Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Build a Robot That Can Do Chores

Build a Robot That Can Do Chores

Article provided by wikihow the wikihow manual.

A robot can be a fun way to do chores. Unfortunately, due to the limitation of available robotics, it may be hard to actually produce a robot to do your chores. Here is a step by step instruction guide on how to design and build a robot to do your chores.

  • NOTE: This guide can not cover every single chore, with every single purpose. Therefore, this article is intended as a general guide only. If you would like a specific, step-by-step guide to building an example robot, please see: http://www.instructables.com/id/ServerBot---for-serving-food-and-drinks/

Thank you.


  1. 1
    Define the purpose of your robot. Robotics is one-third programming, and the key to good programming is to define a single purpose for any program, and by extension, any robot.

  2. 2
    Once you have defined your robot's purpose, look at the available materials. For beginners, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® series are excellent beginners, especially for children. If you do not possess such a kit, look at other possibilities. The sophistication of your robot will depend entirely on your own technical knowledge.
  3. 3
    Design the robot itself. Remember, simplicity is key. The fewer moving parts, the easier the robot will be to make. Look at your basic goals. Do you want to move one object from one place to another? Use a platform to hold the object, and a rail system or a wheel system. Do you want to clean the bathroom floor? Use a spinning brush and three or four wheels.
  4. 4
    Design the programming logic behind the robot. This can get tricky, and will depend entirely on what system your robot is running. Remember to think in "If-Then" statements. This is logic behind computers. For instance:
    • "IF CAN NOT GO FORWARD, THEN GO BACKWARDS" is a very simple command that you and your robot can understand. It tells your robot that if it can not go forward, then it should go in the opposite direction.
    • "IF BATTERY LESS THAN 50%, THEN GO TO CHARGING STATION" is a more complex command, and may require specialized hardware. However, when implemented it would tell your robot to charge itself if it has less than 50% of a battery charge.
  5. 5
    Construct your robot for your desired purpose. As there are large quantities of chores, there are also large quantities of types of robots you can design. Therefore it is out of the scope of this guide to detail building each and every one. However, a step-by-step guide to building a robot that can deliver food to any room in a house is provided here: http://www.instructables.com/id/ServerBot---for-serving-food-and-drinks/.
  6. 6
    Improve your robot as your skills progress. Once you are sure that your robot has one task down, then you have the option of creating another robot to accomplish another task, OR trying to make your first robot do another task as well. This will require more advanced programming, but can be a fun experience.


  • When building your robot, keep the function in mind. If you are looking for a robot that has a sole purpose of putting the trash out, perhaps a rail system would be best for you, so that it can guide the robot to the outside trash bin.
  • In the field of robotics, simplicity is the key. Keep your robot to as few moving components as possible. This will reduce your field of error. Remember that three wheels will function just as good as four.
  • It's advised that you consider a Rube-Goldberg Machine[1] as a possibility for constructing your chore. This would eliminate the need for a robot entirely.
  • Remember that the more sophisticated you get, the more times you will fail. You are unlikely to succeed your first time. Do not despair however, it is a rewarding experience once you have completed the subject.
  • Making the robot is often times a lot more work than just actually doing the chore.


  • Robots can be dangerous. Avoid using robots which use flame, chemicals, or sharp objects if possible.
  • Without the work out from chores, robots can lead to obesity.
  • If the robot becomes self-aware you should terminate it immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • LEGO MINDSTORMS [2] (Optional)
  • imagination
  • to be good at math and science/mechanics(optional but it would be easier)
  • know how to work with the LEGO MINDSTORMS program and your computer (optional)

Article provided by wikihow the wikihow manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Build a Robot That Can Do Chores. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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