robots is great fun, but just imagine a robot that can 'think' for its
self. Adding a brain to your robot need not be a hard process, and
will allow your robot to follow instructions and rules. Basically,
robot brains come in two forms, analogue and digital.
possible to control your robots actuators (motors etc) using 'hard
wired' circuits. By making circuits from capacitors, transistors and
resistors you can make robots that can follow simple rules. For
example, if they hit a wall a simple switch positioned on the front of
the robot would be pressed in and the robot would be able to reverse
and turn, hopefully avoiding the obstacle on its next pass.
brains have their disadvantages though. They require quite a good
knowledge of electronics to design, and once they are built are very
difficult to change. If you want to change the behavior of your design
you will probably need to totally rebuild your analogue brain.
circuits are generally not recommended for beginners in electronics or
for experimental roboticists there is another option: Digital Brains
called micro controllers make perfect 'brains' for robots. They are
small computers on a single chip, containing their own memory and
processor, and can be programmed by a PC to control your robot in any
way you can imagine.
makes micro controllers so good is that they can be re programmed
again and again with just a click of a mouse. There is no need to get
the soldering iron out and start messing with components like analogue
Programming these chips is fairly easy to learn, but may take a bit of
patience to fully understand. Learning to program by sticking your
head in a textbook and trying to memorize programs is a very slow and
boring way to learn. By far the easiest way to master programming is
to have a go, work through a few tutorials and try out some examples.
By playing about and trying ideas you'll soon get an understanding of
how programs work, and how you can write your own.