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10 Tips for getting started

For getting started with robotics

Here are my Top 10 tips for getting started with robotics

Robot Tips

10 January 2023 by Kevin McAleer | Share this article on


Top 10 Tips for getting started with robotics

Here are my top 10 tips to help you get started with Robotics.

1. Start Simple

Setting realistic expectations is essential - it’s very challenging to build a life-sized humanoid robot servant immediately, so start with something you can make; a small, simple robot.

I started with the Arduino powered SMARS robot, its a small, simple 3d printable robot you can make yourself.

2. Buy a kit

Starting with a robot kit helps you get started quicker; Kits typically come with example code, with tried and tested physical structure and electronics.

There are many cheap kits available online, ranging from less than $10 to over $100 depending on features and quality

3. Start Small

Giant robots have many challenges, such as power, cost, and complexity; starting with a small robot helps you avoid these problems.

Here are a couple of small robots you can buy or build:

4. Learn by example

There are lots of tutorials, projects and courses available online, for free and paid; these can get you started and help you go further.

Checkout the Learn section of this site for some free tutorials. If you want to spend money I can highly recommend Udemy

5. Join a robotics group

Don’t go it alone; there are coding and robotics clubs that can help you when you get stuck and inspire you to go further.

There are in-person groups as well as online forums. Code Club World is a great starting point.

6. Don’t give up

Robotics is a deep topic; there is a lot to learn, and it’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning.

Tenacity is a great trait to nurture on your robotics journey. There are many things that may potentially trip you up, whether its programming, electronics or construction. Remember noone is born with this knowledge, and with the right support you will find the answers you are looking for.

7. Understand your strengths

Understand your strengths and areas for development; Robotics has at least three overlaps areas of knowledge; electronic engineering, mechanical engineering and software engineering. You’re likely to have more skills in some areas and fewer skills in others.

Temet Nosce

Latin: ‘know thyself’

What are your areas of strength? What areas do you want to improve upon? Let me know in our Discord group.

8. Learn programming

Robotics requires programming skills, so brush up on your coding skills. You’ll only be able to go so far with block based programming such as Microsoft MakeCode, though this is a great way to start.

I recently launched the free Learn MicroPython course, this is a great place to start your learning journey.

If you want to go further, such as building your own Jarvis-like AI Assistent, checkout this YouTube video series.

9. Learn electronics

Robots consist of sensors, motors and servos; soldering, using a multimeter and bench power supply are all essential skills you will need.

10. Learn 3D design

Many software packages are available to help you turn your ideas into tangible models that can be 3d printed, laser cut or fabricated.

If you want to develop your 3D design skills, I can highly recommend Lars Christensen. Lars focuses mainly on AutoDesk Fusion360, which is my personal favourite 3D design software.

11. Have fun

This is not a bonus; it’s essential! Robotics can be incredibly rewarding, so make sure to enjoy the journey and have fun while learning.

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