Let's Make Robots!

Easy Robotics opinion question.

While encouraging David C. To learn to program for something other than a robot, I realized I was being kind of a hypocrite. I enjoy building the hardware more than programming. Not that I don't enjoy programming, just that the initial thrill of seeing the the completed machine is kind of an experiential apex. Is that the norm? Is it kind of like that arty/techy thing we had a while ago?

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Programming is my weakest skill but until I've got the program finished the robot has no life.

When I made the first video of the Quad puppy robot I thought it was finished but then in the video I noticed at one point the robot almost jumped up in the air like a real dog might when it is excited. I then wrote more code to teach the robot to jump up in the air as you can see in the second video.

When your robot begins to behave like a living creature, that to me is the Apex.

Yes I noticed your robot puppy kind of bounced around like a regular puppy would.  I think it added a lot to that robot, very impressive.  I agree that the closer it appears to living behavior the more people will like it.

me  too! i love making the hardware more than the software!

What attracts me to robotics is it is the perfect trinity of mechanical engineering, electronics and programming.  How could an engineering geek not LOVE it.  For me the programming is best, (big surprise, I am a programmer after all).  I like building things so the mechanics is appealing.  The electronics is new to me and so fascinating, but the programming is the moment something BLINKS, MOVES, or BUZZES and that is totally sexy.... oh yeah.....

I just got my first robot back together after painting it and am finishing off wiring in the IR sensor, IR remote control sensor and piezo buzzer, at that point the mechanics and electronics will be complete and I can relax to the joy of programming it.  Really looking forward to that.



Being a programmer too, and have been so for approx 25 years now, I find the other two disciplines way more appealing, though harder of cause. With the programming I know I can do it, it's just a matter of time and googling.

Mechanics, well it takes quite some luck for me to get it right. Trying to get this hydrogen gas powered ping pong ball gun working, man thats challenging. (first attempt sprayed water with lye out through a leaking bottom piece, say protective goggles!)

For our hobby robots I don't think the electronics have to be that complicated. We can buy most as cheap pre build modules, it's not like we have to do all the nasty rf circuits by ourselves.

I'm not the arty type, so my walkers wont jump and wag their tail, not unless there is a practical reason for it. I will definitely trade the good looking top of my robot for more battery power.

I like all three facets of robotics, mechanical, electrical and programming. I'm probably weakest at mechanical but love all three equally. Without code it really hasn't got life. Coding is fun for me, making physical things act through code. The electrical for me is also fun but not really as challenging as the other two. I couldn't agree more with you Kingart it is the intersection of all three disciplines that makes it the best hobby to have.

Sorta. It's the debate between "I built the machine that all your imaginary code runs" vs "I made your brick do something useful". I prefer hardware myself but that’s a preference thing and happens to be something I'm better at. In reality I appreciate the difficulties of each field. I have friends who get giddy thinking about writing a operating system on a linux box. And there is a sort of elegance to code that you generalize to the point that it can run on many platforms. To me the real high points is when everything comes together. We all have projects that never got to the software phase and they are skeletons in my closet. The really cool stuff has good hardware ans software ;)