Welcome to ROBOSHACK, Notes from the host

Welcome to Roboshack,

You can edit or delete any of your posts at any time and your profile can be customized, you are in complete control. This website also has the feature of private or public messages between other members, so you can share thoughts and make friends.

Here are a few notes on how you can join the community and write a blog or a story about robotics. You can write a one time, weekly or monthly blog on what interests you about robotics. You can write about current events or the progression of your project or anything you want to share. Add links to show your Youtube video in your post (Click the Youtube video “share” button for the correct URL) or add links to other websites that we would be interested in. Feel free to write a blog on any of the categories we have and share with the community. Write tutorials on projects, electronics, mechatronics, engineering, mechanical, computers, software, programming, repairs, design or any of the categories on this robotics website. Many of you have lots of experience and knowledge in this area and teaching the current or next generation of robotic technology is the cornerstone of this website. Write a one-time or periodical post, the more we all share, the more we all gain.

You can show off your homemade or professional projects and builds. If you have one, include an embedded link to your YouTube video showing it. Write about your current robotics project or details on past builds. Show us a weekly, monthly or yearly update on your robot or system builds, so we can follow along and see your progress. Tell us what tools or equipment you use and describe the process, include diagrams and drawings. Tell us the easiest or most efficient way to build something and where to source the parts. Share technical data and your methods of construction.

Share your ideas and concepts for robotics. Tell us what you are dreaming up. Show us conceptual drawings, illustrations, models and diagrams of your concepts. Tell us what you think robots will look like or how they will perform next year or the future.

Modifying products or software is how we learn and make our lives easier. Show your hacks and mods that you think other enthusiasts would be interested in. Write about the many parts you can scavenge form old electronics and machines to repurpose in your project. Post software code you wrote for a system or device and share your posts from other websites.

Write about repairs and fixes for hardware and software. There are many robots and parts being sold and as they get used, they might need repair and any information on that would help the community. Tell of any common problems with a product and how to fix it.

Sourcing the right parts for your projects can take a long time and effort, please let us know about the parts or products that you have had experience with that will help us with our builds. List the parts you used for your robot so others might follow in your footsteps.

Give us your honest reviews for robotics and electronics products. There are many different products for robotics in the world. Describing a product you have used or tested may help others. Information on what other people think about a product or a robot they have bought will make the rest of us a more informed buyer. If you have a review video on a on another website, just embed the video, so people can watch it here.

Share GPL or open source software and hardware with the community. GPL licensed and Open Source products are a growing movement in the technology industry and benefits the creator and the user in several ways. There are various GPL and Creative Commons licenses available, all designed to help the person who wants to build something for themselves to use, so share yours with us.

Tell us what you think the future holds for robotics. Tell us what direction you think technology will go (good or bad). Do you think there will be a robot apocalypse? Do you think robots will be a common item in any home or office? Will artificial intelligence control our lives or will they enhance it? Post information on the new or future generation of robots and systems.

Talk about retro & vintage robots. Some older robots are fascinating and clever. Some of the designs are appealing. There are many people that admire these older designs and are avid collectors. Some of these robots give people nostalgic memories and it is always interesting how engineers solved the electronics and mechanical problems without modern technology. There are many vintage robots to inspire the next generation. Write about the past or a retro looking robot that you like. Maybe you built a new robot that is controlled by an old Commodore 64 or other 8-bit computer, show us how you did it.

Tell us about your robotic or electronics clubs & meet-ups. Post information on your robotics or electronics club and get a larger membership in your area. Also post public information on swap meets, hacker spaces or internet hangouts.             *It is strongly recommended that you do not post any personal information or your personal address on this website. Use public places or a club house to gather. If you have a free public club website or social media hangout, just give the details on that.*

List or talk about events happening in your area. Let us know of any robot competitions, tournaments, swap meets, shows, electronics fairs, trade shows, exhibitions, etc. These events help us meet new people who share the same interests and also introduce us to new ideas and products. Talk about what you did at these events and show us pictures.

Write a onetime or regular news blog or add links to news articles on robotics. Let us know of your opinion or make announcements for stuff we would be interested in. Many people would like to keep up on current events in this field. Technology changes so fast and we need the resources to stay on the leading edge.

Talk about books and magazines on the subject. Tell us about what books you liked and why or do a rating system on the books you have read. You could recommend technical books that might give us the information we need. This category can include; novels, tutorials, technical or engineering manuals, magazine articles, how-to books, datasheets, etc.

Science fiction TV and films have had robots as characters for years, tell us about your favorites. Explain how they would compare to real robots or what might be. Some of the inspiration for engineers comes from TV and films, maybe someone can be inspired for the next great idea. Science fiction often becomes science fact. Let us know of any TV shows or films that are being released that we would like to see.

People have been building homemade robots for years, it is easier and parts are more accessible than ever before. It is one of the goals of this website to encourage people to build their own. Hopefully there will be information here that can help you along the way. The combined knowledge and experiences of the community will be a wealth of information.

We all hope one day to have a personal robotic assistant to help us with our daily tasks as in books and movies, this technology is slowly becoming a reality. Maybe in the near future, most homes in the modern world will have a personal robot. Tell us what you want your personal robot to do and how it would make your life better. If you have bought or built a personal robot, post some pictures and tell us about it.

Domestic robots for vacuuming, floor cleaning, cutting the grass, etc are a reality now. The cost of these will only get better with time. These types are arguably the first successful home robots due to the fact they are purpose built and in some cases affordable.

Commercial or retail robots include a wide variety of products from toys to full sized robots on the cutting edge of technology. Tell us what interests you. Tell us about the history of commercial robots and were we are today. If you own any of these tell us about your experiences with them.

Industrial Robots are big part of manufacturing and warehousing, some products are made entirely with robots and automated machines. If you are familiar with these, create an account and tell us about them. Write about their functions, how they are programmed and how they work.

Robots used for security are getting popular for the home and business, some can be monitored and controlled by your smart phone or computer. Sentry robots will be common place in the near future. If you built or own a security robot, tell us about its features and how it does its job. Having a robot autonomously patrolling your house or office and then alerting you of any anomalies will make you feel more secure when you are not at home or at work. This can also save money for companies if it costs less than a security guards salary.

Hobby robots are a large area of interest for many, from the amateur, to the more serious makers and collectors. Tell us about your hobby. There have been many hobby robots over the years, each having its own look and functionality.

Drones, Quadcopters and POV RC aircraft are getting very popular today and the majority of the population may have one in the future. This is a subject that a lot of people will post comments on. Some of the UAVs, scouting and surveillance aircraft are both remote controlled and autonomous. There are aircraft flying today in the military and the private sector that complete their mission autonomously. Many airliners and military aircraft can take off, navigate their route and land on their own. You never know, Robotic flight attendants might appear on airliners in the future. Tell us your thoughts.

There have been many space probes over the years exploring our solar system. Different countries around the world are investing in the future of space travel and most of the work will be done with unmanned probes. NASA and other space agencies are experimenting with robotic assistants in space and in the space station. Robotic probes are expanding our knowledge and our presence in the universe. The past, present and future probes to other planets and asteroids captivates all of our imaginations. The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 robotic probes are our first emissaries heading to interstellar space and onward, more will eventually follow. Tell us your ideas or report on any events that are happening in space.

This is a good place to talk or debate about self-driving vehicles, some countries have already have regulations for self-driving cars to be on public roads. If you have been in a driverless car, tell us of your experience. Describe how well it drove to your destination and the technology around it. The future is coming faster than we think.

Automated Machines are a close cousin of robots and are the most common. Many of the ideas and techniques used in these machines are interesting and might have the same systems for robotics. Explain what your machine does and how it functions.

CNC & 3D Printers are a form of robot and they also help us to build our robots. They are indispensable for making hard to source parts. Tell us about your view on these and the differences between models or types.

Electronics is the backbone of modern robotics. There are many electronics circuits that can do a variety of functions. Include schematics you have designed or share open source designs with the community. Talk about electronic parts and how to use them. Whether your use an x86 based computer or a microcontroller for the robot, we all need to know how they work and the best way to use them.

All the mechanical systems: the drive systems, steering systems, robotic arms, moving and rotating parts, the fasteners, all are important to a functioning robot. Tell us what ideas or parts you have. Share your mechanical CAD files or diagrams that you have developed. Mechanical systems are important things to see and learn. There are also many configurations for robot chassis. Tell people about the mechanical system or design of your chassis or base for your robot. Share technical data and your methods of construction. There are many different drive systems, explain the drive systems and tell us which configuration you like best.

Having a robotic arm on your homebuilt robot is becoming more cost effective every day and with the advent of 3D printers and parts available online, it is easier to add an arm and hand to your project. There are many different technologies and methods for construction, let us know your solution. Tell us of the various control systems and sensors needed.

Motors and Actuators are key element for robotics and there are many different types and sizes. List the best motors that are on the market and tell us how you integrated them into your project. Explain the mounting systems, wheels, hubs, wiring, power requirements, etc. Tell us how to choose the right motor for the job. Tell us the power requirements and how to use pulse width modulation. Servos are handy, cheap and easy to use with an entire RC hobby industry to make use of various different types and sizes. Servos are a common part any class of robot. Share some the RC hobby information here. Servos are great for head, legs, arms and hand movements. Tell us how to pick the right servo or how to mount it in our robots. Stepper motors are used in robotics as well, these come in handy for precise movements. Tell us what type of motors you use and why for your application.

Motor controllers need to be chosen for specific applications based on a motor’s voltage and current needs. There are many different types of interfaces, wired, wireless, USB, logic, servo, etc. Tell us how to control motors with a computer or logic board. There are several different types of controllers for servos as well, some include computers, logic systems, wired systems as well as radio transceivers. Tell us of the many systems available on the market and the experiences you had. Tell us how to use the controller with a microcontroller or a main computer or laptop.

The battery and power supply systems are important for robotics. Explain the system that best suits you. Talk about battery types and power conversion systems. Tell us about how to calculate the power needs for a robot based on voltage and current demands of different systems. Inform us of the different types of power systems, the different types of batteries and the positives and negative of each. Tell us of the dangers associated with power supplies and batteries. Explain the uses of alternate energy for robotics.

Remote control systems are the easiest and most predictable way to move your robot around. There are radio, infrared and wired remote control systems, they all have their advantaged and disadvantages. Share with us the type and system you use.

Vision systems and object recognition are advancing every day and the software to interpret what the robot is seeing is getting better but it still has a long way to go. Tell us about your camera system, your display system and the software that runs it all. Whether you have simple infrared sensors or a 3D mapping LIDAR system, we all want to know. Facial and object recognition software is on many websites and security systems now, there are a few open source and free software platforms that can help you.

There are many microcontroller devboards and chips from many manufacturers to choose from. These are essential for small robots or subsystems on larger robots. Show us your applications and code for your projects. Tell us how you built your circuits and how you programmed it.

A small simple robot can operate with a microcontroller but a larger more complicated robot needs a computer running an operating system. Tell us your solution and show off the system you use.

The software that is available to us is amazing, some of it is designed for robotics and others can be adapted for use with robots. There also are many different software languages and types. Please share with us the software you wrote or tell us about software that can be downloaded and used for free. Tell us how to program various different functions on your robot. Talk about the different programming languages and tell us the best one to use for each application. Write a one time or regular tutorial on learning the basics to the advanced on microcontrollers to main computers.

Artificial intelligence is the pinnacle of robotic evolution but right now we have to settle for AI simulators. There are many different AI software simulators, let us know your experiences with them or let us know what your ideas are. Autonomous robots and vehicles are another form of artificial intelligence and are becoming common in our world. Some of these systems and software are available for us to buy or use. Tell us about your AI system and how to use it. Embed a link to your video source so we can see your autonomous robot or machine.

Speech recognition and control is a modern way to control your robot’s actions or interface with software. This technology is evolving and becoming very intuitive. Text to speech and speech to text also have their uses for robotics. There are many different voice control software for computers and smart phones today, tell us how you setup your system.

GPS, laser range finders, sonic and IR sensors help the robots software to find its way around. The sensors feed information to its computer to determine how to navigate. The software algorithms adapt the robots course and make its way to its destination. Localization systems is a key system for robotics. The robot’s software needs to know its spatial orientation and absolute position or it will be harder to have the robot perform tasks. Moving around in a room and avoiding objects, slows a robot’s progress. These problems will have to be overcome to have the robots be as sophisticated as we have all read about. Once we have accurate localization and object recognition systems, robots will blend into our society. Tell us about the system you use and how you set it up.

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