How to Make a Robot

Wondering how to make a robot? Robots are complicated mechanical devices governed by a complex series of programming, but almost anyone can make a robot with the right head start.

Consider building a robot from a kit.
It's fun to think about building a robot from scratch, but robots are complicated pieces of machinery. Even the simplest industrial robots are made of several components, and more complex robots require an intricate series of interlocking pieces. Beyond the mechanics, though, a robot also requires a microprocessor programmed with instructions that tell it how to extract and interpret data. Without those instructions, a robot is just a complicated remote-control toy.

Creating robots from scratch, then, takes a great understanding of how robots work, how the components fit together and how to write the programming to run your robot. It's difficult to get all that information before you've ever built a robot. The route that makes more sense is to buy a robot kit and build from pre-assembled pieces in order to learn about robots. From there, you can customize or make your own.

LEGO Mindstorms robots are good for beginners.
LEGO Mindstorms products have been around for 10 years, and they provide a great starting point for building your very own robot. Mindstorms robots come with a programmable microprocessor and a CD-ROM with easy instructions for you to write your own programs on your computer.

Mindstorms robots also come with plenty of sensors, servos and drive motors, as well as all the basic structural components you need to build your robots. Better yet, Mindstorms robots are customizable; once you learn how to build a robot, you can use Mindstorms kits to build many different robots and experiment with the steps that can lead to building your own.

Start with a kit, but add custom components.
Once you've started with a kit robot and understand how all the components connect and interact, it's time to start adding on custom components. With the LEGO Mindstorms kits, you can buy additional LEGO components to add onto your robot.

If you buy a more general kit, you can buy motors, servos, joints and practically any type of custom component to add on to your robot and make it your own. However, with a more general kit, the possibilities are practically endless, and it can be overwhelming to pick out the right components to add in order to customize your robot. If you plan to spend a long time learning the ins and outs of robotics, this can be a good option, but if you're looking for a neat robot you can use right away, you might want to go with the simpler LEGO kit where everything is provided.

Create your own programming to make your robot your own.
The mechanics of your robot are only a small part of the whole. The programming is what makes the robot run and determines how your robot is going to behave. As you learn about robotics and programming, you can write more and more complex programs to further customize your future robots.

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