Anatomy of a Robot

Robots come in all shapes and sizes, but they typically contain many of the the following elements:

  • Brains (Microcontroller)
    • Microcontroller boards such as Arduino
    • Embedded computers such as Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone Black
    • Full computer such as a laptop
  • Motors
    • Brushed or brushless DC motors to drive wheels
    • Servos to move arms or legs
  • Motor Driver or Controller
    • Used to interface microcontroller with motors since microcontrollers cannot provide enough current to driver motors directly
  • Sensors
    • Ultrasonic or Infrared sensors to detect obstacles
    • Physical contact sensors (switches) to detect impact
    • Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors to detect movement
    • Camera to perform computer vision tasks such as object recognition
    • Physical sensors (switches) to detect impact with an object
  • Navigation
    • GPS
    • Compass
    • Hall effect sensors
    • Line following


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