Robots have always been the object of study and experimentation in the area of science and technology because, by definition, a robot is a machine, which unlike any other is designed to simulate or imitate people or animals. Its movements and operation have a certain independence, or certain purposes, which must be programmed and stipulated by its manufacturer following scientific guidelines.
There are all kinds of robots, there are more complex or simpler, virtual or mechanical, mobile or articulated, and you can think that building one is very complex and requires a lot of knowledge, but that is not the case.
In the same way that you can awaken the interest in science in the little ones with some experiments, it can also be an option for older youth to venture into the construction of a robot, which is a very interesting and instructive challenge and will allow them to develop skills in areas such as mechanics, electronics or programming.
So now we are going to see how to build a robot at home, in just a couple of hours, and without having to be an engineer or inventor.
Design and materials
The first thing to keep in mind is that the robot that you will try to build will be a very simple one and with a basic operation, so you should not try to innovate or build something very sophisticated, at least if you are trying it for the first time. The simplest are those that by their architecture are called mobile robots, whose movement is simply given by a rolling platform.
These robots have a differential mechanism, which is the simplest algorithm to control a two-wheeled robot: this mechanism allows movements back and forth, with the wheels rotating at the same speed in either direction, or to the right and left , with the wheels turning in different directions.
Materials to get started can be obtained from old toys that are no longer used, such as a remote-controlled car or the like, since to build this robot control mechanism you simply need two wheels and two motors. It is recommended that the wheels have a diameter of between 5 and 8 centimeters, and the so-called servos can be used as the motor (two motors will be used, one on each wheel). You will also need batteries that are rechargeable if possible.
Then a microcontroller will be necessary, which is the circuit responsible for executing the commands recorded in its memory or for operating the different parts that make up the mechanism. The process carried out in operation can be complex, but to start it up, you just have to put the parts (the wheels, the motors and the microcontroller) on the dolly and connect them with cables to each other. The microcontroller has six channels, in which the two wheels, the two motors and the batteries will be connected.
With this you already have the entire circuit that will make the robot move, but the most important part is missing so that it is a robot and not a simple machine that moves, and this is to give it a certain degree of autonomy and independence, which can move on its own same.
For this, two photoresistors must be obtained, which are placed one on each side of the platform. Photoresistors are sensors that work with the light they receive, so if the photoresistor on the right side receives more light, this will make the differential mechanism turn to the right, and vice versa; if the amount of light they receive is the same, it will move in one direction.
With these steps you will already have the possibility to build your own robot, but also, all the details of the dolly, the location of the parts, the purpose or use that will be given, and then add decorative elements to it, will be at your own expense, thus that you can unleash your ingenuity and creativity.