A DIY Robot to Help Around the House

Most beginner robotic builds, and many advanced ones, are undertaken for fun rather than for practical reasons. Their creators get great enjoyment out of putting them together and a well-deserved sense of achievement, but afterwards they are of little use except as a trophy of a successful build.

This is far from a bad thing, and robotics should certainly not only be practised when there is something besides enjoyment to gain. However, for some people it can be worth looking into more practical builds. It can be both rewarding and useful to build robots designed to help around the house.

What Kind of Robots can Help Around the House?

Robot builders are very inventive people, and many robots have been created to fulfil practical use. However, the question of what robots can be practically used for is quite a pertinent one at present, and the number of uses found so far is fairly limited.

One popular build is an obstacle-avoiding robot, which very advanced builders may be able to adapt into a self-guiding vacuum cleaner. Commercially available robots working on similar principles are used tomow grass. Again, this is theoretically within the scope of advanced builders.

A much simpler use is to lift, pick up or carry things. Given sufficiently powerful motors and robust parts, a range of robots has been made to fill these purposes without the need for particularly advanced skills. Robots can be built with an incorporated tray, or with a movable lifting arm for picking things up.

Controlling Your Robot Build

In order to be properly controllable, your robot build needs to have some form of computer component. This is usually achieved using a small, cheap but relatively powerful computer board such asArduino. Arduino, along with some similar computer boards, are very flexible and easily-programmed computer boards used for powering a range of electronic builds including many robots. They are extremely flexible, and there is a huge range of compatible accessories on the market for a variety of different applications and projects.

Of course, you will also need some means of physically controlling your robot and telling it what to do. This may involve incorporating a keyboard or button-based input onto the machine itself, possibly combined with some sort of display such as a small LCD screen. Alternatively, you may wish to set up your robot to work with a remote control.

Some robots can be largely left to it after being initially programmed by hooking the Arduino board upto the relevant inputs and outputs. This particularly applies to projects such as the obstacle-avoiding vacuum cleaners or lawnmowers. When put in any setting, their initial programming will be enough to guide them around the location while avoiding objects. The vast majority of the time, this is all that will be required of them, meaning it will rarely be necessary to change their program or control them in a more specific way as long as they can be started and stopped.

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