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A Motor Controller is a device that acts as intermediary between your robot’s microcontroller, batteries and motors. A motor controller is necessary because a microcontroller can usually only provide roughly 0.1 Amps of current whereas most actuators (DC motors, DC gear motors, servo motors etc.) require several Amps. The current a motor consumes is related to […]

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What is a Motor Controller?

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An actuator is a device that converts electrical energy into physical motion. Choosing the right actuators (which include DC motors, gear motors, servo motors, linear actuators, muscle wire etc.) requires an imagination and a bit of math and physics. The vast majority of actuators produce either rotational or linear motion though combinations thereof can lead to complex motion. […]

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How Do I Choose an Actuator?

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For a beginner, choosing the right microcontroller may seem like a daunting task, especially considering the range of products, specifications and potential applications. There are many different microcontroller boards available on the market: Arduino; BasicATOM; BasicX; Blueroomelectronics; POB Technology; Parallax. Pololu; Miscellaneous (Robotics Connection, New Micros, Rogue Robotics) and many more. Unless you plan to […]

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How Do I Choose a Microcontroller?

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There are many different ways to communicate with a robot. Robots are most often controlled using a tether (wired), wirelessly or autonomously. Tethered The easiest way to control a robot is using a handheld controller connected physically to the robot using wires or a cable. Toggle switches on the controller allow you to control the […]

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How Do I Control My Robot?

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Contrary to popular belief, expensive tools are not necessary when building custom robots. Tools such as oscilloscopes, CNC machines, laser cutting machines etc. are usually reserved for the hobbyist who makes many new robots each year, schools, companies or other institution. These types of tools also make it fast and easy to produce “professional” grade prototypes. With […]

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What tools do I need?

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For a robot to react to its environment, it must first obtain information about its surroundings. Robots are not limited to just sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Robots can not only sense but give accurate values for a variety of environmental factors that humans are otherwise unaware of or incapable of doing.  Measure Distance […]

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How Do I Choose Appropriate Sensors?