Robotics, Learn by building, module III: Physics, Robotic drive systems and construction

(3 customer reviews)


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Extended quarantine special! While we’re all still stuck in our home, get yourself an edumacation! All my Robotics courses are on sale for just 10 bucks US until Friday May 2nd. Hopefully the quarantine will be over by then.  🙂

Please note: Major course content is currently being uploaded.

Preview the course here.

Robotics, learn by building, module III:  Robotic Drives & Physics

Building on the knowledge you gained in the Analog Electronics and Digital Electronics modules, you’ll open even more doors to diverse careers and hobbies by learning how to physically move robots and mechatronics. Robotic drives and physics are intimately intertwined – almost the same topic in fact. And think about all the things around you that are moved or operated automatically: from the furnace and air handlers in your office building, to so many functions in your car, and then the booming robotics field in industry, mass production, even entertainment! People are needed who understand how those robots work in order to design, install, program and maintain those robots. Maybe you’re interested in building a submarine robot to dive to shipwrecks or places normally unreachable by humans. We’ll actually look at a real-world case study and use our new-found knowledge of physics to design a submarine robot to operate at depths of 600 meters or more. Or perhaps you are just interested in competition robotics like the gladiator-style battle robots which go head-to-head to destroy each other. 3D printers (of which we design and build one in course 4) are essentially robots! All of these topics involve a good understanding of robotic drive systems and physics which you will learn in this course.

With over 21,000 students enrolled in the first two courses in the “Robotics: Learn by building” series,  more than 4,000 five star ratings in the first course alone, students aged 8 to 60+ have enjoyed the course series and its projects.

No prior knowledge of mechanics, physics or robotics is needed. You will need a good understanding of electricity & electronics and digital control and some basic math. If you have completed course 1 “Electricity and Electronics” and course 2 “Digital Electronics” you have the background you need as we will be using those skills in this course to drive different kinds of electric motors. All courses have captions for the hearing impaired.

Course materials:

You will need the analog electronic parts and a breadboard, which you can purchase as an accompanying kit (i.e., the Analog Electronics Kit from module I) or provide your own, as well as the parts from the digital electronics kit (i.e., the Digital Electronics Kit from module II) or provide your own Arduino controller board and some logic-level, high power MOSFET’s.

You will also need the Robotic Drives & Physics Experimenter’s kit which again you can purchase as an accompanying kit or provide your own parts. The first lesson is a walk-through of what is in the kit and acts as a parts list for this module.

This series of “Robotics: Learn by building” modules has an end-goal focus on the diverse field of robotics. In module I we learned the basics of electricity and electronics. In this module II you further developed your knowledge and skills to include digital electronics and practice your skills on real-life digital components. In this third course you will learn physics principles (from simple to very complex) with a specific goal of understanding and even designing your own drive systems for robots. You will learn details about different robotic drive systems you will see in commercial, industrial robots like how timing belt drives work and why they are so important in robotics, as well as the more esoteric drives like the harmonic drive – what it is an how that amazing system works.

We will even look at a real-life case study as we design a submarine robot, remotely operated and able to withstand the bone-crushing operating depths of over 600 meters minimum. The unique challenges we will face will build up your knowledge so that you too can design sea-floor robots facing harsh environments to perform inspection, welding or maintenance on submarine pipes or cables.

This course is the prerequisite for the module IV course where you’ll learn prototyping skills, and gain a wide variety of knowledge and skills so you can actually build your own robots and manufacture your own parts. In module IV, you’ll culminate all you’ve learned so far as you build a 3D printer from scratch, hook it up to a desktop computer and make your own plastic parts. The 3D printer is, in effect, a robot which you can then use to make parts for your other robot designs. In module V you can take your robot design and construction skills to the next level with a hands-on approach to autonomous robotic systems: learning about various sensors to know where you are and what your robot is doing, GPS navigation, basic artificial intelligence, powerful microchips known as FPGA’s where you literally design a custom circuit on the chip, vision systems and more.

Lesson overview:

  • In this course we’ll be covering:
  • Simple machines (which all come into play in surprising ways you probably haven’t seen before)
  • Designing an arm robot
  • The toggle mechanism (again, comes into play in a ridiculous number of surprising ways you probably haven’t seen before)
  • harmonic drives, cycloidal drives, epicyclic drives, traction drives
  • strength of materials & construction challenge
  • case study: design challenges of a deep-submarine, remotely operated vehicle
  • hydraulics & pneumatics (including building your own)
  • air & hydraulic muscles, muscle wire
  • servos (speed, pressure, force, position, etc…)
  • DC motors, BLDC motors, BLDC servo motors, stepper motors, AC motors, AC servo motors, single and three phase power, electrical generation
  • frequency drives, PWM AC signal generation
  • regenerative / rheostatic / dynamic braking, looking at electric vehicle design and locomotive design
  • counter-force systems you will encounter in industrial robots
  • safety around robot systems, in industry and hobby
  • robot designs: articulated arm, gantry, spine, collaborative
  • case study: combat robots

and more!

3 reviews for Robotics, Learn by building, module III: Physics, Robotic drive systems and construction

  1. de_re_metallica

    cant wait any idea of the release date for 3 and 4?

    • Ian Juby

      Hi! As a matter of fact, I’m working hard on course 3 over the next several weeks, hope to have it available by the end of October!

  2. Alan Dombrowski (verified owner)

    Just completed I & II. Just waiting on the kits for III. Do you have a updates when it will be ship?

    • Ian Juby

      Hi Alan,
      Actually yours finally shipped! Check your email for tracking info – it might be in your spam folder. Canada Post should have sent you an automated email with tracking information. I’ll email you with the info just to be sure.

  3. David

    Hi Ian,

    I’m in the UK and I know that you have stopped shipping kits outside of the United States and Canada, and I can understand your reasons for that.

    Your 3rd course – Learn by doing – module III

    I was wondering if you could provide the dimensions of the physics table and if you could provide a PDF of the Table itself. Also the diameter and lengthsa of the acylic tubes you have used. That way I can purchase a couple of weak spring scales, some flat acrylic sheet and some acrylic tubing. That way I could create the Physics Bench by cutting flat acrylic sheet to size and printing the graphics (ruler measurements, gog locations etc and glueing to the sheet. I can gus acrylic pipe to make the cylinders.

    Could you put any parts of the kits, that are 3d printable (such as the cogs) on I don’t have a 3 d printer, but I’m sure I can find a service online that will print components from thingverse.

    Many Thanks


    • Ian Juby

      Hi David,
      I got your note on Udemy as well and let me see what I can come up with. It’s tricky only because many of the parts have to be very precise and very tough. 3D printing the caps for the cylinders for example? I can’t see them surviving. I originally made them out of acrylic in the prototyping, but they broke way too easily and way too fast, so I switched to delrin which is super expensive and quite a bit harder to work with.
      But I certainly don’t mind sharing plans and stuff – I’m pondering your suggestion as to how to respond and what I can do.

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