Let's Make Robots!

START HERE

A ROUGH draft for making the start here page a bit more universal. Please add suggestions... I want the admins to suggest more and make changes. After a few weeks I want to move it out into the public and have them pick it over. Then add this to the START HERE page. I really want help making the informal rules (best practices when using the website).

 

Getting started can be difficult, especially if you have never done robotics before. The following is a list of tutorials and hints that will help you get going easier.

 

Also PLEASE read the informal rules prior to posting for help. It will ensure that your questions get answered FASTER and more accurately, while keeping the website fun for everyone.

 

Informal rules:

  1. Read the tutorials prior to asking for help. Many times your question has already been answered. This will not only help you faster, but also help others spend their time on new problems.
  2. Be Patient. No one on this site is being paid to asnwer questions. It is 100% volunteer ran and everyone is still learning. Give people time to answer your questions.
  3. DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT! If you post a question make sure you have a specific question and post pictures of your robot, circuit, etc so we know how you have it set up. It is possible that the problem isn’t with your code, but your solder isn’t completing the circuit.
  4. Put your question in the right spot. If you question is component based, add it to the component forum. If you aren’t sure where to put it, start a new forum thread. Very few times is it truly appropriate to ask how to do something in someone else’s robot page.
  5. Don't ask for code! If you are new to robotics you won't understand the code anyway. Always try to code it yourself. Most people will happliy help you debug, but won't share their code unless they know you are an expert enough to understand what it is doing. Even experts can be stumped by the code others have written.

 

Tutorials:

NEWBIE -  recommended for everyone

BEGINNER – recommended for someone who is ready to build (has parts)

ADVANCED – recommended for someone who has built several robots

EXPERT – recommended for someone who has built lots of robots

 

How to use a hot glue gun NEWBIE

How to make your first robot (ain’t he cute!)  NEWBIE

What are resistors? How to use them NEWBIE

How to use a breadboard NEWBIE

How to use a breadboard II Add Picaxe BEGINNER

How to use gears with motors  BEGINNER

What do the various chips do? BEGINNER

How to use belt tracks BEGINNER

How do I use a Picaxe 28 pin projectboard BEGINNER

How to connect SRF05 to a Picaxe 28 pin projectboard BEGINNER

How to turn a servo into a bi-directional motor ADVANCED

 

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Wow! Impressive!!

This is brilliant as long as you are there to keep it updated. But you are getting married.. Should we not cut it down to an absolute minimum? 

I was just thinking of perhaps the 3 most important things to look into if you are completely "fresh".

I think it may be very hard to destinguish all these levels, and very hard to keep track, and ensure that (even after ou get married) we will have an up-to-date "start here"-page.

What we have now is just "1 link to a robot that is easy to make".. I was merely thinking that we could have that link to a page that said "Welcome" To build a robot you need a solldering iron and some glue. Start simple and build up, and by the way, here are some good tutorials to get started with".

Then it will be fast to get an overview for the newbee, and easy to maintain for whoever maintains it; It will only be a matter of "Hey - that tutorial could be an alternative to what we have - someone might want to start with that instead of fritsl's picaxe-hell, so let us put that on lhe list so there are 3 ways to get started.." 

Once it is created maintaining is simply listening to reply and modifying. Also adding turotial links as they come up. I doubt maintenance will be that ahrd after a month or two.

I can always change it, but I was thinking it could be more of a one stop show for newbies. Enough to let them know what they are getting into, but not so much that it confused a new person. I was hoping it would help get people acclimated to robotics and our community.

Also yeha I am getting married, but I'm also finishing my master's degree ;) That alone will free up 3 to 4 nights a week. Spenind 30-60 minutes a night playing with robots and hanging out on the website has been approved! :)
Dude, if you had to seek approval...

Not really looking for approval more like "It needs this, this would be better, etc".

I'[m sure I didn't make it perfect on the first try...

Sorry for my late reply - not enough time to get around, but I have taken steps! (check my profile)

To put it short; This thread could be VERy long if I was more "gentle" - So I will "dictate", just to be more efficiant. Mine is also just opinions etc, but I write in a more direct way, hope we're cool :)

 


I think the site has done extremely well WITHOUT SHOUTING. I think we are sending a good signal by being friendly and open - and what people meet the first time is "Here are some good tips", and not a lot of "PLEASE RTFM" and that kind.

 

I say; Let us trust people, lets make good systems that are easy to understand and act nice in.. and then when someone does not get it, simply ask them, and if it does not help throw them out - leaving a nice site for the rest - a site without YELLING PLEASE DON'T'S.

SO.. HERE ARE MY oops - darn caps - here is my suggestion:


Hi and welcome to letsmakerobots.com, also known as LMR.

On this page you will find useful (we hope) ways of getting started with building robots.

It can in fact be very easy to build a robot. And fast and fun to get started - most people think they cannot make one, but most people can.

People are different; some are more into electronics, some are more into building, some are more into designing.. and some just want to follow an instruction, and get the pleasure of having others do all the trial-and error.

It can also be a very good idea to just follow an instruction the first time, and then change bits and make your own little twists to move ahead.

Everybody starts either with a tutorial / a kit, and or just making a LED flash, and a speaker say BEEP. Do not feel left behind if you are at that stage - it is a fun stage, and soon you will be amazed what you have created.

 

  • This "How to make your first robot"- tutorial is designed to let you buy a lot of the most essential stuff, make a fun robot in an afternoon, and give you the chance to get a head start.
  • This XXX guide is good if you YYY..

 

Welcome :)

If I'm entirely honest, that's the attractive thing about this site - I am pissed off with folk saying "google it" or "it's documented."

Unfortunately, as we start to amass lots of tips and stuff, we may have to sometimes resort to that as an answer. 

OOps! - This project is canceled!

I do not know how to put this.. erh.. "My bad"? Hrm.. Well.. erh - I forgot; THere is like a trillion postings linking to that page, refering to that link.. "See the robot on the top menu, 'Starthere'" etc.. Also on videos on Youtube, instructables etc..

That thing is solid. Nice long-term thinking, Frits! Sorry to have wasted your time, Jklug! Sorry.

It will have to stay till there is a replacement for it one day, and then it will still have to have a link to the old one.

 

Best we can do is IMHO to optimize the "Best Practice"-page (see front page, top left) - get that friendly, but firm :) AND.. then I can link to it from within the "How to make your first robot"-tutorial.

How is that?

(sorry again :)

 

We could also have some other "overview over good starting tutorials" that I could link to from that one.. But then again, there is a big link to "Tips & walkthroughs" on the top menu. Perhaps all is better left as it is.

Boy, do I feel stupid :)

Arh, the h*ll with it! - It is OUR website! We are plenty of cool people in here, if someone cannot read between the lines, we will just keep it clean in here, and throw them out!

Yeah.

That sorts out all the "Dont's".

And regarding which project should start with? Well - throw me stuff that you think they should also learn / have a look at from the beginning / when newbees, and I will enter it on the list that is already in the darn "start here" file!

Done!

(Our site!) 

We will just kick some but if anyone don't get it!

Boa is good at telling people off!

And let's just assume people are cool :D ANd invite them to join. All is cool, I want a j!