Creating a robot, especially for a robotics competition, is a great way not only to learn mechanical concepts, but to also demonstrate that you can take the initiative necessary to create something new and innovative. Keep these tips in mind when designing your first robot.
Consider the Function of the Robot
The first step in building a robot is to think about the function that the robot will serve in the first place. Some robots are designed for companionship and fun, some are designed for contests and others have more practical, real-world applications, such as surveillance. If the robot is designed for a competition, how the robot is constructed will be dictated by the rules of the competition. Make sure that your robot is the right size, weight and does not use parts that are forbidden by the competition. If you are creating a robot for domestic use, think about the difficult task that you are attempting to make easier. Determine whether it is more important that the robot operates more quickly or if it needs to be heavy and highly durable to survive in rugged environments.
Build a Team
While it might be fun to construct a robot on your own, this can be very time-consuming and you are better off finding others who are interested in robotics so that you can work together as a team. Know as much about your team members as possible so that you know your capabilities and limitations. While it is great to be innovative, avoid coming up with ideas that you will find impractical to put into practice.
Balance the Robot Properly
Building a robot relies a lot on balancing the weight, motor power and batteries. The heavier the robot, the more motor power that will be necessary to move the robot. Because of this, you will want to construct the robot using light materials. Aluminum is usually better for constructing a robot than steel. Plastic can also be sufficient for smaller robots. However, the lighter the robot, the less durable it is likely to be.
Design with Low Speed and High Torque in Mind
Robots will usually need to move slowly and have high torque. If you have a DC motor that has high speed and low torque, gear reduction can reverse this problem.
Make the Robot Easy to Maintain
Your robot will likely wear out and need maintenance. Make sure that the robot is designed in such a way to where all of the parts can be easily accessed so they can be replaced when they are damaged. Otherwise, you may need to spend more time disassembling the robot to make repairs.
If you want to learn more about robotics, consider checking out businesses such as 101 Industries Ltd.