I'm a guy who loves the tech world, but more in particular the Robotic one. I wanna start developing/making my first creations of robots or sort of. I won a little board from Texas Instrument from the Maker Faire here in Rome, but I don't really know how to get the best out of it, and specially what to buy as extra stuff to start making. I guess the best way to start would be a kit (?) So I saw the Arduino one (Genuino one as I'm out of the USA).

My question then is: What's the best way to start diving into this world? Feel free to consider or ignore the fact I got that little board.

My Board: http://www.ti.com/tool/msp-exp430f5529lp

  • This is a very broad question. Can you focus it? Tell us what you're wanting to learn to do next & a bit about what you already know how to do. – dlu Dec 16 '15 at 3:02
  • The launchpad isn't even an arduino board... – TheDoctor Dec 16 '15 at 16:52
  • I know @TheDoctor – FET Jan 9 '16 at 20:21

Robotics is a very large field covering a lot of disciplines, such as:

  • Motor and sensor control and interfacing
  • Mechanics and kinematics
  • Visual and optical processing

And many more.

The Arduino side of things is mostly concerned with the first point - the interfacing and control of motors and sensors, etc.

For robotics probably the most important thing to get to grips with is servo motors. If you can leave the mechanics side of things to someone else for now (to build a robot from the ground up would require metal working skills, welding, and more, which we're not really able to help you with) and start with a "kit" robot of some form to get you going that would be the best entry point IMHO. One such kit that I have been looking at recently and is easily available on eBay is the "6DOF" robot arm (note: the servos are sold separately normally). Just add cheaply available standard model servos and interface them to an Arduino and you have a robot arm you can program to do things.

And that's when the fun starts. Learning to program for robotics does often involve some more advanced mathematics, so be prepared to have to do some study...

As for what board to use? Your MSP430 board is more than capable of controlling robotics. Not sure about the programming aspect of it - in general it's TI's own IDE and programming environment, but I do know that some of their boards (not sure about that one) are supported by a port of the Arduino IDE.

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  • First, thank you for the really well detailed answer. Second, I saw this kit from Arduino, what do you think would be better? I have some programming skills but I lack on C++ atm (shame on me). So what's your opinion again? – FET Nov 28 '15 at 17:24
  • @LeonardoFettucciari That kit is great for getting to grips with basic sensors and programming. It may be a good start for you and then maybe think about buying some kind of robotic kit (there's all sorts of styles around) at a later date once you get into the idea of how things work. – Majenko Nov 28 '15 at 17:30
  • Alright, I'll take advantage of these days deals then, and will surely let you know how I'll find that kit. For now, thank you for your opinions and helpful advices! – FET Nov 28 '15 at 17:52

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