YouTube channels are becoming one of the most sought-after sources of self-learning through the Internet. Only a few years back, the website was considered as merely an online medium for entertainment. However today, this paradigm has greatly shifted to YouTube’s undeniable role as an online learning platform.
For instance, 19-year-old Ellis Ware is a Robot Wars contestant who learned all of his engineering skills on YouTube. Instead of attend any college or university, he merely watched robot programming and engineering videos, and actually managed to build Pulsar, the robot that became an instant sensation.
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Learn Robot Programming
Now, the difficulty of learning programming differs from person to person, however, here are some of the most effective YouTube channels that can help you get started in robots programming using Python.
Note: The following list of YouTube channels are useful for those who already have knowledge in programming, especially Python. Otherwise, I would recommend you to first check out some YouTube channels for learning programming, in general and Python, in particular.
Raspberry Pi is basically a small computer (smaller than your phone) that can be hooked up to different components and be programmed to do a number of wonderful things. Through this channel you can learn to build and program your very own robot using Raspberry Pi with the help of comprehensive instructions.
This YouTube channel delves deeper into programming using Python specifically for robotics. The channel is geared towards those who have no prior knowledge of programming whatsoever. It revolves around the basic theories and logic behind programming and how you can use it to build a robot.
The channel also discusses how programming can be connected to actual electronic components. By the end of the series, you might be able to create your own automatic lawn watering system, password-enabled door, and of course a very simple robot.
Learn Robotic Engineering
Once you feel yourself savvy enough in robotic programming, and want to learn the physical side of robotics i.e. dealing with electronics and engineering of a working robot, check out the following channels and playlists:
EEVblog is built for beginners, professionals, and hobbyists in robotic engineering. Dave Jones, the owner and host of the blog wants people to know the beauty of tinkering with electronics and… sometimes blowing things up.
Even if you want to casually learn about electronics engineering, EEVblog is the best channel to subscribe to. It will introduce you to different kinds of electronics and what they are used for, testing and debunking myths, hacking electronic products etc.
But if you are new to electronics and engineering , Fundamentals Friday playlist is the thing to look for. Here you can learn about electronics and engineering in a crash course kind of way. You can also learn about capacitors, circuit design, voltage , and all that stuff.
Here is another playlist that aims to introduce people to robotics and electronics. I actually learned much of Python from this YouTube channel. The instructor, Bucky Roberts, gives a great introduction on how robotics and electronics work hand in hand, and how you can get started.
The core topics of the course are about testing voltages, building a circuit, resistors, batteries, and other technical terms that you will need in building a robot.
If you already know the fundamentals of electronics and want to just jump right into building a robot, then Botyard’s 5-part video series is perfect for you. Unlike the previous channels, this is series of advanced demonstrations on how a simple R2-D2 like robot is built.
The interesting thing about this video series is that it shows you how to create a robot from a recycled flashlight, multiple LED, Arduino Nano, Arduino Uno, servos , and other easy-to-find items.
Here is another fun channel to learn how to engineer robots and program them to do actual work. In case you haven’t familiarized yourself with Raspberry Pi just yet, it’s time to dust off the attic with their Getting Started with Raspberry Pi playlist where you will learn how to use Raspberry Pi to build a tweeting weather station.
Next stop would be to learn how to work with embedded electronics (this is now the serious part because you will be dealing with boards and circuitry). You will also learn how to solder transistors and other components.
And finally, Intro to Robotics. This playlist is more like a series of documentaries about Robotics to give you a full understanding of what you are trying to build.
Now, here’s a more traditional and theoretical approach to learning robotics, straight from Stanford. It is basically a series of lectures on Robotics by Stanford university professor and is particularly useful if you want to build more advanced robots.
The series discusses advanced concepts like trajectory generation, motion planning, dynamics, inverse and forward kinematics, spatial descriptions, force and position control, and many more. Unlike any other YouTube channel, the theoretical concepts explained in this series can be extremely crucial in building advance-level robots.
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This article probably cought your eye because you really want to build your own robot, and have no idea where to start. But, now you know at least where to look for all the useful information about programming, engineering and electronics involved in robotics.
I hope that this article will guide you to the right direction and motivate you to strive hard for your ambitions in robotics.
Go for it!