Let's Make Robots!

As a child

OK im new so didnt no what topic sorry for that.so the title says most of it as a kid 10-18-ish were you interested in electronics did you make anything?or did you just start robotics as an adult?

 (edit) i ask this because i am only a child so i wondere if there was any hope for me :] thanks for the feedback guys.

perhaps il just wait till i can actually buy some basic stuff but il still read up on stuff so hen i do get materials il be ready to start using my hands instead of my eyes

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I was always facinated by any work being done around the house. I used to shadow any  plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc. I had my first tool box by the time I was 5.

I played started playing with simple electric circuits when I was a kid. I had a box with lots of wires, light bulbs, batteries, connectors, and just about anything I could scavenge. I was a real junk collector! (not much changed there)

I eventually got my parents to buy a Heathkit electonics kit, which had some tone generators, DC power supply, breadboard, etc. I had to assemble it myself. That was my first real electronics project.

I'm 40 years old now, and returning to electronics as a hobby has been really fun. The next generation of geeks is starting, as my 5 year old son loves to watch and participate in my projects. 

hay im 14 and i was in a year 7 electroincs class 2 years ago and learnt the basics , then learnt about picaxe ,but i only just started with arduino and i have just started to build a couple of robots
I started off as a programmer I played with qbasic, and apple IIe, and a Texas TI when I was little and learned to write code. I always saw my dad use his multimeter to check batteries, fix circuits, etc and use his soldering iron but I never asked to help. When I got older I started playing with electronics and since it blends with my love for writing code it was a good mix.
My history is none existent. I drifted in school. Went to university here in the UK and came out of it a games programmer. My work often could be used in robotics and I would use their sites for their technical papers in research of software. But it was always academics with very expensive bit of equipment that personally didn't impress. Now I see sites like this and all the robots and want to get involved. They may be a cheaper version but they function pretty well. It's great to make games and even virtual worlds in games but I do like the charm of having something physical in our world. I'm messing about seeing what comes up with no real electronics background.

As for saving money, check out oddbots recent competition http://letsmakerobots.com/node/7729 . Take some inspiration from there. It is very understandable money would be restrictive since there are lots of parts and tools. My first project was in fact fixing my snes. Long story short the snes was fixed and ended up in a new case... a hamster ball. I also got a soldering iron out of that and links to places like this.

I've also heard about dumpster diving for parts (sounds dangerous to me) and asking relatives/friends to give you their electronics they are about to bin. There is also the free samples route. Perhaps if you do enough reading up on the subject these methods would considerably save you money and of course once you have parts you can recycle them for new robots saving cash. Ultimately there is a start up cost but where there's a will there's a way.

My brother is 17 years older and he helped me wire my first flasher circuit when I was 5 on a real breadboard. You know, the wooden ones, with real nails that we wire-wrapped the components onto and soldered them together with a solder gun. I always dreamed of building robots and androids. I watched every Sci-Fi that had them.

I got side tracked into computers and today's IT infrastructure. I made the mistake of throwing out all of my electronics stuff and references, thinking that "I would never need them as a computer and server administrator". I was skirting another work related burn-out in 2007 when I discovered an issue of "Robot" magazine in the local Wal-Mart store. I immediately got a subscription and purchased my first kit robot. I know how to program in some languages and I used to be a whiz in High School Electronics, so robotics seems a perfect hobby to keep me from going crazy from dealing with people who do not know the difference between logging off and restarting their computer.

I dream in code when I program and I have discovered that dream robotic designs as well. My only limits are time and cash to work on the many designs that I have come up with. I am trying to focus on completing one project at a time. So, at age 42, I am living my childhood dream of making robots (as time and money allows...LOL).

I always had lego but at 12 I fell in love with electronics and taught myself how to program in basic. In the beginning most of my circuits didn't work well if at all but I alway found out why and learned from them.

I built special effect lighting for a play when I was 14, it didn't work as expected but looked cool anyway. I have built many electronics kits and always studied how they worked.

When I was 27 I built an automatic battery charger that interfaced to a PC. The program was only in GW basic but it graphed the voltage, current and temperature of the battery. The charger could charge up to 4 batteries individually at once with seperate graph displays for each battery and would attempt to reconize the battery size and type from the charge / discharge curves.

Ok, so 27 isn't a kid but it was my first working computer interface project.

 

I'm 34 and a few months ago I knew nothing about electronics. So I definately had a (too) late start in that department.

On the other hand I created my 1st computer game when I was around 11. NOT thanks to my parents. They thought a computer (=Commodore 64) was too expensive a toy and that I would probably get tired of it any way in a few months. So I worked my ass off delivering newspapers and stuff for a year and saved EVERY penny I could get my hands on until I could finally buy it. Probably the reason I've been able to work as a selftaught programmer for many years.

I guess I've allways had an interest in AI which has lead me into robotics. But it's just recently I've done something about it.

PS: As John_NY mentioned nothing usually burns or melts when testing software. On the other hand I once spend a week cleaning up a VERY large database mess (while pulling my hairs I might add) that had been caused by a system that was put online too early. I guess an IT equivalent of burn/melt. Note: I DID advice them NOT to launch the system until it had been tested more thoroughly, but project leaders tend to hold on to a deadline once set even though it's no longer realistic (makes them look good in their bosses eyes)..

I played a little bit with electronics around age 9-14, thanks to my parents.  They made sure my siblings and I had an electronics kit, chemistry set, and sent me to an awesome summer class where I learned a bit of CAD software and soldering.  My family was always big on making things -- my father and grandfather each had a well-equipped wood shop and interest in engineering.  I started my robotics work at college and at work -- usually serial-controlled stepper motors, stages, robotic telescopes, et cetera, and I had a lot of fun making things move with scripting and getting paid for it.  I credit Adafruit and the Arduino project for making electronics accessible to a software guy.  Since about July, I've started electronics and microcontrollers as a hobby -- it looked cheap to start with, since the little components aren't too expensive, but it added up and a thousand dollars later I have a neat workshop and a homebrew CNC machine.  As a software guy, I've found that debugging hardware is different from debugging software -- when you test software, nothing usually burns or melts.

my 2¢,
-John

Starting young, you have time to build a good foundation in electronics, engineering, programming and science.  A forum topic on another forum popped into mind when you mentioned your age -- there are a lot of young potential engineers, and so many good resources nowadays (you don't have to buy your kits from a Toys R Us, you can use shops around the world).

I hope it isn't verboten to post cross-links to other forums: http://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11902&p=56877#p56877