Robotics is the branch of engineering which deals with machines that can manipulate the physical world and are controlled by computer systems. Most of the knowledge on how to build robots comes from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer sciences. The shape and the mechanical design of a robot is determined by its function and operational environment.
Sensors and Actuators
Dynamics of Motion
When designing a robot you need to decide on its physical shape and the various motions you want the robot to perform with its actuators. This requires knowledge about the dynamics of the physical parts, such as
- Submarine Dynamics
- Tracked Vehicle Dynamics
- Legged Motion Dynamics
- Quadrotor Aerial Vehicle Dynamics
Some popular single-board computing platforms for doing the computational heavy-lifting in small, hobbyist robots are
Larger robots can can be equipped with desktop-class computing units like
- Intel NUC
- Mini ITX boards with desktop processors
Arduino is a popular microcontroller platform that I use as intermediate controller for certain hardware components.
- Online Course Penn State University Robotics Courses on Coursera
- Book Probabilistic Robotics by Sebastian Thrun, Wolfram Burgard, and Dieter Fox