How it works

Learn how common things work


Here are some articles that dive deeper into how things work. Also, you may be interested in the Glossary of common robotics terms.


Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs)

Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs)

In robotics, aeronautics, and various other fields, Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) integrated with magnetic compasses, such as the GY-521 and GY-6500, are essential.

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Large Language Models

Large Language Models

Large language models (LLMs) like GPT-4 are the result of a significant evolution in the field of artificial intelligence, particularly within the subset of machine learning known as natural language processing (NLP).

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Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers

A microcontroller (MCU) is like the brain in many of our electronic devices. While a standard computer can handle multiple tasks simultaneously, a microcontroller is optimized for specific tasks, making it efficient and responsive.

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I2C

I2C

I²C, pronounced “I-squared-C”, stands for Inter-Integrated Circuit. Invented by Philips (now NXP Semiconductors) in the early 1980s, it’s a bi-directional, two-wire (usually) serial communication protocol primarily used to link a microcontroller to peripheral devices or other microcontrollers.

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Gears

Gears

Gears are among the oldest and most commonly used tools in the mechanical world. They transform energy from one device to another, adjust speed, and increase torque.

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Capacitors

Capacitors

Capacitors are like magic little storage boxes in the world of electronics. Though their operation might seem mysterious, with a little exploration, you can understand their core principles and uses.

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Python Virtual Environments

Python Virtual Environments

A Python virtual environment is a self-contained “bubble” where you can install and manage Python packages (which are essentially libraries or tools written in Python that you can use in your own projects) without affecting other projects on your computer.

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Tact Switches

Tact Switches

Tact (Tactile) buttons, also known as momentary switches are a type of electrical switch that is only on when it is being pressed; they return to their default off position when the pressure is released.

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Potato Battery

Potato Battery

The humble potato, a staple of many diets around the world, has a surprising additional use: as a battery. Today, we’ll explore the science behind potato batteries, perform some calculations, and walk you through how to wire them together.

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H-Bridges

H-Bridges

In the world of electronics and motor control, H-bridges are ubiquitous. You may have come across the term when working with robotics, automotive systems, or even home appliances. But what exactly is an H-bridge, and why is it so important? In this article, we’ll explore the fundamentals of H-bridges, their applications, and common types.

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Breadboards

Breadboards

Breadboards enable rapid prototyping of circuits without the need for soldering.

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RGB LED Strips

RGB LED Strips

RGB LED Strips are a popular choice for adding dynamic lighting effects to projects.

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Batteries

Batteries

A battery is a device that stores electrical energy in the form of chemical energy and converts it back into electrical energy when needed.

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Buck Converters

Buck Converters

A buck converter, also known as a step-down converter, is a type of DC-DC converter that takes an input voltage and efficiently converts it to a lower output voltage while maintaining a consistent output current.

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PID Controlers

PID Controlers

PID controllers, short for Proportional Integral Derivative controllers, are a type of control system that are widely used in robotics, automation, and process control.

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Stepper Motors

Stepper Motors

Stepper Motors are electric motors that convert electrical pulses into precise mechanical movements.

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Servos

Servos

Servos are special types of motors that are used to precisely control various movements.

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Diodes

Diodes

Diodes are electrical components that allow current to flow through them in one direction.

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Shift Registers

Shift Registers

Shift registers are a type of sequential logic circuit used to store and transfer data. They are often used to reduce the number of GPIO pins needed from a Microcontroller, such as the Arduino or Raspberry Pi Pico to control another device, such as a keyboard or keypad.

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Robots

Robots

A robot is an electromechanical machine that is programmed to perform a specific set of tasks.

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Pots

Pots

Pots (Potentiometers) are electrical components that are used to measure and adjust the amount of resistance in a circuit.

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Encoders

Encoders

Motor encoders are used in robotics to measure the position of a motor shaft.

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SLAM

SLAM

SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) is an collection of algorithms used in robotics for navigation and mapping. It works by using LIDAR, sonar and other sensor data to construct a 3D map of the environment and then using this map to localize the robot within it.

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MEMS

MEMS

MEMS stands for MicroElectroMechanical Systems and is a technology that combines both electrical and mechanical elements on a very small scale.

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MQTT

MQTT

MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport, not Message Queuing Telemetry Transport as its often mistakenly called) is a lightweight messaging protocol designed by IBM for low-bandwidth, high-latency, unreliable networks.

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Rotary Encoders

Rotary Encoders

Rotary encoders are devices that measure the angular position or velocity of a rotating shaft.

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Machine Learning

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computer systems to learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

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Ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors use high-frequency sound waves to measure the distance between the sensor and an object.

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LiDAR

LiDAR

Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technology that measures the distance to an object by emitting a laser light and then measuring the amount of time it takes for the light to return after bouncing off the object.

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Inverse Kinematics

Inverse Kinematics

Inverse kinematics is a technique used in robotics and computer animation to calculate the joint angles needed to achieve a desired end position.

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