Robotics

   

The History of Robotics

The History of Robotics Learn about some of the fascinating moments that have helped define the history of robotics. This timeline features a number of historic events of the past as well as recent developments that have helped shape the world of robots and technology in general. Read about advances in artificial intelligence, changes in industrial robotics, research into robotic arms used in car manufacturing, mars rovers and much more. Follow the history of robotics from its humble but visionary beginnings right through to the complex robots of today. These robots tie together a range of interrelated areas such as…

What is the concept behind gyroscopes and accelerometers?

Here is an excellent explanation of both Accelerometer & Gyroscope. Source: A Guide To using IMU (Accelerometer and Gyroscope Devices) in Embedded Applications. Acclerometer When thinking about accelerometers it is often useful to image a box in shape of a cube with a ball inside it.. You may imagine something else like a cookie or a donut , but I’ll imagine a ball: If we take this box in a place with no gravitation fields or for that matter with no other fields that might affect the ball’s position – the ball will simply float in the middle of the box…..

Robot! What’s that?

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, everyone has an idea of what robots are … from the Robot on “Lost in Space” to the “Transformers”. But they do so much more than just “compute”. It is a machine that gathers information about its environment (senses) and uses that information (thinks) to follow instructions to do work (acts).   This is the working definition of robots that Robotics exhibit developers used for this exhibit. Today technology is changing at incredible rates making the identification of a robot somewhat difficult. Things that we use everyday incorporate features beyond those of early…

In the simplest terms, how does a PID controller work?

Interestingly your intuitive, human control is not that different from a PID controller.   Imagine you are driving a car, trying to reach and maintain speed of 50 kilometers per hour. – You watch the difference (error) between your speed and the desired speed. – You press more or less on the gas pedal (control output).   The PID control has three parts (rules): P, I, D. Each contributes to the control output.   P – proportional The less you have, the more you push.  The farther you are from the desired speed, the more you press the gas pedal;…

Why Kids Prefer Robots To Teachers And Parents?

A study founds that kids not only love robots but also that robots benefit kids in the classroom. The implications of this “benefit,” however, might not seem so benign on closer examination.   The study, “Robots @ School,” was implemented by Latitude, an international research consultancy, in association with the LEGO Learning Institute and Project Synthesis, an Australia-based idea consultancy. It asked 350 students, ages 8-12, from Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, the UK and U.S. to write and illustrate a short story answering a simple question: What would happen if robots were a part of your everyday life at school…

Lithium Polymer Charging/Discharging & Safety Information

Lithium Polymer Safety Tips: Lithium Polymer cells are a tremendous advance in battery technology for RC use. However, due to the chemistry of lithium cells, there is a possibility of fire if charging is not properly done. It is unavoidable due to the nature of lithium itself. This is no different from many things we use in daily life – knives, kitchen cleaners, automobiles, for a few examples – which are inherently dangerous, but which can be used safely by adhering to simple rules and precautions. Batteries should NEVER be left unattended while charging. Be absolutely sure that the Lithium…

Why It’s Important to Always Use Tolerances

Ambiguity is not your friend. If you leave a dimension without a tolerance, no one else will know the importance, or the unimportance, of that dimension. Not only can a lack of tolerances lead to improper fits, it will also add to delays and higher costs.   Imagine you are working on a design for a high efficiency windmill. Due to its complexities you need various custom parts, so you send out manufacturing drawings to various vendors for them to be made. Several weeks later you receive all the parts, but some do not fit.   One of your special…

Inductive versus capacitive position sensors

When it comes to inductive and capacitive position sensors, each is built quite differently, meaning that each technology is suited to particular geometries and applications.   When German scientist Ewald Georg von Kleist suffered an electric shock from his laboratory apparatus in 1745, he suddenly learned that it was possible to store a substantial electrical charge. Arguably, he had built the world’s first capacitor. A capacitor is a collector of electrical charge and typically comprises two conductive plates separated by a relatively small thickness of non-conductive material, or dielectric. The dielectric is typically air, plastic or ceramic.   Capacitors are…

Firo (Fire Entinguisher Robot)

Fire is like a double-edged sword. Discovery of fire stands as a milestone in the history of mankind. Fire fighters try their best to fight and extinguish fires when in need. But at the household level, it is observed that if the fire can be extinguished at an early stage, many major accidents can be averted. The aim here is to build a robot that can  detect and extinguish fire.   Circuit and working This fire extinguishing robot is a prototype (Fig. 1) of the actual one. Sensors used here are simple infrared (IR) photodiodes that detect IR rays coming…

Guide for the visually impaired…

As engineers, it is our job to fix something that is broken, or replace it with something better. Usually, these issues arise in man-made creations. A constant process of repair, refurbish, replace, redesign is what has brought mankind to it’s current state; those are all reworks of problems created by man as a side-effect of creating his comforts. But what about problems that have nothing to do with man’s progress? What about issues that would persist regardless of man’s endeavours?   One such issue, the issue of visual impairment, also called as blindness, is what I had aimed to tackle…

Arduino Morse Code generator

First of all, you might want to know my motivation for this project, so here goes. MIT, Manipal – my engineering college, had offered to take classes for people wanting to own Amateur Radio licenses. This seems like a great opportunity to be one amongst about half a million around the world with special radio privileges. These people are actually hobbyists that get to legally play around with basic radio communication and they follow a certain convention – one of them being, you guessed it, Morse Code communication. And so, people who wish to apply for the general license need…

PCB manufacturing process

An overview, tutorial or information about the basics of the PCB manufacturing process. The PCB manufacturing process is very important for anyone involved in the electronics industry. Printed circuit boards, PCBs, are very widely used as the basis for electronic circuits. Printed circuit boards are used to provide the mechanical basis on which the circuit can be built. Accordingly virtually all circuits use printed circuit boards and they are designed and used in quantities of millions.   Although PCBs form the basis of virtually all electronic circuits today, they tend to be taken for granted. Nevertheless technology in this area…

Printed Circuit Board

Background A printed circuit board, or PCB, is a self-contained module of interconnected electronic components found in devices ranging from common beepers, or pagers, and radios to sophisticated radar and computer systems. The circuits are formed by a thin layer of conducting material deposited, or “printed,” on the surface of an insulating board known as the substrate. Individual electronic components are placed on the surface of the substrate and soldered to the interconnecting circuits. Contact fingers along one or more edges of the substrate act as connectors to other PCBs or to external electrical devices such as on-off switches. A…

PCBs Fabrication Methods

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is a mechanical assembly consisting of layers of fiberglass sheet laminated with etched copper patterns. It is used to mount electronic parts in a rigid manner suitable for packaging. Also known as a Printed Wiring Board (PWB). A schematic diagram must be made available that shows the connection of the parts on the board. Each part on the schematic should have a reference designator that matches the one shown on the Bill of Materials (BOM). Many schematic layout programs will allow automatic generation of the BOM. The parts to be mounted on the PCB should be…

What’s a servo

A Servo is a small device that has an output shaft. This shaft can be positioned to specific angular positions by sending the servo a coded signal. As long as the coded signal exists on the input line, the servo will maintain the angular position of the shaft. As the coded signal changes, the angular position of the shaft changes. In practice, servos are used in radio controlled airplanes to position control surfaces like the elevators and rudders. They are also used in radio controlled cars, puppets, and of course, robots. A Futaba S-148 Servo Servos are extremely useful in…

Advantages of CMOS logic family over TTL

Negligible power dissipation The main advantage of CMOS logic family is their extremely low power consumption. This is because there is no direct conducting path from Vdd to ground in either of input conditions. So there is practically zero power dissipation in STATIC conditioms.There is only dynamic power dissipation, i.e. power is dissipated only during the switching of MOSFETs.   High fan out For TTL logic family the maximum fan out is found to be around 10.Whereas for CMOS logic family fan out rating rating may exceed 50. Hence a larger no of gates can be driven by the output…

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