How To Get Started

Robotics is the combination of a variety of skills such as electrical and electronic engineering, computer science and engineering, automation, and more. None of these abilities are easy to learn and use by themselves.

If you’re new to the world of robotics, but you don’t know how to get started, you’ll find tutorials for both beginners and experts alike.

Hardware and software setup

The process of building an autonomous robot starts before the first sensor or actuator mounted on the chassis. The build process requires hardware and software setup.

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer capable of running software, frameworks, and algorithms to control robots. The Raspberry Pi is used all over the world by kids as well as experienced makers to build robots.

The first step in building a robot is deciding the functional specifications of the robot.
Following an analysis, you can determine if you need a computer like Raspberry Pi or use an Arduino board. If your choose is Arduino, then you can go directly to build the first robot.

The first step in using Pi to build robots is to install the operating system, tools and framework needed to run the algorithms that control the robot. I write a long tutorial where I show you how to do step-by-step all the installations and settings required to set up Pi and prepare it for starting building intelligent robots.

Start here: How To Install ROS Melodic, rosserial, and more on Raspberry Pi 4 (Raspbian Buster)

After you follow this tutorial:
– You now have a Raspberry Pi board prepared to start running algorithms and communicate with microcontroller platforms.

– We start with the Raspbian installation on the Pi and continue with enabling the SSH service that allows us to run commands on Pi over an unsecured network.

– Then we continue with ROS Melodic, Arduino IDE, and rosserial installation. All of these software libraries and tools are the foundation to control robots.

– Finally, I show you how to install a popular Python IDE and set up the VNC service to have access to the graphical user interface (GUI) when working on the remote machine.

Build Robots

Because I believe in different thinking, and I know that you can learn how to build robots by doing and watching, I wrote a tutorial where I explain every step to learn how to detect objects with the HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor and Arduino.

How To Detect Objects with HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor, Arduino and millis()
After you follow this tutorial:
– you learn how to use millis(), how to build classes, determine the detection range, and print the output of an ultrasonic sensor.

Build a DIY Robot Chassis
After you follow this tutorial:
-you will learn how to build a strong chassis with aluminum profiles and 3D printed parts.

Autonomous Robot to Detect and Avoid Obstacles
After you follow this tutorial:
-you will learn how to build a robot programmed to drive forward till an obstacle is detected, then it turns the sensor left and right, compare the values returned by the ultrasonic sensor, and finally take a decision and move.

How To Build an Obstacle Avoidance Robot
After you follow this tutorial:
-you will learn how to build an autonomous robot that navigates without knowing a detailed map of the surroundings. If an obstacle is detected in its path, the robot adapts its velocity in order to avoid the collision. If the surrounding environment is free of obstructions, the robot simply moves forward until an obstacle is detected in the range of the sensors.