The term robot was first used in the 1921 play R.U.R, the word itself comes from the Czech word “robota” which means servitude.

Now nearly a century later robots are commonplace and perform a wide variety of tasks, from building cars to exploring other planets and vacuuming our homes. Yet despite all of this the age of the robot is really in its infancy, and this means that it’s a great time to start experimenting and developing robots of your own.

The availability of inexpensive components and powerful microcontrollers and microcomputers like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi have made it possible for anyone to design and build a robot without requiring a degree in Technology or Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Building robots requires a combination of skills from a number of different disciplines;

  • Mechanical skills to construct the mechanisms that power our robots and give them flexibility and dexterity.
  • Electronic skills to wire circuitry that control the robot.
  • Software development skills to program them
  • Interface design skills to allow them to interact with human beings.

Yet despite all of the above you don’t need to be a master of all these different trades. Robot kits and software libraries can take a lot of the challenge out of building and designing a robot, allowing you to focus on creating a device that does exactly what you want it to do.