Let's Make Robots!

Where can I learn the absolute basics?

So I'm an absolute beginner :P obviously. But I mean completely absolute beginner, I don't get much of anything! I went through the "Start Here" section, but I still get confused on some things. I understand programming, I just don't get what everything is, what it does, why it's there, etc. and no one, literally no one, explains the sheer basics in their posts. So is there anywhere you can direct me for beginners where I can start off learning the basics, like what each pin does on a microcircuit, what they can be used for, etc. I don't want you assuming I know what the parts are called or what they do or anything, because I don't, and every tutorial I've tried to go through (even the "basic" ones) already assumes I know things about electronics when I don't.
If you guys could, that'd be great. Thanks in advance!

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The reason no one explains these things in their robot post is because this information is:

1. In the manuals, the 3rd picaxe manual is especially good at explaining hardware interfacing.
2. In hundreds of tutorials both on LMR and everywhere else on the net.
3. In the datasheets of both the processors and the IC's used.

Google is your friend. We will like you more if you use it.


I will assume from the contents of your post that it is mostly the elctronics that have you puzzled.  With that assumption in mind, I recommend you get a good book on electronics.  There are some good tutorials on the web, but I don't have any links at the moment.  Plus, a good book you can have open on the desk while you experiment is a big help for me.  With that in mind, I will recommend two books that are excellent.  First, the ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook.  Not just for radio.  It is a LARGE volume with all the basics of many branches of electronics.  Most public libraries in the US have a copy or can get one.  They publish a new version every year.  The basics stay the same and any one from the last twenty years or so would be good.  You can buy it direct here:


Many practicing engineers keep a copy on their desk

The next best is Horowitz and Hill's classic "The Art of Electronics"  available from Amazon and others:


Either of these will teach you more than you want to know about electronics and serve as a great reference.  You will still need to know about roboty thingies, but that sort of help is easily available here and other sites.

Hope this helps.

I've found the collection of links here:


very useful when I started. Mostly the collection of links on electronics (which was the part I knew less about).

Then one just needs to choose the path one want to take and the web  is filled with information. As for robot post not explaining the basics of things... well, that's not their purpose. The purpose is only to showcase a robot build that has been done, how much basics are explained is up to each author. Regardless there are some posts here explaining some basic concepts on electronics and perhaps other things, you just have to search around.

My advise, learn the basics of electronics first what is each of the most common components and what they're typically used for, how circuits work. So then when you have any doubts you can ask a proper question. Then, just move on to whateve you need to learn... as you ask for us to assume you don't know anything, then there's everything to learn. But the basics of electronics is a good start and should keep you busy for a while.


Welcome and have fun :)






My tutorial series may be able to help you. I explain things very basically and simply to make sure you can work out what is going. It can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnesnfu5SD7Zowk43Pu7rytpFuBcJ7mxa