How to Get Started in Robotics / Education, Career, and Technical Questions / Wiki Development Thread: part 2

Exceeded 40k character limit on previous thread, cut and paste resources here.

Resources

Moocs and Online Courses

These courses are meant to be a first step into Robotics. Courses in Maths/Computer Science are always a plus (and sometimes a must) before tackling this kind of course.

Check edx,Coursera,Udacity and even Youtube for more online courses!


Books


Competitions

A comprehensive list of all manner of robotics competitions

Organisations

Under 12s

  • The Junior FIRST Lego League is for kids aged 6 – 10. It consists of a research task based on a STEM related theme, then a presentation, featuring a mechanical device that the team builds from lego.
  • The First Lego League (FLL) is an international robotics competition, for teams kids aged 8-14. Autonmous robots built from the lego mindstroms kit have to complete a variety of tasks. The great thing about the FLL is you’re guaranteed to create a robot that will work in some capacity, and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. One of the best things about the FLL is a lot of the skills you develop can’t be taught in a classroom, such as teamwork, organisation, self-motivation, presentation skills etc.
  • Eurobot Junior
  • VEX IQ Ages 10-14

Teenagers

University+

Tabletop robots

Marine

Humanoid Robots

Mobile Robots

Drones


Development Kits

Under 12s

  • The Lego Mindstorms kit is a kit of motors, sensors, and a programmable control unit, costing around $400 dollars. Compatible with all of the worlds lego, and a variety of third party electronics, it allows for endless construction possibilities, and will last for years.

  • Makeblock A variety of robotics and STEM kits for children, with compatible software.

  • Snap Circuits Plug and play child friendly electronics and coding kits.

  • LittleBits Snap together the easy-to-use building block, an easy and accessible way to learn electronics and engineering.

  • Robotis

Teenagers / Amateur

  • The Lego Mindstorms kit is a kit of motors, sensors, and a programmable control unit, costing around $400 dollars. Compatible with all of the worlds lego, and a variety of third party electronics, it allows for endless construction possibilities, and will last for years.

  • Arduino The Arduino microcontrollers is very easy to program in C, and is ideal for controlling electronics, servos, and sensors.

  • Raspberry Pi is a single board computer, and is great for robotics projects that require more computing power than an Arduino, such as computer vision, of graphical interfaces.

ThisVideo explains the difference between an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi.

  • BeagleBone Boards Raspberry Pi before it was cool, these single board computers (SBC’s) can be considered as a more advanced Pi, though there is an extra difficulty with them.

  • STM32 F4 Discovery Another SBC for adults, not recommended without prior experience in computer science and programming, but capable of a lot more than any Arduino or Pi, if you know how to use it.

  • Robotis

University+ / Advanced

  • NVIDIA Jetson Nano The power of modern AI is now available for makers, learners, and embedded developers everywhere. NVIDIA® Jetson Nano™ Developer Kit is a small, powerful computer that lets you run multiple neural networks in parallel for applications like image classification, object detection, segmentation, and speech processing. All in an easy-to-use platform that runs in as little as 5 watts.
  • Robotis
  • Trossen Robotics Complete robot kits, expensive

Software

Under 12s

  • Makeblock A variety of robotics and STEM kits for children, with compatible software.

Teenagers / Amateur

  • Webots Webots is an open source and multi-platform desktop application used to simulate robots. It provides a complete development environment to model, program and simulate robots. It has been designed for a professional use, and it is widely used in industry, education and research. Cyberbotics Ltd. maintains Webots as its main product continuously since 1998

  • Robot C is a $50 a year programming licence, that can be used to program VEX, Mindstorms, TETRIX, & Arduino kits using the C language. Great for taking your existing kit to the next level.

University + / Advanced

Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)

  • KiCad PCB design software
  • Eagle PCB design software

Simulators

  • Webots Webots is an open source and multi-platform desktop application used to simulate robots. It provides a complete development environment to model, program and simulate robots. It has been designed for a professional use, and it is widely used in industry, education and research. Cyberbotics Ltd. maintains Webots as its main product continuously since 1998

Robotics Software Libraries

  • OpenCV OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) is an open source computer vision and machine learning software library. OpenCV was built to provide a common infrastructure for computer vision applications and to accelerate the use of machine perception in the commercial products.

  • ROS The Robot Operating System (ROS) is a set of software libraries and tools that help you build robot applications. From drivers to state-of-the-art algorithms, and with powerful developer tools, ROS has what you need for your next robotics project. And it’s all open source.

  • Tensorflow TensorFlow is an end-to-end open source platform for machine learning. It has a comprehensive, flexible ecosystem of tools, libraries and community resources that lets researchers push the state-of-the-art in ML and developers easily build and deploy ML powered applications.


Parts Suppliers

If you’re looking for parts and hardware, you can check those online suppliers:

  • Arduino Europe/Global – An open source electronics prototyping platform based on easy to use hardware & software.

  • Adafruit – DIY electronics supplier

  • Active Robots – UK/Europe – Robot kits etc – Suppliers of arduinos to Baxter robots

  • Farnell – Worldwide – Electronics components – Best place to buy resistors, capacitors etc. Minimum order of £20 though.

  • HobbyKing – Global – Hardware store for robotics cars, drones etc..

  • Mouser – general electronics supplier

  • JLCPCB PCB manufacture

  • PCBtrain PCB manufacture

  • RobotShop US/Canada/Europe – Supplier of avast array of robots, robotics parts, and kits, for all levels of experience.

  • Robotis Top notch dynamixel servo motors, and other robotics parts.

  • RS – Worldwide – Components – good for general items, people like their cheap brand battery drills for some home robots I think. Extruded aluminium profile is reasonably priced.

  • Sparkfun – US – Robot kits – good for some of the stranger things like arcade buttons


Additional Resources

The Official Robotics Discord


Robotics Youtube channels

Hobbyist and Educational

Academic and Research

Industry and Startup

Other

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