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Evolution Of Robots
Robots are artificial, sentient being. It is only in
KarelCˇ apek used the word Robot recent years that manufacturers are making
in his 1921 play Rossum’s robotics increasingly that are available for
general public. The focus of this section is to
Universal Robots, derived from the
provide the reader with a general overview of
Czech word robota, meaning
robotics (with a focus more on mobile robots) and
‘‘forced labor.’’ These Robots were
to appreciate the inventors and innovators in the
created to replace man and their
field of robotics. There has been a long history of
earlier version, for cheap labor. evolution of robots, however let’s focus on the
Robots had perfect memory but were current technology and the amazing future in
incapable of having new thoughts. robotics.
They are similar to the Hebrew
legends of the golem, a clay statue
that had life breathed into by
mystical means. Of course, this all
sounds a lot like Dr. Frankenstein’s
monster, reanimated from the bits
and pieces dug up from the local
graveyard. Rossum’s Universal Robots

Robotics is a branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and
application of robots. The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or
known as Asimov's Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov.
The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround", although they had been
foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws, quoted as being from the "Handbook
of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.", are

Robots may not injure a human being or, allow human beings come to harm.
First Law

Robots must obey orders given by human being unless it violates First law.
Second Law

A robot must protect its own existence as long as it doesn’t violates First and
Third Law Second laws.

Robots are used for Automation
or automatic control in assembly
line. Robots are used to operate
equipment such as machinery,
processes in factories, boilers and
heat treating ovens, switching on
telephone networks, steering and
stabilization of ships, aircraft and
other applications and vehicles
with minimal or reduced human
Industrial Robots

The benefit of automation is that it

saves labor; however, it is also
used to save energy and materials
and to improve quality, accuracy
and precision.

Assembly Line Robots

Medical Applications of Robots

Robots are not new to medical field. Robots have been helping doctors in surgery, diagnosis,
rehabilitation to name few. However there is a rapid development in the field of prosthetics. It’s not
only, used to replace injured body parts but also in cosmetic enhancements. Research in the field of
Medical robots has gained importance due to rapid growth of technology and is expected to take a
big leap in future. It is one of a revolutionary industry which can increase the lifespan of living

Medical Robot and Prosthetics

The future of robotics lies
in “life”. The next
generations of robots are
designed to look, feel and
act just like humans. On
parallel lines, AI i.e.
Artificial Intelligence is
rapidly evolving, which
gives the unique ability for
robots to think and take
decisions just like humans
do! You must have come
across the robotic pets
today, which simulate
expressions of the real-life
pets, with such robots
already available in the
market, one can imagine
what’s under the blanket?!
Hopefully, it will be
unveiled in near future.
Considering the industrial
applications of robots,
wherein they are being
used in abundance, an
extraordinary research is
Representation of Futuristic Robots being carried out in
Europe, where 4th
industrial revolution has
taken its birth termed as
Industry 4.0. All the
industrial machines are
being brought into the
network, to make them
smarter. There is also
research in the field of
bionics (the study of
mechanical systems that
function like living
organisms or parts of
living organisms),
industrial robotic
manipulator designs being
inspired from elephant
trunk. With this brief
Industrial Manipulators Inspired From Elephant Trunk
overview into the future of

2. Basic Physics Concepts

2.1 Motion
In physics, motion is change in position of an object with respect to time.
Motion is typically described in terms of displacement, distance, velocity, acceleration, time and

“Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed; rather, it

transforms from one form to another”.
A simple example would be, an ice. When ice is supplied
Law of Conservation of Energy with heat energy, it changes into water. The change of state
is caused by transfer of heat. If you provide more heat to
water, it will convert into water vapors. This illustration
shows the conversion of energy from one form to another

It is the length of the space between two points i.e. "How much ground an object has
covered" during its motion.

It is defined as the minimum distance between two points i.e. "how far out of an
object is"

Speed It is defined as the rate of change of distance traveled (D) with respect to time (t). [S=D/t]

Velocity It is defined as the rate of change of its displacement (d) with respect to time (t). [v=d/t]

Acceleration For an object it is the rate of change of its velocity (v) with respect to time (t). [a=v/t]

Uniform A body is said to be moving with uniform velocity if it covers equal distances in equal
Velocity intervals of time in a specified direction.

2.2 Force and Pressure
A force is a push or pull upon an object resulting from the object's interaction
with another object.
Force Whenever there is an interaction between two objects, there is a force upon
each of the objects. When the interaction ceases, the two objects do not
experience the force. Forces only exist as a result of an interaction.

Newton’s Laws of Motion

First Law of Motion The first law of motion states that any object in motion will continue to
move in the same direction and speed unless external forces act on it.

The second law of motion states that the greater the mass of an object, the
Second Law of Motion greater the force required to accelerate the object. (F = m.a)

The third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and
Third Law of Motion opposite reaction.
Newton’s Third law in a rocket

Newton’s Laws of Motion

Energy Energy can be defined as the ability to do work.

Mass It is a measurement of how much matter is in an object. Mass is the "stuff" that
matter is made of.

Weight It is the force of gravity (g) on an object. Weight is actually the result of gravity
pulling on the mass. (W = m x g)

It is a measurement of mass in motion.

Momentum In other words, Momentum is the energy or force in the body making it to
move. Momentum is equal to the mass (m) times the velocity (v) of an object.
(M=m x v)

Situation A. An Orange ball having momentum collides with a White ball. During the Collision, the
momentum from orange ball is transferred to the white ball. Hence, the white ball continues to move
and the orange ball is static.
Situation B. If an Orange ball and a White ball both having equal Momentum, collide with each other
then they move back towards their initial position with lesser momentum, since some amount of energy
is consumed during the collision.
Situation C. An Orange ball having greater Momentum collides with a White ball moving in the same
direction having lower momentum. The momentum from Orange ball is transferred to the White ball
and it gains momentum.

The tendency of an object to resist any change in its state of rest or of uniform

Inertia: A coin placed on top of paper and a cup. The paper is flicked with a finger and the coin drops into the cup due to inertia

It is defined as the force (F) over a given area (A). Given the same force, smaller the
Pressure (P) area of contact, the more pressure is applied. Pressure is given by, P = F/A

When a finger is pressed on a hose pipe it releases high pressure water and pressure decreases when the finger is removed

2.3 Relative Motion and Relative velocity

It is the continuous change in the position of a body with respect to a second body
Relative Velocity or to a reference point that is fixed. Also known as apparent motion.

It is the velocity of a body with respect to a second body; that is, its velocity in a
Relative Motion reference frame where the second body is fixed.

Relative Motion while in a train Relative Velocity of objects and train

Scalar Quantity: Vector Quantity:

A quantity that has only A quantity that has both

magnitude and no magnitude and direction is
direction is called a scalar called a vector quantity.
Eg: displacement, velocity,
Eg: the length of a scale, acceleration, force etc. are
area of a surface, volume vector quantities.
& mass of a body, density,
speed etc. are scalar

The plane travels with a velocity relative to If there is a cross wind, we add the heading
the ground which is the vector sum of the vector and the wind vector to find the resultant.
plane’s velocity (relative to the air) plus the Notice that the resultant velocity is faster than

wind velocity. the plane’s velocity.

2.4 Friction

Friction is a force acting against the applied force i.e. it resists the change of an objects motion.
Friction always slows a moving object down. For example, when you try to push a box along the floor
friction makes this difficult. Friction always works in the direction opposite from the direction the
object is moving, or trying to move.


When an object is moving, the friction is
proportional and perpendicular to the normal force
Friction is independent of the area of contact as long
as there is an area of contact.
The coefficient of static friction is slightly greater
than the coefficient of kinetic friction.
Within rather large limits, kinetic friction is
independent of velocity.
Friction reduces when you step on a banana and you can
Friction depends upon the nature of the surfaces in slide. But don’t try it.

Types of friction
There are three major types of friction: sliding, rolling, and fluid friction. Each can be static
(stationary) or kinetic (moving). Sliding and rolling friction concern moving an object along the
surface of another object. With sliding and rolling friction, one or both objects may be hard or soft.
Fluid friction is related to lubrication between objects, as well as resistance between layers of fluids.

Friction force Sliding friction Rolling friction Fluid friction

Modes of friction

The resistive force of friction can occur in two

different modes: static and kinetic. When the objects
are not in motion, the friction acting is called static.
When they do move, the friction acting is called
kinetic. Between static and kinetic modes, there is a
transitional phase of friction, where the objects or
materials change from static to moving with respect
to each other.

Heat - Friction also produces heat. If you rub your

hands together quickly, you will feel them get
Similarly, the following Images are other
applications of friction.
Static friction on a box

Friction is used in a welding process known as Friction is used in brakes to slow down cars (vehicles). In the above
friction welding image it can be seen that the brakes have turned red while
braking since it is producing heat.

More or less friction

The amount of friction depends on the materials from which the two surfaces are made. The
rougher the surface, the friction produced is more. For example, you would have to push a
box harder to get it moving on a carpet than you would on a wooden floor. This is because
there is more friction between the carpet and the box than there is between the wood and the

Friction equation
The standard friction equation shows the relationship between the resistive force of friction,
the coefficient of friction and the normal force pushing the objects together. (Ff = μN)

Snowboarding Ice hockey

Useful friction

Friction can be a useful force because it prevents our shoes from slipping on the pavement when we
walk and stops the car tires from skidding on the road. When you walk, friction is caused between the
tread on shoes and the ground. This friction acts to grip the ground and prevent sliding. Ice causes
very low friction, which is why it is easy to slip over on an icy day. However this is a good thing for ice
skating and sledging (similar to snowboarding).

Reducing friction

Sometimes we have to reduce friction. For example, we use oil to reduce friction between the moving
parts in a car engine. The oil holds the surfaces apart, and can flow between them. The reduced
friction means there is less wear on the car's moving parts, and less heat will be produced.

Rollers for a Box Threads In Shoes Creates Friction To Walk

Fluid lubrication between gears Forces acting on a box

2.5 Gravitation

Gravity represents the attraction between objects. Every object in the universe that has mass exerts a
gravitational pull, or force, on every other mass. The size of the pull depends on the masses of the

The Universal Law of Gravitation

The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of
the distance between

F is the force between the masses;

G is the gravitational constant (6.674×10−11 N · (m/kg) 2)

m1,m2 are the first mass and second mass respectively
r is the distance between the centers of the masses

Freefall Free fall is any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it


A projectile is any object thrown into space (empty or not) by the exertion of a
force. Although any object in motion through space (for example a thrown
baseball) may be called a projectile, the term more commonly refers to a ranged
& weapon. Mathematical equations of motion are used to analyze projectile
Projectile trajectory.
Projectile motion is a form of motion in which an object or particle is thrown
near the Earth's surface, and it moves along a curved path under the action of

2.6 Work Power and Torque

Work Work is said ti be done when a force (F) acts on an object to move it by some distance
(d). (w = F.d)

Power It is the rate at which energy is used or work done (W) per unit time (t). (P= W/t)

It is a measure of how much force is acting on an object causing that object to rotate
around the pivot point. Torque is used to create tension.

If the distance from the pivot point is increased, the force applied will decrease for the same torque.
For Eg: At point A Force applied is 20N at a distance of 1m. However, the force is reduced at point B
to 10N at a distance of 2m. The torque applied at both the points A and B is same.

3. Mechanical Concepts

3.1 Kinematics (Robot Locomotion) and Mechanism

The Robots need to move from one place to

another, and the method used to achieve this
is known as Robot Locomotion.

Interesting fact: Wheels are a human

invention and a very popular locomotion
concept in man made vehicles, which have
no inspiration in the nature

The table below shows mechanisms used to achieve locomotion, derived from their corresponding
counterparts in nature:

Human leg motion

1. Frame: This part exhibits no motion,
but holds the different components. Frame
is designed such that, it has to withstand
different kind of forces and maintain the
desired stability and alignment during
locomotion and other operations.

Principles of robot locomotion Sven Böttcher

2. Joints: Movable connection between links called as kinematic pair (pin, sliding joint, cam joint)
that imposes constrains on the motion.
Example: There are different types of joints, in order to achieve different kinds of motion
transmission from one link to another as shown in the image below. The complex humanoid robots
as in the image below, also is made up of combination of elementary joints.

3. Links: Individual parts, which are used to create the rigid connection between two or more
elements of different Kinematic Pair are called Links. (springs aren’t links as they are elastic)
Example: The robotic manipulator usually employed in industries for pick and place operations, has
three links and two joints as shown in image below. When link 0 moves, it makes Link 1 and 2 to
move respectively. (A four bar chain is another important example)

A robot has a lot of links and joints Different types of joints

Links of a four bar mechanism A robotic manipulator

Kinematic Pair: Connection between two bodies that imposes constraints on their relative movement.
Example: A typical example of a kinematic pair is nut and bolt, the motion of nut is constrained a
relative to bolt and vice versa. In the second example, we can observe five kinematic chains in our own
palm, which nature has built systematically, so that we can perform operations like gripping. Hence,
number of joints between the bones, constrain the relative motion as per the signals sent from our brain.
This is done similarly in robots to perform a specific operation.

Kinematic Chains: It refers to an assembly of rigid bodies connected by joints that is mathematical
model for a mechanical systems
A chain doesn’t only mean a chain of a bike. A chain is a combination or a group of links and
kinematic pairs connected together in order to create a system that can do useful work.

Kinematic Pair is basically a connection between two physical objects, in order to constrain its direction of motion.

A link and chain of a bike Human hand has Kinematic chain

3.2 Degree of freedom (DOF)

Generally, DOF is defined as the number

of independent co-ordinates required to
specify completely, the position and
orientation of a particle in space. For a
mechanism, the number of possible
independent relative motions between the
pieces of the mechanism. The position and
orientation of any body in 3D space is
given by 3 components of translation and 3
components of rotation, which makes up
the total sum of 6 DOF for this body. Thus,
when you imagine of a ship or an airplane
(in flight only) you can visualize 6 DOF.
Example: A train as a whole or the bogies
as individuals have single degree of
freedom, as their respective position is
constrained by the shape of tracks, to move
only in single direction. Basically, we need
only one value to determine the position of
the train, hence DOF is 1.
In the figures below, we can see two
systems one is a simple pick and place
robot and other is a complex foot of a
human. The robot has 3 DOF (angular) To show a simple illustration, take a cell
which is easily seen in the figure. The foot phone. It has three axes. They are X, Y
of a human (portion displayed in figure) and Z. So, if the cell phone is moved
also has 3 DOF as shown in the figure. along an axis (horizontally or vertically),
then the motion is called translational.
Since it can be moved in 3 axes, it has 3
translational motions.
Similarly, now rotate the phone along
any of the axis. Now the phone has
rotational motion. Since it can rotated
along 3 axes, it has 3 rotational motion
i.e. it can be rotated in three different
So adding 3 Translational motions and 3
Rotational motions, we can say that a
cell phone has 6 degrees of freedom
A phone with axes (DOF).

3.3 Introduction to Engineering Drawing

Visual communications are considered as one of the best modes of communication. Accordingly,
there are two types of drawings – artistic and technical. People of same profession to exchange or
convey messages in a standardized technical form use technical drawings. For Mechanical
Engineers, it is called as Engineering Drawing. There are set of rules and standards, which
engineering drawing must comply with, for example precision, accuracy, symbols, conventions,
scale, nomenclature etc.

A car sketch A car dimensions in engineering drawing

The figures above depict free hand drawing of a car on the left hand side and engineering drawing
of a car on the right hand side. Well, you may easily understand the difference between both. At
first sight, engineering drawing may seem very complex to understand, however in engineering you
will be trained systematically to read and draw these kinds of drawings, with which you will
discover that engineering drawings are much simpler!

A Sketch You Can Try!

Earlier, there were instruments to draw engineering drawings, today there are advanced 3D software
which are preferred for ease of use.

Geometric Instruments Designing Software

Modeling Software Animation Software

How Engineering drawings are visualized and drawn?

Now, you might have studied the basics of optics and how human eyes see things in the surroundings.
So, we all know that basically light ray falls on an object and reflects which enables us to see that
particular object. In continuation to this concept, here we define Line of sight (LOS) which is nothing
but an imaginary ray of light between the observer’s eye and object. There are two types of LOS
namely, parallel projection and perspective projection.

You can observe that the imaginary rays of light are mainly drawn from the edges; this is because the
observer is viewing the objects in the figure standing perpendicular to it. Let’s move a step further to
know what the term projection means. In the next figure, you can observe an imaginary plane (called
as plane of projection) on which the 2 dimensional projections of the same objects are plotted. The
plot is simply the lines connecting the points, where LOS (Line Of Sight) passes through the plane of
projection. This plot is engineering drawing!

Note: The perspective projection is not used by engineers due to difficulty of creation and
inaccurate shapes and dimensions.

The three steps below will help you Apart from the above stated steps, there are
understand how the projection are drawn many other rules for engineering drawing.
However these basics will provide you with a
good head start towards engineering drawing.
The plot above must be
drawn and represented
with specific rules and
in terms of orthographic
(Greek word for
drawings) projection.
projection show the
objects as they appear
from front view, side
view and top view

4. Electronic and Electricals

4.1 Electronics

Are you thinking about building your own electronic gizmos? Ever wondered how transistors,
capacitors, and other building blocks of electronics work? Do you have an interest in finding out how to
solder or make your own circuit boards? Well, this is the key that opens the fun and exciting door of
modern electronics. No dry and boring time, this; what you hold in your hands is a book that gives you
just what you need to know to make and troubleshoot your own electronic gadgets.

Electronics is fun! You get to build things that beep, whir, flash lights, and even move around the room.
You acquire skills so that you can work with neat tools and proudly hold your head up at any gathering
of electronics geeks.
And don’t forget that electronic products are all around us. They make up a growing part of our lives.
Some people are content just accepting these gadgets, gizmos, and widgets, but others want to know
how they all work. Obviously, you’re in that second group, which is definitely the cooler group out
there. With a computer or mobile, you can build something that controls the lighting in your entire
house, a robot that cleans the living room all on its own, or a sensor system that sounds an alarm if
somebody tries to get at your collection of 1950s comic books!

Here’s The Amazing Part: You can make electronic gadgets that do these things for just a couple of
bucks, unless you’re constructing a time machine, or the world’s largest robotic rabbit. The typical
home-brewed electronics project costs less than dinner for four, at a no-frills restaurant. If you’re
looking for a cool hobby, electronics is one of the least expensive ones around.
Before you jump into playing with wires and batteries, it is important to understand what puts the
“elec” in electricity and electronics

Electrons are one of the building
blocks of nature. Electrons are
buddies with another building block
of nature i.e. protons. Electrons and
protons are very small and are
contained in . . . well, everything.
Even a speck of dust contains millions
and millions of electrons and protons,
so you can imagine how many there
are in your average sumo wrestler! Atom structure

Electrons and protons have equal and opposite

electric charges, with electrons having the
negative charge and protons with positive
charge. Opposite charges are attracted to each
other (law of nature). Electrostatic force (also
called Coulomb’s law) is a force that operates
between charges. It states that charges of the
same type repel each other, while charges of
opposite types are attracted together.
Opposites attract, and likes repel. You can
visualize a similar type of attraction by putting
the ends of two magnets (opposite poles i.e.
North pole and South pole) together, and they
repel when same poles are put together.
Thanks to the electrostatic force, electrons will
Atom structure
push away other electrons and be attracted to

This force is part of the “glue” that holds

atoms together, but it’s also the tool we need to
make electrons (and charges) flow! Although
protons stay reasonably static, electrons are
adventurous little fellows who don’t like to just
sit around at home. They can, and often do,
move from one object to another. Walk across
a carpet on a dry day and touch a doorknob;
electrons traveling between your finger and the
doorknob cause the spark that you feel.
Lightning is another example of electrons
traveling between two things — in this case,
between a cloud and the ground. These
examples both show electricity in an Flow of electrons in atoms to form electricity
unharnessed state.

The main difference between electrical Most modern appliances use a combination of
and electronic circuits is that electrical electronic and electrical circuitry. A washing
circuits have no decision making machine has an electrical circuit comprising of a
(processing) capability, while electronic plug socket, fuse, on/off switch, heater and motor,
circuits do. An electric circuit simply which rotates the drum. The desired wash cycle
powers machines with electricity. and temperature are inputted by the user via the
However, an electronic circuit can control panel. These instructions are interpreted by
interpret a signal or an instruction, and electronic circuits, which have been designed and
perform a task to suit the circumstance. programmed to understand what the user would
For example, a microwave oven often like based on what buttons have been pressed.
bleeps when it has finished cooking, to When the electronic circuit has interpreted these
inform the user that his or her meal is commands, it sends signals to the electrical circuit
ready. to operate the heater and motor, to heat and rotate
the drum, for the time required.

Electrical components don’t have Decision making capability so electronic components makes decision for electrical components

Most electronic components are very small, and require small direct current (DC) voltages. A single
micro-processor, which will fit on the end of your finger, may contain hundreds or thousands of tiny
components, some of which are only a few atoms wide! Electrical components tend to be larger, and use
alternating current (AC) voltages. Whilst most electronic components operate on 3-12 volts DC,
electrical appliances require 230 volts AC. In factories and power stations, however, components may
require up to 11,000 volts, and most electricity travels around the UK at 400,000 volts!
Some products, such as computers, have far more electronic components than electrical components.
Large industrial sites such as factories or power stations, however, have far more electrical components.

The link between electronic and electrical circuits is typically provided by relays or transistors. These
are essentially switches but, rather than being pushed manually like a light switch, they are operated by
a small current from an electronic circuit. Therefore, a small circuit - often with many tiny components
-can be used to operate much larger electrical equipment. This makes using household and industrial
products safer, and means they are smaller and more energy efficient.

Electronic Components Electrical Components

Relays are mechanical devices which, when a small current is applied from an electronic circuit, a
metal contactor closes the electrical circuit, allowing a much larger current to pass. Relays were
however large and unreliable, and tended to require a lot of current. After repeated use, the moving
parts become worn and stop functioning correctly. Transistors, however, can be made much smaller
and require tiny amounts of current, and have no moving parts. The transistor was invented in 1948,
and is arguably the most important invention of the last 100 years.

Q: What do electrons use to travel from one place to another?

A: Conductor. Electricity is simply the movement of electrons through a conductor.

Electron flow in a circuit

Now we know how electrons
move in a conductor. But, some
kind of force is responsible to
pull these electrons from one
place to another. This attractive
force between positive and
negative charges is an
electromotive force called
Voltage. Negative electrons
move towards positive voltage
through a conductor.
Marbles in sand Marbles on an ice rink

In plastic, even though all the Hence, commonly used

You may have noticed the
electrons are moving around good conductors are
we stopped talking about
their proton buddies, they Copper, Aluminum, etc.,
protons. Although you
pretty much stay in their own and insulators are Plastic,
should understand the
backyard. But in metal, the Glass, etc.,. The
positive and negative
electrons are free to move all displacement or movement
charges in protons and
over the place. Free electrons of the electrons is opposed
electrons, we are focusing
in metal acts like marbles or limited by property of
on electron because they
thrown into an ice - skating material called Resistance.
are more mobile than
rink (Blade). The electrons Thus the flow of electrons
protons. In most cases, it is
glide through the metal like in a circuit is controlled by
electrons and their
the marbles slide across the Resistors.
negative charge that move
ice. Plastic, an insulator, is through conductors and
more like sand. Marbles don’t generate electricity. But in
go much of anywhere if you special cases, such as Say that you have a wire (a
throw them into a sandbox, batteries, positive charge conductor), and you attach
and neither do electrons in an also moves through one end to the positive
Insulator. conductors. terminal of a battery and
the other end to the
negative terminal of the
battery, electrons then flow
through the wire from the
negative to the positive
terminal. This flow of
electrons is referred to as
an electric current.

Electro motive force

To help you picture how conductors and voltage affect the flow of electric current in a wire, think of
how water pressure and pipe diameter affect the flow of water through a pipe. Here’s how this analogy

Using a larger diameter pipe allows more

Increasing water pressure causes more water
water to flow through the pipe for a given
to flow through the pipe. This is analogous to
amount of pressure. This is analogous to using
increasing voltage, which causes more
wire with a larger diameter, which allows
electrons to flow, producing greater electric
more electrons to flow for a given voltage,
producing greater electric current.

Electricity is created when voltage pulls an electric current through a conductor. But when you sit
down and run a wire between a switch and a light, just where do you get the juice (the electricity) to
power that light?
There are many different sources of electricity — everything from the old walking-across-a-carpet-and-
touching-a-doorknob kind to solar power. But to make your life simple, this book takes a look at one of
the most used power source that you’re likely to use for electronics projects.

Batteries: A battery uses a process called electrochemical reaction to produce a positive voltage at one
terminal and a negative voltage at the other terminal. The battery creates these charges by placing two
different metals in a certain type of chemical. Because this isn’t a chemistry book, we don’t get into the
guts of a battery here — but trust us, this is essentially what goes on.

Batteries have two terminals (a terminal is just a fancy word for a piece of metal to which you can hook
up wires). You often use batteries to supply electricity to devices that are portable, such as a flashlight.
In a flashlight, the bulb has two wires running to the battery, one to each terminal. What happens next?
Something like this:

Voltage pulls electrons through the wire from The electrons moving through the wire pass
the negative terminal of the battery to the through the wire filament in the light bulb,
positive terminal. causing the bulb to light up.

Because the electrons move in only one direction, from the negative terminal through the wires to the
positive terminal, the electric current generated by a battery is called direct current, or DC. This is in
contrast to alternating current (AC).
The wires on a battery must be connected to both terminals. This setup allows electrons to flow from
one terminal of the battery, through the bulb, and to the other terminal of the battery. Making a flow
through the circuit.

Static Electricity Current Electricity

Static electricity often happens when When electrons move, they carry electrical energy
you rub things together. Lightning is from one place to another. This is called current
also caused by static electricity. As rain electricity or an electric current. A lightning bolt is
clouds move through the sky, they rub one example of an electric current, although it does
against the air around them. This not last very long. Static electricity and current
makes them build up a huge electric electricity are like potential energy and kinetic energy.
charge. Eventually, when the charge is When electricity gathers in one place, it has the
big enough, it leaps to Earth as a bolt of potential to do something in the future. Electricity
lightning. You can often feel the stored in a battery is an example of electrical potential
tingling in the air when a storm is energy. You can use the energy in the battery to
brewing nearby. This is the electricity power a flashlight, for example. When you switch on a
in the air around you flashlight, the battery inside begins to supply electrical
energy to the lamp, making it give off light.

Lightning bolts due to electric charge accumulation A simple static electricity demo. TRY IT!!!

A Simple Choice: AC or DC

AC costs less to generate and send over transmission lines

than DC. That’s why you use AC for many household
electricity needs, such as powering light bulbs and heaters.
However, DC is simpler to use for the projects discussed in
this book (and many other electronics applications). It’s
just plain harder to control AC current because you don’t
know which way it’s headed at any point in time. It’s the
difference between controlling traffic on a two-way, six-
lane highway, and controlling traffic on a one-lane, one-
way street. So, most of the circuit you read about in this
book use direct current.

The current (I) through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to
Ohm’s Law the voltage (V) across the two points and inversely proportional to resistance (R)
offered to flow of current across those points. (I=V/R)

If you are wiring a circuit, you should know the amount of current that the component can withstand
without blowing up and how much voltage the power source applies. So, basically you have to come
up with an amount of resistance that keeps the current below the blowing-up level. In the early 1800s,
George Ohm published an equation called Ohm’s Law that allows you to make this calculation.
So far, so good. Now, take a specific example using a circuit with a 12-volt battery and a light bulb
(basically, a big flashlight). Before installing the battery, you measure the resistance of the circuit
with a multimeter and find that it’s 9 ohms. Here’s the formula to calculate the current:
𝑽 𝟏𝟐 𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒕𝒔
I= = = 1.3 amps
𝑹 𝟗 𝒐𝒉𝒎𝒔

Ohm (never one to sit around twiddling his thumbs) also expressed that power is related to voltage
and current using this equation:
P = V x I; or Power = Voltage X Current
You can also use algebra to rearrange the equation for power to show how you can calculate
resistance, voltage, and current if you know power and any one of these parameters.

A depiction of Ohm’s law.

4.2 Basic Electronic Components

4.2.1 Capacitors (Reservoir of Electricity)

Capacitors are interesting little gadgets. They

store electrons by attracting them to a positive
voltage. When the voltage is reduced or
removed, the electrons move off. Though they
many sound complicated because of all the
things that you can use them for, capacitors are
really very simple devices. The typical
capacitor has two metal plates inside it. The
plates don’t touch. Instead, a dielectric
material, which is a fancy term for an insulator,
separates the plates. Common dielectrics used
in capacitors include plastic, mica, and paper. Capacitors

Capacitor Schematics Capacitor Cross Section

Creating timers: A kind of electronic tick - Smoothing Out Voltage: Power supplies
tock, a timer most often pairs up with a that convert AC current to DC often use
resistor to control the speed of the tick- capacitors to help smooth out the voltage so
tick-tick. that the voltage stays at a nice constant

Blocking DC Current: When connected

inline (in series) with a signal source, such Adjusting Frequency: You use capacitors
as a microphone, capacitors block DC to make simple filters that reject AC signals
current but pass AC current. Most kinds of above or below some desired frequency. By
amplifiers use this function. adjusting the value of the capacitor, it’s
possible for you to change the cut-off
frequencies of the filter.

4.2.2 Diode Mania

From the images, you would have definitely seen a LED (Light Emitting Diode), its one application of a
diode. A diode has two electrodes – anode and cathode. Diodes can be used as rectifiers, signal limiters,
voltage regulators, switches, signal modulators, signal mixers, signal demodulators, and oscillators. The
fundamental property of a diode is its tendency to conduct electric current in only one direction. When
the cathode is negatively charged relative to the anode at a voltage greater than a certain minimum
called forward break over, then current flows through the diode. Electrons can go through the diode in
one direction but not in the other. A variety of applications use diodes and these diodes fall into
numerous subtypes. Here is a list of the most common diodes:

Zener: These puppies limit voltage to a pre- Light-emitting diode (LED): All semiconductors
determined amount. You can build a voltage emit infrared light when they conduct current.
regulator for your circuit cheaply and easily with a LEDs emit visible light. Now available in all the
Zener diode. 
colors of the rainbow.

Silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR): The SCR is Bridge rectifier: This component consists of
a type of switch used to control AC or DC four diodes, connected one to the other to form
currents. They’re common in light dimmer a kind of box shape; it rectifies AC to DC with
 
switches. maximum efficiency.

Rectifier: This basic diode transforms (referred to as “rectifying”) AC current to

DC current only. (Remember: AC current alternates between both positive and negative
values. DC current does not alternate, and is only positive or negative. Diodes are often
referred to as rectifiers because they perform this rectifying function


Imagine the world without a simple transistor. Radios would all be the size of a toaster oven. Cell phones
would be the size of a washing machine. And today’s super-fast computers would be the size of . . . an
Transistors were developed as an alternative to the vacuum tube. The two main ways that you can use
transistors (or vacuum tubes, for that matter) are to amplify a signal or to switch a signal on and off.
Besides its small size, a transistor has another advantage — it uses less power than a vacuum tube to
accomplish the same job.
With creative connections in a circuit, you can also use transistors to switch or amplify voltages. This
fancy circuit work can confuse you when you’re studying circuits involving transistors. Transistors are
very complex little critters, so we just talk about the basic types you encounter when you begin working
in the electronics world, what they look like, and other getting-to-know- you details in this book.

Note: Millions of individual transistors make up the microprocessor at the heart of your home
computer. Without transistors, we would live in a world with no PCs. (Hmmm...late at night, slaving
away on my computer, I think maybe transistors aren’t such a great idea after all...)

4.2.3 Potentiometer

Variable resistors, more commonly known as

potentiometers (or in electronics slang as pots), lets
you “dial in” a resistance on the go!
Potentiometer can be operated from a low value
(say 0 ohms) to high value (say 50,000 ohms) as per
its specification; this is called as range of resistance.
Bear in mind that the range on the potentiometer is
approximate only. If the potentiometer lacks
markings, you need to use a multi-meter to figure
out the component’s value. With the dial type of
potentiometer, you can rotate the dial nearly 360
degrees. Your television volume control or electric
blanket control are typical examples of the dial pot. Potentiometer

Dial of Potentiometer

4.2.4 Integrated Circuits

All the components that we mention in the earlier sections of this chapter come just one package.
Electronics mavens call them discrete components, meaning separate. (Don’t confuse the word with
discreet which means minding your own business.)
Enter the integrated circuit, the true marvel of the 20th century. Also called a chip or IC, these
amazing creations are miniature circuit boards produced on a single piece of semiconductor. A typical
integrated circuit contains hundreds of transistors, resistors, diodes, and capacitors. Because of this
circuit efficiency, you can build really complex circuits with just a couple of parts. ICs are the building
blocks of larger circuits. You string them together to form just about any electronic device you can
think up.
The way that all the components are wired inside an IC determines what the IC does. You can either
solder the IC directly into the circuit board or mount it in a socket. Among the most popular form-
factors for integrated circuits is the dual in-line pin (DIP) package.

By their nature, integrated circuits require multiple connections to a circuit. These connections are
called pins. One pin may be for power, another for ground, another for input, yet another for output,
and so forth. The function of each pin is referred to as Pinout. The pinout isn’t printed on the top of the
integrated circuit. In order to use the IC in a project you have to look up the pinout in the data sheet
for the integrated circuit. You can find these data sheets for most common (and many uncommon) ICs
on the Internet. Use a Google or Yahoo! search to help you locate them.

In order to identify what each pin is for, by convention, the pins on an IC are numbered counter
clockwise, starting with the upper-left pin closest to the clocking mark. The clocking mark is usually a
notch, but it can also be a little dimple, or white or coloured stripe. The pins are numbered looking
down from the top of the IC, starting from 1. So, for example, the pins of a 14-pin IC are numbered 1
through 7 down the left side and 8 through 14 up the right side, as you can see in diagram.

IC (Integrated Circuit) Pin Numbering

Schematic diagrams show the connections to integrated circuits in one of two ways:
1. Some schematic diagrams show an outline of the IC with numbers beside each pin. The numbers
correspond to the clocked pinout of the device. (Remember, start with 1 in the upper left and go
counterclockwise.) You can easily wire up an IC with these kinds of diagrams because you don’t need
to look up the device in a book or data sheet. Just make sure that you follow the schematic and that you

count the pins properly.
2. If the schematic lacks pin numbers, you need to find a copy of the pinout diagram. For standard ICs, you can
find these diagrams in reference books and online; for non-standard ICs, you have to visit the
manufacturer’s Web site to get the data sheet.

Note: You can always make a reference copy of the pinout, even if the schematic includes the pin
numbers. With this copy, you can double-check your work (and the schematic) to help ensure
accuracy. The schematic may have numbered the pins incorrectly, and you can save yourself a lot of
trouble and frustration by checking the schematic against the pinout diagram.

4.2.5 Sensors

As the name itself suggest, these components are used for detecting events or changes in environment;
which can be visualized as our skin which senses the temperature, touch etc. Certain electrical
components generate a current when they are exposed to light or sound. This current can be used
together with a few of the components listed in the previous sections that control electricity, to turn on
or off electronic devices, such as light bulbs or speakers.
Motion detectors, light sensors, microphones, and temperature sensors all generate an electrical signal
in response to a stimulus (motion, light, sound, or temperature, respectively). These signals can then be
used to turn other things on or off or even use for other purposes. A high signal level might turn
something on and a low signal level turn something off. For example, when a salesperson walks up to
your house, a motion detector can turn on a light (or better yet, sound an alarm). A very simple
illustration of a temperature sensor is thermometer, which you are aware of!
The output signals of a sensor may be in different forms, depending on the component supplying them.
For example, a microphone supplies an AC signal, and a temperature sensor supplies a DC signal.

Ultrasonic Sensor Advanced Driver Assistance System

The above figure on left hand side is an ultra-sonic sensor which reads the distance between itself and
objects ahead by sending transmitting ultra-sonic waves. You can see two round shaped tubes in this
device, one send the waves and the other receives the waves, this receiver sends the delay in terms of
pulses to IC’s, which further computes the distance. On the right hand side, you can see the advanced
driver assistance systems employed (ADAS) in cars today, which assist the driver for a safe driving.
There are 100’s of sensors in today’s cars, which range from braking sensors to acceleration sensors.

4.3 Robotic Prime Movers

4.3.1 Introduction

In this chapter, we will discuss the various prime movers that can be used to power and control a
robot. For small hobby robots, DC motor are used as the prime movers. In industrial robots other
kinds of prime movers like hydraulics, pneumatics is used based on the specific application of the
robot. We will restrict our discussion to DC motors and servo motors for this training.
For a robot to move on the ground it needs wheels and some amount of force has to be applied in
order to move the robot. This means we have to generate mechanical energy but, we all know that
“energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another
form”. The motor converts electric energy into mechanical energy.

Prime movers are any machines (or component of a machine) that converts
energy from a source energy, into mechanical energy, usually, as a power
Prime Movers source providing traction to move a vehicle.
E.g.: The prime mover of a car is its engine

Roll-Royce Engine Motor and wheel assembly

Think It
What other forms of energy can be converted into mechanical energy?
What is the prime mover used in a robot?

4.3.2 DC Motor

A DC motor in simple words is a device that

converts direct current (electrical energy) into
mechanical energy. DC motors have a wide range of
applications, which include Automotive, aerospace,
robotics, automation of mechanical systems etc. The
image below illustrates a simple DC motor that is
used in our project, to enable the movement of the
A Simple DC motor mainly consists of five
important parts, namely:
1. Rotor coils
2. Stator magnets Brushes
3. Commentators’ DC Motor
4. Shaft

Working principle of a DC motor

In a DC motor, an armature rotates inside a magnetic field. Basic working principle of DC motor is
from Fleming’s left hand rule. It is based on the based on the fact that whenever a current carrying
conductor is placed inside a magnetic field, there will be mechanical force experienced by that
conductor. All kinds of DC motors work in this principle only. Hence for constructing a DC motor it
is essential to establish a magnetic field. The magnetic field is obviously established by means of
magnet. The magnet can by any types i.e. it may be electromagnet or it can be permanent magnet.
When permanent magnet is used to create magnetic field in a DC motor, the motor is referred as
permanent magnet DC motor or PMDC motor. Have you ever uncovered any battery operated toy, if
you did, you had obviously found a battery operated motor inside it.

Working Principle of DC Motor Fleming’s left hand rule

This battery operated motor is nothing but a permanent magnet dc motor or PMDC motor. These
types of motor are essentially simple in construction. These motors are commonly used as starter
motor in automobiles, windshield wipers, washer, for blowers used in heaters and air conditioners, to
raise and lower windows, it also extensively used in toys. As the magnetic field strength of a
permanent magnet is fixed it cannot be controlled externally, field control of this type of dc motor
cannot be possible. Thus permanent magnet DC motor is used where there is no need of speed control
of motor by means of controlling its field. Small fractional and sub fractional kW motors are now
constructed with permanent magnets.


Electric motors are used to “actuate” something in your robot: its wheels, legs, tracks, arms, fingers, sensor
turrets, or weapon systems. There are literally dozens of types of electric motors (and many more if you
count gasoline and other fueled engines), but for amateur robotics, the choice comes down to these three:

1. In a continuous DC motor, application of power causes the shaft to rotate continually. The shaft
stops only when the power is removed, or if the motor is stalled because it can no longer drive the load
attached to it.
2. In a stepping motor, applying power causes the shaft to rotate a few degrees, then stop. Continuous
rotation of the shaft requires that the power be pulsed to the motor. With continuous DC motors,
there are sub-types of stepping motors. Permanent magnet steppers are the ones you’ll likely
encounter, and they are also the easiest to use.
3. A special “subset” of continuous motors is the servo motor, which in typical cases combines a
continuous DC motor with a “feedback loop” to ensure accurate positioning. There are many, many
types of servo motors; a common form is the kind used in model and hobby radio-controlled cars and
With three common motor types for amateur robots to pick from — DC, stepper, and servo — it can
be hard to know which one is best. The answer is not simple, because each motor type has its own pros
and cons.


Motor Type Pros Cons

Requires gear reduction to
Wide selection available, both provide torques needed for most
new and used- Easy to control via robotic applications. Poor
Continuous DC computer with relays or standards in sizing and mounting
electronic switches. With arrangements.
gearbox, larger DC motors can
power a 200 pound robot.
Does not require gear reduction Poor performance under varying
to power at low speeds. Low cost loads. Not great for robot
when purchased on the surplus locomotion over uneven surfaces.
Stepper market. Dynamic braking effect Consumes high current. Needs
achieved by leaving coils of special driving circuit to provide
stepper motor energized (motor stepping rotation.
will not turn, but will lock in
Least expensive non-surplus Requires modification for
source for gear motors. Can be continuous rotation. Requires
used for precise angular control, special driving circuit. Though
R/C servo* or for continuous rotation (the more powerful servos are
latter requires modification). available, practical weight limit
Available in several standard for powering a robot is about 10
sizes with standard mounting pounds.

Note: All motors are available in different sizes.
Small motors are engineered for applications where compactness is valued over torque. While there are
small high-torque motors, these tend to be expensive because they use rare earth magnets, high efficiency
bearings, and other features that add to their cost.
Large motors may produce more torque, but also require higher currents. High current motors require
larger capacity batteries, and bigger control circuits that won’t overheat and burn out under the load.
Therefore, match the size of the motor with the rest of the robot. Don’t overload a small robot with a large
motor when big size isn’t important.
When you decided on the size of the motor, compare available torque with any gear reduction. Gear
reduction always increases torque. The increase in torque is proportional to the amount of gear
reduction: if the reduction is 3:1, the torque is increased by about three times (but not quite, because of
frictional losses).

4.4 Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers have only been with us for a few decades but their impact (direct or indirect) on our
lives is profound. Usually these are supposed to be just data processors performing exhaustive
numeric operations. However their presence is unnoticed at most of the places like
1. At supermarkets in Cash Registers, Weighing Scales, etc.
2. At home in Ovens, Washing Machines, Alarm Clocks, etc.
3. At play in Toys, VCRs, Stereo Equipment, etc.
4. At office in Typewriters, Photocopiers, Elevators, etc.
5. In industry in Industrial Automation, safety systems, etc.
6. On roads in Cars and the most of the robots.
What’s inside these machines that make them smart? The answer is microcontroller. A
microcontroller can be referred as the brain of a robot. It is similar to humans remembering the
instructions thought to them and to follow. E.g.: Brushing your teeth every morning. Every robot has
to be designed and instructed to do specific tasks. This instruction is given to a microcontroller for e.g.
Consider a small RC car, whenever you press accelerate button the microcontroller tells the motors
present at the wheel to rotate fast in forward direction.

Integrated Development board with microcontroller

4.5 How Electricity Becomes Electronics

When you need to use electricity to make

something work, such as a boom box, you’ve
entered the world of electronic gadgets. No
doubt you’re eager to start making your own
electronic gadgets. We cover the basics of how
electronics and gadgets interact in the following
A Car sensor depiction

To create a simple circuit, a breadboard is used. The breadboard has slots to insert electronic parts
(also called components), using wires to build a circuit that is necessary. These boards don’t need any
soldering of wires and are relatively safe and easy for operation.

Interesting fact: So why do we call this electronic “circuit builder” a breadboard? Many years ago, when
electronics were big and bulky, people would grab their mom’s breadboard, a few nails or thumbtacks,
and start connecting wires onto the board to give themselves a platform on which circuits were built. Since
then, electronic components have gotten a lot smaller, and we’ve come up with better ways to connect
circuits, making moms all over the world happy to have their breadboards back.

Creating a simple circuit

1. Put the LED on the breadboard
2. Put a jumper wire on the anode side
and one leg of the resistor on the
cathode side of LED
3. Insert the wire on the positive power
bus and other leg of the resistor on the
negative power bus.

Tools to measure things

When building or troubleshooting a circuit, you need to

make measurements to check that the parts are working the
way they should and that you have designed and built the
circuit correctly. Tools that are used to measure things
include a multi-meter, an oscilloscope, and a logic probe.
We’ll take a moment to briefly tell you what you can use a
multi-meter for, because it’s the measuring tool that you buy
first and possibly the only one that you ever need.
Say you build a circuit, and you’ve turned it on. What if
the circuit doesn’t work? With a multi-meter, you can find
out which part of the circuit is causing the problem. You
can measure voltage, resistance, and current at different
points on the circuit. For example, if there are 5 volts at
one location on the circuit and further along at another
location your voltage suddenly drops to 0 volts for no
logical reason you can make a good guess that your
problem lies between those two locations. You can then
check (after the power is disconnected, please!) for loose
wires or damaged parts between those two locations.

The Wonderful World of Units

To understand the results of your multi-meter measurements, you need to understand electrical
units. In the following sections, we run through the basics with you.

Measuring Things In Units

Units simply tell you how much of

something you have. For example,
when you buy apples, you measure
how much they weigh in kilograms
(kgs). Similarly, a multi-meter
measures resistance in ohms, voltage
in volts, and current in amperes
(amps for short
Units and Abbreviations Used In Electronics

Note: WELL WELL! You might be wondering, where the robotics stuff starts, right!!??
Good news: You almost read about its fundamentals in the previous sections! So, basically general
procedure to make a robot is summed up as below:

Step 1 – Getting Started

Step 2 – Do the math!
Step 3 – Choosing a Robotic Platform
Step 4 – Making Sense of Actuators
Step 5 – Controlling your Robot
Step 6 – Using Sensors
Step 7 – Programming a Robot
Step 8 – Assembling a Robot

Don’t the above steps seem familiar to you by now? Let’s take a quick ride of all the topics
mentioned above…

Step 1 – Getting Started

Robot is defined as an electromechanical device, which is capable of reacting in some way to
its environment, and take autonomous decisions or actions in order to achieve a specific

Step – Do the
This 2means math!
that a toaster, a lamp, or a car would not be considered as robots, since they
have noconsidering
Firstly, way of perceiving
that you their
chooseenvironment. On the
to make a mobile other
robot, thenhand, a vacuum
you will have to cleaner that
choose the can
navigate around
movers that will bea used
room,to or a solar
make panelmobile.
the robot that seeks thewe
Hence, sun,
willcan bethe
need considered as a with
prime mover robotic
system. Although
required this definition
power to make is quiteWrite
the robot mobile. general,
downitthemight need to(asked
parameters evolve
in in
thethe future
input field in
the to keep up
calculator) withyour
as per the desired
latest advancement in the
robot, you can field.
do approximations here, but keep the tolerance
level as low as possible. In the output field of the calculator, you will find the values for your desired

Note: We are providing an online calculator for the convenience of students, but students are
encouraged to find the respective equations being used and understand their significance. To access the
calculator, go to the link:

Step 3 – Choosing a Robotic Platform
Primary step: The first step is to determine what your robot should do (i.e. what is its purpose in
Now, it is time to decide on the type of robot you are going to build. A custom robot design often
starts with a “vision” of what the robot will look like and what it will do. The types of robots
possible are unlimited.

Step 4 – Making Sense of Actuators

An “actuator” can be defined as a device that converts energy (in robotics, that energy tends to be
electrical) into physical motion. The vast majority of actuators produce either rotational or linear
motion. For instance, a “DC motor” is therefore a type of actuator.
Linear Actuators: A linear actuator produces linear motion (motion along one straight line) and
have three main distinguishing mechanical characteristics: the minimum and maximum distance
the rod can move “a.k.a. the “stroke”, in mm or inches), their force (in Kg or lbs), and their speed
(in m/s or inch/s).
Rotational Actuators: As the name indicates, this type of actuators transform electrical energy into
a rotating motion. There are two main mechanical parameters distinguishing them from one
1. Torque, the force they can produce at a given distance (usually expressed in N.m or,
2. The rotational speed (usually measured in revolutions per minutes, or rpm)

Ac Motor DC Motor Geared DC Motor R/C Servo Motor Stepper Motor

DC Linear Actuators Solenoid Pneumatic and Hydraulic Actuators

Choosing an Actuators

1. Is the actuator being used to move a wheeled robot?

Drive motors must move the weight of the entire robot and will most likely require a gear down. Most
robots use “skid steering” while cars or trucks tend to use rack-and-pinion steering. If you choose skid
steering, DC gear motors are the ideal choice for robots with wheels or tracks as they provide
continuous rotation, and can have optional position feedback using optical encoders and are very easy
to program and use. If you want to use rack-and-pinion, you will need one drive motor (DC gear is also
suggested) and one motor to steer the front wheels). For steering, since the rotation required is
restricted to a specific angle, an R/C servo would be the logical choice.

2. Is the motor being used to lift or turn a heavy weight?

Lifting a weight requires significantly more power than moving a weight on a flat surface. Speed must
be sacrificed in order to gain torque and it is best to use a gearbox with a high gear ratio and powerful
DC motor or a DC linear actuator. Consider using system (either with worm gears, or clamps) that
prevents the mass from falling in case of a power loss.

3. Is the range of motion limited to 180 degrees?

If the range is limited to 180 degrees and the torque required is not significant, an R/C servo motor is
ideal. Servo motors are offered in a variety of different torques and sizes and provide angular position
feedback (most use a potentiometer, and some specialized ones use optical encoders). R/C servos are
used more and more to create small walking robots.

4. Does the angle need to be very precise?

Stepper motors and geared stepper motors (coupled with a stepper motor controller) can offer very
precise angular motion. They are sometimes preferred to servo motors because they offer continuous
rotation. However, some high-end digital servo motors use optical encoders and can offer very high

5. Is the motion in a straight line?

Linear actuators are best for moving objects and positioning them along a straight line. They come in a
variety of sizes and configurations. Muscle wire should be considered only if your motion requires very
little force. For very fast motion, consider pneumatics or solenoids, and for very high forces, consider
DC linear actuators (up to about 500 pounds) and then hydraulics.

Step 8 – Assembling a Robot
1. Choose a construction material. eg: cardboard, thermocol, wood, metal sheets etc.
2. Get all the parts that your robot will require (electrical and mechanical) and measure them. If
you don’t have all your parts on hand, you can refer to the dimensions provided by
3. Brainstorm and sketch a few different designs for the frame. Don’t go into too much detail of
the sketches.
4. Once you settle on a design, make sure the structure is sound and that the components would be
well supported.
5. Draw each part of your robot in paper or cardboard at 1:1 scale (real size or with actual
dimensions). You can also draw them using CAD software and print them out.
6. Test your design in CAD and in real life with your paper prototype by test fitting each part and
7. Measure everything again! And once you are absolutely sure your design is correct, start
cutting the frame into the actual material. Remember to measure twice and cut once!
8. Test fit each component before assembling the frame in case modifications are required.
9. Go crazy and assemble your frame using hot glue, screws, nails, tape or whatever other binding
technique you choose for your robot.
10. Fit all the components onto the frame and voila: you have just created a robot from scratch!
11. Wheels to motors: Ideally, you would have chosen wheels or sprockets which are designed to fit
the shaft of the motor you chose. If not, hopefully there is a hub which fits between the two. If
you find that the wheel and motor you have chosen are not compatible with one another and
cannot find a suitable hub, you may need to find another hub which connects to the wheel but
has a smaller bore, you would then drill out the hub’s bore to the same diameter as the shaft.

Cut Cardboard as Per Your Frame Design Mount the Motor with Wheels on the Frame Using Glue of
Screws or Nut Bolt

Connect Motor to the Battery If You Feel Robot Is Not Balanced Use A Aster Wheel At Front

Note: Steps 5, 6 and 7 are not included in the scope of this training, as these are considerably advanced
topics and need more knowledge about electronics, sensors and programming. This training has covered
most of the mechanical fundamental concepts. With this training and better understanding of the concepts
provided in the booklet, you will be able to build a manually controlled robot to do a specific task.
Choosing Frame: You may want a lightweight frame, but you need to use expensive materials or end up too
fragile. You may want a robust or large chassis but realize it will be expensive, heavy or hard to produce.
Your “ideal” frame may be complex and take too much time to design and create when a simple frame may
have been just as good.
Materials to be used: here are many materials you can use to create a frame. You can reuse existing
products like bottles, cardboard boxes, Tupperware, cardboard (see the example below) etc.

Robot Made Using Disposable Water Bottles Robot Made Using a Toothbrush

Robot Made Using Compact Discs (CD) Robot Made Using Cardboard

Some Advanced Robots

Land Robot Track Robot Legged Robot

Ariel Plane RC Helicopter Quad Copter

Aquatic Robots Submarine Robots Swimming Robots

Miscellaneous Robots