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Robotics

as a hobby

Robotics is an engaging and multifaceted hobby that combines engineering, programming, and creativity. As a beginner, you’ll explore the world of mechanical design, electronics, and coding. The benefits are immense: problem-solving skills, hands-on learning, and the thrill of bringing your own robot to life. To start, delve into online courses, learn electronics basics, and a programming language, and experiment with an Arduino board. Join online communities to share experiences and lower the learning curve. Remember, patience and curiosity are key—robotics is both challenging and rewarding!

Helpful content to start robotics as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

📼 Videos

Short visual inspiration.

YouTube Playlist | Build Videos
Build Videos
YouTube | 10 Awesome Robotics Projects You Can Do Yourself!
10 Awesome Robotics Projects You Can Do Yourself!
YouTube | How to Start with Robotics? for Absolute Beginners || The Ultimate 3-Step Guide
How to Start with Robotics? for Absolute Beginners || The Ultimate 3-Step Guide
YouTube | Inspiring Electronics and Robotics Projects
Inspiring Electronics and Robotics Projects

🎙️ Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

Spotify | The Basics of Robotics
Spotify Embed: The Basics of Robotics
Spotify | The Robot Report Podcast
Spotify Embed: The Robot Report Podcast
Spotify | Learn Robotics and AI Podcast
Spotify Embed: Learn Robotics and AI Podcast

📜 Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Robot: A machine that can sense its environment and perform actions in response.
  • End effector: The part of the robot that interacts with the physical world (e.g., gripper, arm, wheels).
  • Sensor: A device that detects and measures physical or environmental conditions.
  • Actuator: A device that converts a signal into a physical action (e.g., motor, solenoid).
  • Microcontroller: A small programmable computer used to control robots.
  • Degrees of freedom (DOF): The number of independent movements a robot can make.

How to start robotics as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

  • If you are more interested in mechanics and want to enter the world of electronics and programming gradually, consider starting with LEGO Technic.
  • After building a couple of models you can start experimenting with modifying them and eventually make your own creations from scratch. Use LEGO motors, pneumatic parts, and a remote control app to bring your creations to life. The options are endless, from a small taco factory to a full-sized, running, Bugatti replica.
  • If you feel ready to dive into the world of electronics and programming, buy an Arduino starter kit.
  • Then, follow online tutorials and courses or books, and get help and inspiration on the official Arduino website.

📚 Books

Get read-y.

🪜 How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

📄 Articles

Further reading.

🌐 Websites

Go-tos for information.

🍿 Movies

Nothing like a film for inspiration.

YouTube | This is BattleBots!
This is BattleBots!

FAQS

Get a clue.

Is robotics a good hobby for me?

Robotics is a great hobby for anyone who enjoys tinkering, problem-solving, and learning new things. It can be a creative outlet, a way to develop technical skills, and even a stepping stone to a career in robotics.

What are the benefits of learning about robotics as a hobby?

Robotics can help you develop skills in coding, engineering, electronics, and problem-solving. It can also boost your creativity, critical thinking, and teamwork abilities.

What do I need to get started with robotics as a hobby?

There are many different robotics kits for beginners, often including everything you need to get started, like microcontrollers, sensors, motors, and building materials. You might also need basic tools like screwdrivers and wire cutters.

Alternatively, you can also consider starting with LEGO Technic.

What kind of robotics kit should I get?

The best robotics kit for you will depend on your budget, skill level, and interests. Consider factors like the complexity of the projects, the programming language used, and the types of robots you can build.

Arduino is a recommended microcontroller for beginners. The Arduino Starter Kit is great to get started.

What if I’m not good at coding?

Many beginner-friendly robotics kits use drag-and-drop or block-based programming interfaces that don’t require extensive coding knowledge. As you progress, you can learn more complex programming languages.

Another option is getting started with LEGO Technic. A fantastic choice for those who enjoy the mechanical side of things. Build robots with gears, motors, pneumatic components, and structures, focusing on how they move and function without needing complex programming. You can even remotely control your creation via a dedicated app.

Where can I find tutorials and project ideas for building robots?

There are many online resources available, such as websites, online tutorials and courses, and books.

Are there any online communities for robotics hobbyists?

Yes, there are many online forums and communities where you can connect with other robotics enthusiasts, ask questions, and share your projects. You can start with the official Arduino forum, and even look for robotics groups near you.

What’s the difference between Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and which is better for beginners?

Arduino and Raspberry Pi are both popular platforms for building robots, but they have some key differences:

  • Arduino – A microcontroller board, designed for controlling electronic components and sensors. It requires additional components like a computer to program it. Often considered simpler for beginners due to its focus on controlling electronics and a user-friendly programming environment. Great for projects focused on sensor data collection, motor control, and simpler robot behaviors
  • Raspberry Pi A single-board computer, offering a complete operating system, processor, memory, and graphics capabilities. Think of it as a mini-computer. Generally requires more programming knowledge and experience due to the operating system and broader functionality. Suitable for more complex robotics projects involving things like image processing, machine learning, and running multiple programs simultaneously.

For absolute beginners with no prior coding experience, Arduino is typically the better choice. It offers a simpler setup process and a more beginner-friendly programming environment.

I’m more interested in the building and mechanics of robots (less so the electrical/programming side). Is this a good hobby for me?

Absolutely! If you enjoy understanding how things move and function mechanically, LEGO Technic is a fantastic place to start with robotics:

  • Focus on Mechanisms: LEGO Technic lets you build intricate gear systems, transmissions, and structures, providing a hands-on learning experience about how robots work.
  • Design and Creativity: The beauty of LEGO Technic is the ability to go beyond pre-built sets and design your own robots or modify existing ones. It lets you unleash your creativity and focus purely on the mechanical aspects.
  • Advanced Options: If you’re curious about adding some movement or basic programming in the future, LEGO Technic offers Power Functions Motors, pneumatic components, and the CONTROL+ app for exploration.

Even without diving into electronics or complex programming initially, LEGO Technic provides a strong foundation for understanding the mechanical principles behind robotics.

📱 Apps

Smart assistance.

YouTube | Driving one of the biggest excavators in the world with the LEGO Control+ app! | LEGO Technic
Driving one of the biggest excavators in the world with the LEGO Control+ app! | LEGO Technic
YouTube | The Remarkable Liebherr R 9800 | LEGO Technic
The Remarkable Liebherr R 9800 | LEGO Technic

📦 Products

Essentials to have.

YouTube | See how it was made – The Amazing Life-Size LEGO Technic version of the Bugatti Chiron
See how it was made - The Amazing Life-Size LEGO Technic version of the Bugatti Chiron
YouTube | Introducing the Arduino Starter Kit
Introducing the Arduino Starter Kit
YouTube | SunFounder Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi 4B 3B+ 400
SunFounder Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi 4B 3B+ 400

Courses

Get smart.

YouTube Playlist | Arduino Education Remote Learning
Arduino Education Remote Learning
YouTube Playlist | New Arduino Tutorials
New Arduino Tutorials
YouTube Playlist | Introduction to Robotics and Robots for Beginners Tutorial
Introduction to Robotics and Robots for Beginners Tutorial

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💡 Tips

Additional advice for beginners.