KevsRobots Learning Platform

Robotics 101

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What are the different parts of a Robot?

The Anatomy of a Robot

By Kevin McAleer,    3 Minutes

Robots is made up of lots of different parts, for example:

The machine

The Body

Houses all the parts

Robots need somewhere to house the different parts, and prevent dust or other particulates getting into inside of the robot:

  • The Brain
  • The Power source
  • The Motors
  • The Sensors

The body

The Battery

Provides power, when the robot is not connected to an external power supply.

Robots needs a battery to power the electronics including:

  • The Brain, so it can ‘think’ and run programs
  • The Motors, so it can move and react
  • The Sensors, so it can feel, see and hear

SMARS is powered by a 9v Battery


The Brain (Processor)

Runs programs, connects to sensors and motors

  • Most robots have a computer or micro-controller to perform the instructions from the program
  • The ‘brain’ could just be a simple circuit, without a central processing unit (CPU)
  • Common microcontrollers include:
    • BBC micro:bit
    • Raspberry Pi Pico
    • Arduino Uno
    • NodeMCU (ESP8266)

    SMARS uses an Arduino Uno for its brain


The Sensors

Provides information about the outside world to the Robot:

  • Robots need sensors to detect, measure and provide input to the brain so it can make decisions
  • Common sensors include:
    • Switches and buttons
    • Range finders
    • Temperature, Humidity sensors
    • Infrared & Ultrasonic sensors
    • Lasers
    • Cameras
    • Microphones

    SMARS uses an ultrasonic range finder to ‘see’


The Motors

Enable the robot to move around

  • Robots use outputs, such as Motors to move around and interact with their environment
  • Motors rotate a set speed and direction
  • Turning the motors in the same direction moves the robot forward or backward
  • Turning the motors in opposite directions rotates the robot

SMARS uses two motors to move about


The Motorshield

Also known as a Motor driver; Enable the robot to power the motors:

  • A Motorshield routes power to the motors - they need much more power than the brain
  • Motorshields can also bring extra outputs such as a buzzer
  • The motorshield sits on top of the Arduino and the connector pins push into the header pins on the Arduino

SMARS uses motorshield to power and control the motors


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