Tech Tip Tuesday #8


Hello readers,

Today I have something very exciting to share with you! Chances are at some point you’ve thought it might be cool to have a robot companion like R2D2 or BB-8. You’ll be surprised to find how cheap and easy it is to get started building your own robot. If you obtain some basic components, a little bit of knowledge, and utilize your imagination you’ll be on your way.

Here is how to get started:

  1. Get your basic components. My recommendation is to either start with Arduino or Raspberry Pi.
  2. The parts in all these kits can be bought individually just keep in mind you’ll want the main board, wires, resistors, and some LEDs in your basic kit.
  3. There are two main differences between Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, with the Arduino Platform your going to be programming the robot with the C Programming Language it’s old and has quirks but the Arduino has analog pins, this means you can connect advanced types of sensors and motors to it. Another advantage of Arduino is Shields (which are easy to add components that give you more functionality).
  4. Raspberry Pis are a completely different beast. First of all no they don’t do analog connections. You can get add-ons to enable this later, but you’re going to need to know a bit before taking that step. The two biggest advantages to starting here is Wifi is easy right off the bat and you can use about any programming language imaginable.
  5. Goolge some tutorials, you wont have any trouble find these.
  6. Think of your own project. Maybe you have a garden, make it tweet when it needs water… you can do that. Perhaps you’re going on vacation and need an automated cat food dispenser, well guess what, you can do that too.

Eventually your imagination will be the only limitation, if you become good it at it it can become a career.

Some other tools you may find useful are:

  1. A variable DC power supply
  2. Multimeter
  3. Wire strippers