Let's Make Robots!

Ok so I can make the "Start Here" bot, but...

Can anybody help me? I am just starting out, and I have been able to successfully make Fritz's "Start Here" bot, but the thing is that I feel like I'm just following instructions. I'm looking for some literature to help me fully understand all corners of what is involved in making robots (ie. which board to use and why, how does a microcontroller work and how do I choose the right one, etc. etc. etc.)

Short of simply taking a Bachelors degree in electronic engineering (actually I'd be open to that if I knew that I'd be learning what I want to learn, ie specifically how to creat autonomous robots), how does one go about learning all this stuff. I know that experience and practice will be the ultimate answer, but is there a guidebook out there that can steepen the learning curve? Please help!

 

Sincerely,

A humble novice.

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It's good to follow the instructions by building the first robot. You will see that during the process you will learn by doing it. 

The second robot sure will have some or all of your own ideas...just do it ;-)

Now that you have a bot that is functional. Add to what you have. Heck, add an LDR to your bot and figure out how it connects and how to use it.

Er..right. So newbie question: What's an LDR? (Thanks for responding though!)

Make up challenges for yourself, or take on some of the old ones here at LMR. That's what I do. Also, setting due dates might be useful.

For example; I now have to make a few H-bridges for my bots before christmas and also have the base frame for a linefollower ready.

 

How about something like trying to make the robot solve a maze or something? Those things are always fun :)

"Robot builders bonanza "

There is also a great tutorial online for the Arduino board.
http://tronixstuff.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/getting-started-with-arduino-chapter-zero/
As for basic electronics this book is fun http://www.makershed.com/product_p/9780596153748.htm
And if you want to build something without a microcontroller this book is great.
http://www.amazon.com/JunkBots-Bugbots-Bots-Wheels-Technology/dp/0072226013

 

I recommend the book "getting started with arduino" it tells you in depth how a microcontoller works, the basics on programming arduino, and building robots.