Continue to Site

Welcome to

Welcome to our site! is an international Electronics Discussion Forum focused on EDA software, circuits, schematics, books, theory, papers, asic, pld, 8051, DSP, Network, RF, Analog Design, PCB, Service Manuals... and a whole lot more! To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

New to robotics - basic questions

Not open for further replies.


Newbie level 3
Nov 9, 2009
Reaction score
Trophy points
Activity points
New to robotics

Hello all,

I am new to this forum and new to robotics as well. I am currently designing my first robot using the PIC18F452. I don't think I'll have too much of a problem in getting that done but I would want some clarifications on the following.

1. Are microcontrollers still the 'brain' of the robot. And when I say robots I am not referring to the play toy type (like the one I am still designing), but very serious robots. Like robots used for industrial control, and removing mines etc.
If so what are the most common microcontrollers used today to make robots? Is the microchip's PIC still popular?

2. If I possess a thorough understanding of programming micro controllers, and understand how micro controllers work do I possess the necessary fundamentals of robotics.

3. If the answers to 1 & 2 are 'yes',
The difference between robots and other microcontroller applications is AI (correct me if I am wrong here). Is AI primarily characterized by programming?

Any help/ feed back will be greatly appreciated.

New to robotics

According to your second question you need to know that actually "robotics" is more a part of mathematics than computer science. And that's what differs "robots" from uC applications - is usage of robotic algorithms - not necessarily AI.

to know robotics you should know these basics:
-mechanical design and theory of machines: some basics in keimatics, gearing, levers and pulleys, chassis and wheels design, metals machining.
-electromechanical and electric actuators like DC, stepper, servo motors, solenoids, relays and their power drivers like H-bridge and PWM technique.
-embedded systems like microcontrollers (PIC still popular don't worry).
-electronics: A/D, D/A, data acquisition systems.
if you know about these topics then you can call yourself know little about robotics, actually I'm sorry but microcontrollers aren't enough to know the necessary fundamentals.
good luck

The truth is that I know most of these. (Though for some reason I had assumed that what qualifies you as a roboticist is an understanding of coding algorithms).

To be exact I know the following
Kinematics & machines - I understand them very well
Motors: DC, servo, stepper motors, relays, H bridge,
PWM, ADC, DAC, sensors.

But what I probably do not know is how to integrate all of these together.
Any good resources/ links on this?

build a robot, thats how you integrate all this together.
just begin with a simple robot consists of a chassis and wheels, some obstacles sensors like micro switches, 2 DC motors to control direction, use H-bridge with them, control the H-bridge from a microcontroller, you can build a simple handler on the chassis using a servo motor and control it from the microcontroller and so on.
good luck

"But what I probably do not know is how to integrate all of these together.
Any good resources/ links on this?"

Well integration with a fulfilling purpose to increase the efficiency of the operation is the purpose of Robotics.So only thing that matters is what is your integeration result rather that how you integerate. You can either start building up your own small robots or start doing case studies on the existing robots that are used in industries and what are its limitation interms of operation.
You care free to move on in your own way to know things but i believe the value in the field of robotics is not dependent on what you know but what you have finally materialised with it. so start making something even if it is small and start making in complex to solve multiple problems or add more functionalities
.. cheers its a long journey ahead if you have really decided on the road.

I've already decided on robotics and have already started work on my first robot.
Thanks a lot for all the advice

Not open for further replies.

Part and Inventory Search

Welcome to