Let's Make Robots!

Plans

Does anyone draw or sketch what they are going to build? Also do you write down your programming?

 

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I'll write pseudocode on paper or on my phone or something else and then work from that.

Designs I usually draw with pen and paper or draw them up in FreeCAD.


I also keep a "nightpen"(a pen with an LED on it) and a small notebook by my bed in case I wake up and have an awesome idea, usually ideas aren't that the morning after, but sometimes I've solved something in a really clever way :)

Thanks you guys

If your playing with blocks in code then you need block diagrams....  I draw lots of blocks and how they connect and talk to one another...

If I run into a difficult section, I'll walk away....  (no touchy the computer - if you do, your probably gonna make a bigger mess)

I got to the top of Mt. Tabor to contact the magic elves, and by the time I leave - the problem is usually solved..

Only then do I start putting the code in....

Google Sketchup - is fine for 3D mechanical drawings..  Its much faster (once you get the hang of it) and you can flush out some issues before committing the time and materials....

:scribbles quickly:

... Magic elf hideout... Location found... Must sequester....

I do it all either on paper or on the computer screen well before I do it physically.  I feel that even though I know how to wire up the individual parts, if I started wiring the 'Bot without a plan to follow, I would surely forget something, or wire it wrong.  That is true of anything I build.  I lay it out so I can look it over as a finished product before soldering and cutting off leads that I might find later needed to be longer...   or whatever.

Oh, then after that, I breadboard it, or at least parts of the circuit, to make sure what I planned actually works.

Then after all that, I start putting it together for real.

In my opinion, it is not just a good idea; it is essential.

:-)

 

ADDED: I guess I should say that applies to the electronic portion of the robot and to the programming.  As to the physical body of the robot (wheels, motors, etc.), I do tend to just throw those together after only a little mental consideration as to where I will put the electronics parts.  That has caused a couple "minor" difficulties, but nothing like what poorly planned electronics could do... 

Er...  Do I smell smoke?

I would say that 80% of my code is done with paper and pencil. I print hard copies all the time and I have sticky notes EVERYWHERE.

Take notes as you code, period.

Piles of post-it notes. A few 3-ring binders. Lots of eraser crumbs. A link to a related post.