How to make Robots at Home: 5 Easy Steps

how to make robots at home

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Robots have always been a fascinating subject.

With the advancement of technology comes the ever-increasing need for automation of everyday tasks and thus mechanizing everything.

Robots have been the latest upcoming trend to captivate the world.

With the ease with which they perform the tasks, a robotic era can be easily predicted for the near future.

Now just in order to get a feel of things, you can make your own robot

The amazing part is that building a robot is not as difficult as it sounds.

One such simple DIY robot project beginners is explained in detail below

How to make robots at home

Doesn’t it sound interesting? That you can actually make your own robot at home. Well it is not such a big task as it may look to many of you.

You need to follow few simple steps and be careful, to make your robot efficient.

What is a BristleBot

Talking about making a robot, Bristlebot is the simplest form of robot which can walk.

It is not only the simplest form of robot but is also very easy to make.

Preparation tools

1) Scissors

2) Hedge clippers

Following would make parts of your robot

  • one toothbrush
  • one vibrating motor
  • one battery
  • some double-sided adhesive tape
  • a pair of pipe cleaners
  • a pair of googly eyes

Procedure

To make one Bristlebot, you must do the following:

  1. With shears, cut off the top of the toothbrush and apply a strip of double-sided tape to it (just along the width of the cut-off toothbrush head).

2) Attach the motor to the toothbrush head by putting it closer to the cut-off end of the tape and ensure that the motor’s spinning part can spin freely.

3) Place a battery on top of one of the wires coming out of the motor and stick it in the middle of the tape (markings on the battery should face up).

4) Check the connection by tapping the battery with another wire – the motor should start spinning.

5) Simply put googly eyes onto the sides of your robot to make them stand out.

6) Finally, stretch the free wire between the pipe cleaners and make it touch the battery so that it runs – then just let it run!

Now here’s another way to make a robot with a little more advanced application of electronics as well as computer programming

Step 1

Assembling the Robot

The first step towards making a strong robot is gathering all the required materials which will help in building the robot.

Below is a list of all the essentials and basic components which will lead to making a strong robot.

1. Gathering components

·   Arduino Uno (or another microcontroller)

·   2 continuous rotation servos

·   2 wheels that fit the servos

·   1 caster roller

·   1 small solderless breadboard (look for a breadboard that has two positive and negative lines on each side)

·   1 distance sensor (with four-pin connector cable)

·   1 mini push-button switch

·   1 10kΩ resistor

·   1 USB A to B cable

·   1 set of breakaway headers

·   1 6 x AA battery holder with 9V DC power jack

·   1 pack of jumper wires or 22-gauge hook-up wire

·   Strong double-sided tape or hot glue

2. Flip the battery pack over so that the flat back is facing up

The robot’s body will be made by the battery pack as a base.

3. Align the two servos on the end of the battery pack

This should be the point where the battery pack’s wire exits.

The bottoms of the servos should be touching, and the spinning mechanisms of each should be facing out the sides of the battery pack.

The servos must be properly aligned in order for the wheels to travel straight. The servo cables should exit from the back of the battery pack.

4. Affix the servos with your tape or glue

Check that they are securely fastened to the battery pack.

The servos’ backs should be flush with the back of the battery pack.

The servos should now occupy the whole back half of the battery pack.

5. Affix the breadboard perpendicularly on the open space on the battery pack

It should dangle slightly over the front of the battery pack and extend beyond either side.

Before proceeding, ensure that it is properly fastened.

The row labelled “A” should be closest to the servos.

6. Attach the Arduino microcontroller to the tops of the servos

If the servos were properly mounted, they should have created a flat space by touching.

Place the Arduino board on this flat spot, with the USB and power ports towards the rear (away from the breadboard).

The Arduino’s front should just slightly overlap the breadboard.

7. Put the wheels on the servos

Firmly press the wheels on the servo’s rotating mechanism.

Because the wheels are meant to fit as tightly as possible for maximum traction, this may necessitate a large amount of force.

8. Attach the caster to the bottom of the breadboard

If you flip the chassis over, you should see some breadboard that extends past the battery pack.

Attach the caster to this expanded piece, if necessary using risers.

The caster serves as the robot’s front wheel, allowing it to turn in any direction.

If you purchased the caster as part of a kit, it may have come with a couple risers that you may use to guarantee the caster reaches the ground.

Step 2 

Wiring the Robot

You can follow the below steps while wiring your robot, be careful you do not make any mistakes!

1. Break off two 3-pin headers

You’ll be using these to connect the servos to the breadboard.

Push the pins down through the header so that the pins come out at an equal distance on both sides.

2. Insert the two headers into pins 1-3 and 6-8 on row E of the breadboard

Make sure that they are firmly inserted.

3. Connect the servo cables to the headers, with the black cable on the left side (pins 1 and 6)

This will connect the servos to the breadboard.

Make sure the left servo is connected to the left header and the right servo to the right header.

4. Connect red jumper wires from pins C2 and C7 to red (positive) rail pins

Make sure you use the red rail on the back of the breadboard (closer to the rest of the chassis).

5. Connect black jumper wires from pins B1 and B6 to blue (ground) rail pins

Make sure that you use the blue rail on the back of the breadboard.

Do not plug them into the red rail pins.

6. Connect white jumper wires from pins 12 and 13 on the Arduino to A3 and A8

This will allow the Arduino to control the servos and turn the wheels.

7. Attach the sensor to the front of the breadboard

It does not get plugged into the outer power rails on the breadboard, but instead into the first row of lettered pins (J).

Make sure you place it in the exact centre, with an equal number of pins available on each side.

8. Connect a black jumper wire from pin I14 to the first available blue rail pin on the left of the sensor

This will ground the sensor.

9. Connect a red jumper wire from pin I17 to the first available red rail pin to the right of the sensor

This will power the sensor.

10. Connect white jumper wires from pin I15 to pin 9 on the Arduino, and from I16 to pin 8

This will feed information from the sensor to the microcontroller.

Step 3 

Wiring the Power

This section will help you understand how to connect power with the main body of the robot.

1. Flip the robot on its side so that you can see the batteries in the pack

Orient it so that the battery pack cable is coming out to the left at the bottom.

2. Connect a red wire to the second spring from the left on the bottom

Make sure that the battery pack is oriented correctly.

3. Connect a black wire to the last spring on the bottom-right

These two cables will help provide the correct voltage to the Arduino.

4. Connect the red and black wires to the far-right red and blue pins on the back of the breadboard

The black cable should be plugged into the blue rail pin at pin 30.

The red cable should be plugged into the red rail pin at pin 30.

5. Connect a black wire from the GND pin on the Arduino to the back blue rail

Connect it at pin 28 on the blue rail.

6. Connect a black wire from the back blue rail to the front blue rail at pin 29 for each

Do not connect the red rails, as you will likely damage the Arduino.

7. Connect a red wire from the front red rail at pin 30 to the 5V pin on the Arduino

This will provide power to the Arduino.

8. Insert the push button switch in the gap between rows on pins 24-26

This switch will allow you to turn off the robot without having to unplug the power.

9. Connect a red wire from H24 to the red rail in the next available pin to the right of the sensor This will power the button.

Use the resistor to connect H26 to the blue rail

Connect it to the pin directly next to the black wire that you connected a few steps ago.

10. Connect a white wire from G26 to pin 2 on the Arduino

This will allow Arduino to register the push button.

Step 4 

Installing the Arduino Software

The steps below will help you download the Arduino software with ease.

1. Download and extract the Arduino IDE

What is Arduino?

This is the Arduino development environment and allows you to program instructions that you can then upload to your Arduino microcontroller.

You can download it for free from arduino.cc/en/main/software. Unzip the downloaded file by double-clicking it and move the folder inside to an easy to access location.

You won’t be actually installing the program. Instead, you’ll just run it from the extracted folder by double-clicking arduino.exe.

2. Connect the battery pack to the Arduino

Plug the battery back jack into the connector on the Arduino to give it power.

Plug the Arduino into your computer via USB

Windows will likely not recognize the device.

Press .⊞ Win+R and type devmgmt.msc. This will launch the Device Manager.

Right-click on the “Unknown device” in the “Other devices” section and select “Update Driver Software.” If you don’t see this option, click “Properties” instead, select the “Driver” tab, and then click “Update Driver.”

Select “Browse my computer for driver software.” This will allow you to select the driver that came with the Arduino IDE.

Click “Browse” then navigate to the folder that you extracted earlier. You’ll find a “drivers” folder inside.

Select the “drivers” folder and click “OK.” Confirm that you want to proceed if you’re warned about unknown software.

Step 5 

1. Programming the Robot

Start the Arduino IDE by double-clicking the arduino.exe file in the IDE folder

You’ll be greeted with a blank project.

Paste the following code to make your robot go straight

The code below will make your Arduino continuously move forward. 

#include <Servo.h> // this adds the “Servo” library to the program
// the following creates two servo objects
Servo leftMotor;
Servo rightMotor;
void setup()
{
leftMotor.attach(12); // if you accidentally switched up the pin numbers for your servos, you can swap the numbers here
rightMotor.attach(13);
}
void loop()
{
leftMotor.write(180); // with continuous rotation, 180 tells the servo to move at full speed “forward.”
rightMotor. write(0); // if both of these are at 180, the robot will go in a circle because the servos are flipped. “0,” tells it to move full speed “backward.”
}

2. Build and upload the program

Click the right arrow button in the upper-left corner to build and upload the program to the connected Arduino.

You may want to lift the robot off of the surface, as it will just continue to move forward once the program is uploaded.

Add the kill switch functionality

Add the following code to the “void loop()” section of your code to enable the kill switch, above the “write()” functions. 

if(digitalRead(2) == HIGH) // this registers when the button is pressed on pin 2 of the Arduino

{

while(1)

{

     leftMotor.write(90); // “90” is neutral position for the servos, which tells them to stop turning

     rightMotor.write(90);

}

}

3. Upload and test your code

With the kill switch code added, you can upload and test the robot. It should continue to drive forward until you press the switch, at which point it will stop moving. The full code should look like this: 

#include <Servo.h>

// the following creates two servo objects

Servo leftMotor;

Servo rightMotor;

void setup()

{

leftMotor.attach(12);

rightMotor.attach(13);

}

void loop()

{

if(digitalRead(2) == HIGH)

{

     while(1)

     {

         leftMotor.write(90);

         rightMotor.write(90);

     }

}

leftMotor.write(180);

rightMotor.write(0);

}

CONCLUSION

Robots are beneficial in a variety of ways. For example, it promotes the economy because businesses must be efficient in order to compete in their industry.

As a result, having robots allows business owners to be more competitive because robots can do things better and faster than people, for example, a robot can build and assemble an automobile.

However, robots cannot do everything; today, robots’ duties include supporting science and industry.

Finally, as technology advances, new ways to use robots will emerge, bringing with them new hopes and new potentials.

Further Reading – 9 Alarming Jobs Robots Will Replace In The Future

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to create a living robot?

That is in relation to what you refer to as a living robot. If you mean one that is actually sentient, it does not exist yet, but it will in the near future if AI development continues at its current pace. If you mean one that is not only actually sentient but also has the appearance of a living person. That is a little further in the future because nanotechnology would be required.

How would you build a robot to answer questions?

To create a robot that can answer questions, you’ll need an algorithm that understands natural language as well as a large number of knowledge databases known as expert systems. It’s so difficult that no one has been able to create such a powerful robot program. Nowadays, all those replying or chatting robots exist; they are simply enormous databases with effective searches, but they do not truly grasp your inquiry.

What is the most popular robot?

There are many names that can be added to this list, the top five have been given below
1. Hanson robotics Sophia
2. Mayfield robotics Kuri
3. Sony Aibo
4. Stanford university snake robot
5. Festo octopusgrippe

What is the world’s smartest robot?

Sophia was developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics created in the year 2016

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