6 Jun 2001
(updated 4 Jan 2002 at 01:43 UTC) »
Words of wisdom from Sashi Ono.
How to build a robot
Step 1: Design
Outline your goals and write them down. Do not start
you have figured out what you want to accomplish. Then
with your working design for your project. If you haven't
something similar before don't go too wild, keep it simple
Step 2: Planning
Come up with a timeline of your project. Think carefully,
deadlines (contests) can mess up all your goals. Work in
that is do not waste time. If you are waiting for parts to
should be doing something else. A simple breakup consists
Chassis, Hardware, and Software. I would recommend
up your progress into weekly steps to ensure constant
Make sure you get something big done once a week otherwise
you will be crunched for time later on which is not good
Step 3: Ordering and Gathering Parts
This needs to be done as early as possible. Do not wait.
parts your chassis and hardware will not progress. Do not
your time here, pick something that works and go with it.
Step 4: Building
Hopefully you have gotten all your parts so you can start
and putting together your design. If you have planed well
should be relatively simple just follow through with your
suggestion is to start with the Chassis as this determines
for the rest of the project.
Step 5: Debugging
This is where your engineering skills come out. You will
problems. Expect it and plan for it. You may realize that
design doesn't work and may need to start over. The second
you do anything is faster. You will often need to come up
unique fixes and solutions.
Step 6: Optimizing
Once you get something working kind of the way you want
probability want to optimize it. Feel free to do so but do
far away from your initial goals and plans. An important
skill is to
keep you design constantly working. Do not give into the
dismantle your project for improving it. You are better
off new project and keeping your current design working as
back plan. Also know when to stop. Constant tweaking often
creates problems and makes things messy and harder to
when problems do happen.
Step 7: Show Off
After you have a working project feel free to show off.
accomplished something big here and put a lot of time into
have the right to. Encourage others to undertake what you
done if you feel that it was a worthwhile project. Do not
others with similar projects as they have probability
as hard as you and you wouldn't want others to bash on
Release documentation of your project to help others learn
gain from your project.