How to Build an Autonomous Robot

by Andy Kirmayer

Autonomous robots can do things without being controlled by humans. They have sensors for detecting various environmental factors such as temperature, sound and light. Building an autonomous robot can take some time to do, especially if you have never built one before. It can be fun and educational at the same time. You can build a robot from a kit that can be bought, or from scratch. If building an autonomous robot from scratch, you will have to know the right parts to get and buy them separately. The effort in designing it, getting all the parts, and seeing how they all fit together is worth it when you have a working autonomous robot to use when you need it.

How to Build an Autonomous Robot

Decide what it is that you want the robot to do. Is it going to be mobile or will it be able to do its tasks from one place? Depending on its functions, you will need to determine what kind of sensors it will need. The more complex the tasks it will do, the more powerful the processor will have to be.

Draw out what it will look like, if you are designing the robot yourself. There are also computer programs that let you design parts in 3D to see how they will fit. If the robot comes in a kit, then all you have to do is follow the instructions.

Get all the parts needed to build the robot. Just like a computer, autonomous robots need a central processor. They also need motors. For these robots, sensors that detect things such as internal temperature and battery power are often used. Sensors for detection of the external environment are crucial for an autonomous robot to work.

Assemble the base, or frame, of the robot where the internal parts will be attached.

Insert the motors, processor, sensors, circuits, and batteries and/or power components.

Assemble the outer shell, if your autonomous robot has one. This protects the inside parts from damage if the robot hits something. It also stops dust and moisture from getting inside. It can be made from metal, plastic or other materials.

Program the robot if it is not pre-programmed. Some circuit boards have parts that let them be connected to computers or instruments by cable. Unless you have software that simplifies it, programming an autonomous robot requires some mathematical skill.

Test the robot to make sure it does the tasks you have programmed it to do properly. If not, errors in the programming may have to be corrected. If this doesn’t fix the problem, then check if all the parts are connected properly and if there are other mechanical problems.

About the Author

A full-time freelance writer, Andy Kirmayer started AndrewScott, Inc., a freelance writing business focused on writing for the web, in 2006. AndrewScott, Inc. provides Web content for various sites, including press releases, SEO articles, and product descriptions. Kirmayer is also a writer for an industrial marketing website as well as the independent satirical news site,