DIY : The Beginner’s Guide to Robotics (Part 2 — Plan and Parts List)

In this part, I will be outlining the plan for the entire guide. It will also function as an index for you to skip to any specific section directly. Towards the end you’ll see a list of parts with links to some popular websites you can order them from.

Plan

  • Introduction (Part 1)
    What is this guide about?
    – Who is this guide for?
    – What is a Robot?
  • Project Description – Line Following Robot (Part 1)
    – What is a line follower?
    – Why a line follower?
  • Overview of Topics (Part 1)
    – Electronics
    – Mechanics
    – Computer Science and Programming
  • Introduction to Electronics (Part 2)
    – Current
    – Potential Difference and Voltage
    – AC vs DC
    – Circuit Diagrams
    – Simple Circuit
    – Circuit Components
    – Series and Parallel
    – Analog vs Digital Signals
    Project: Making a simple circuit with a battery, switch and led/motor.
  • Control Hardware (Part 3)
    – What are control components?
    – Microcontrollers
    – Arduino
  • Introduction to Programming (Part 3)
    – What is programming?
    – Machine code vs Human readable code
    – The Arduino IDE
    – Setting up an Arduino with the IDE
    – Simple functional programming
    – Thinking in terms of logic
    – How to troubleshoot
    – How to Google
    Project: Writing the LED Blink code
     — High and Low
     — Loops
     — Delay Function
     — Variables
  • Introduction to Mechanics (Part 4)
    Tools
    – Understanding the chassis
    – Differential drive
    Project: Assembling the chassis with motors and batteries
  • Introduction to Robotics (Part 5)
    Revisiting the definition
    – Components
    – Actuators and drives
    – Control components
    – Structure/Chassis
    – Important do’s and don’ts
    Project: Adding Arduino to the assembly and controlling motors
    What are sensors?
    Sense-Think-Act Flow
    – IR Sensor
    Project: Wiring an IR sensor to the Arduino and reading values
  • The Line Follower (Part 6)
    Logic Diagram (Flowchart)
    – Conditional Statements
    Project: Final programming of the logic
  • Testing the Line Follower (Part 6)
    How to test a system
    – Debugging issues
    Project: Final run on the arena
    Future scope and improvements

Parts List

Here is the list of parts required to follow this guide. When you go out to buy these items, it is possible that you may not find exactly what I have mentioned or may prefer to buy something else. It is entirely possible to follow along with a different set of parts. However, to make part selection easy for beginners, I am attaching a spreadsheet where I will add links to the parts that I recommend.

  • Chassis
    3D Printed
  • Development Board/Microcontoller
    1 x Arduino Nano/ATMEGA328P
  • Motors/Wheels
    2 x 300RPM Plastic Geared Motors with corresponding wheels
  • Breadboard
    1 x Small breadboard
  • Motor Driver
    1 x L293D IC
  • Sensors
    2 x IR Sensors with analog output(digital will also work, analog are preferred)
  • Battery
    2 x NiMh AA
  • Battery Holder
    1 x Battery holder for 2 AA batteries
  • Voltage Regulator
    1 x 5V Step-up voltage regulator
  • Wires
    Several male-male jumper wires (about 15)
  • USB Cable
    1 x Mini USB Cable
  • Miscellaneous
    Several LEDs, Solder, etc.

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