need is confidence and self-belief.

    Good luck and have fun!
    References :

  2. There are 3 parts to the hands-on approach, building the mechanics, building the electronics, and programming the computer. If you don’t have at least 2 of the 3 general skills already, you really would be better off with a kit to start with. After all, you are not going to build a Martian explorer to start with: you need a beginner’s model to learn some general principles and gain some working skills, after which you can move on to your own designs.
    References :
    lots of stuff in the garage

  3. Of course you can! You have to start somewhere. Kit or not kit, you are going to see all the possibilities and options you have to choose from. MCUs can be programmed in a wide variety of languages all of which range in complexity; PBASIC, C, Assembly to name a few. BASIC or PBASIC are going to be the best place for you to start. the syntax is simple and has a far more gradual learning curve than the others.

    Check the links below for parts, kits and tutorials. Good luck!!

    http://www.Parallax.com
    http://www.TrossenRobotics.com
    http://www.QuotientRobotics.com
    http://www.SparkFun.com
    http://www.letsmakerobots.com
    References :
    http://www.Parallax.com
    http://www.TrossenRobotics.com
    http://www.QuotientRobotics.com
    http://www.SparkFun.com
    http://www.letsmakerobots.com

  4. I think the above answers are better than I can do, but I did find a kit for a robot arm that seems pretty cool. No soldering yet looks like it has enough small parts to prove a challenge. The page below has a video so you can see how it will work if you don’t leave too many parts out…

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/b696/
    (I don’t work for thinkgeek, but admit to being a little on the geeky side)
    References :

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