How to Program a Robot

by Contributor

Robots are an amazing feat of man’s intellect. We’ve become creatures with the capabilities to make tools so advanced that they literally seem to think for themselves. It’s a far cry from the revolutionary invention of the wheel thousands of years ago. Still, no matter how robots may seem to act independently, they are all actually governed by internal reasoning created by humans as well.

How to Program a Robot

Buy a factory-built robot. There are a few different manufacturers, but the most popular and well-established maker of domestic robots is the iRobot company. You can visit their site by following the link posted below.

Set the internal clock on your factory-built robot. It may come with an atomic or radio-controlled clock already in it, which means you will only have to turn it on to set the time. Once the robot is set to the right date, schedule the times that you would like the robot to operate. For cleaning robots, it’s usually when you are away from the home. Some robots also may require the measurements of the room it is to be traveling in.

Build a robot. This step is for the far more advanced robot users. The parts and construction of a robot largely depend on what the robot’s primary function will be. If you want the robot to carry things around, it will probably look like an arm mounted on wheels. Because of the large variety of different robots and the complex nature of their construction, it is advised to seek out specific plans for the robot you wish to build.

Write the code for your robot. Again, this seems like a vague and huge task for one step, and it is. There are a couple of different programming languages you can write your code in depending on the software you are using. The code that you write will also depend on what the robots primary function is. Since you don’t want your robot to get stuck in a corner, a common piece of programming deals with what to do when in such a situation. The programming should vaguely resemble basic reasoning. For example, IF left sensor detects an object THEN turn the wheels to the right. Programming requires a lot of foresight and trial and error.

Test your programming. This is important for both factory and home-built robots. Run the robot through all possible situations it may encounter and take note of how it performs. Go back and fix the code as you see fit.