Let me start off by saying I knew nothing about robots until last week when I got a roomba and now I know robots can vacuum. Which got me thinking what else can robots do?
In my search I found fighting robots and robots that can dance, pour beer, and follow people. After seeing all the stuff robots can do I knew I wanted to build a robot. I looked at kits of all kinds and I noticed that the kits don't say what the robot can do, what there function is. So I realized they could do anything there programmed to, so I asked myself what I wanted my robot to do. I decided I wanted it to find my keys and other commonly miss placed objects. I googled for two days and have found no sign that robots can perform this task.
So I decided to ask a human.
I'd like to have panels on my wall in different rooms with buttons on them that corresponds to different object (keys, wallet, remotes etc)
When I push one of the buttons it activates the robot which will travel to the panel where the button was pushed make a sound and then travel to the selected object. Once it gets there it makes another sound. Then go back to the storage area
I understand it may be hard to achieve but is it possible and where should I start? Is there a book? Website? That will explain or address the things I'm looking for?
I'm new at robots but I am an electrical engineer, so I'll chip in my $.02. Those with more experience can fill in the details. The bottom line is that this project could be very complex. The more controlled you can make the environment, the less complex it will be (and hence require less time to design & build and cost less). For instance, if you have a set location where you put your keys, that's going to be easier for the robot to find than if you put the keys in random spots. In general, you want to follow the KISS motto (keep it simple, stupid).
In fact, you might consider following Admin's advice and start on a simple robot first (see http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_tutorial.shtml
). That's what I'm doing, even though I already understand programming, electronics, and so forth. Even with my background, I'm finding that I have lots to learn about how to make a robot do the simplest things.
My last bit of advice -- read everything you can before you build anything or even order a part. Read every single tutorial on this site. Go through the forums and read what looks interesting. Here's some other stuff to get you started:
-An excellent tutorial site on learning about electronics: http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/index.htm
-Another great robotics site: http://www.robotroom.com/Sandwich.html
(especially check out his "Robot Building for Beginners" from the library for great tips on construction techniques).
-Very good microcontroller tutorial (for the PIC) http://www.mstracey.btinternet.co.uk/pictutorial/picmain.htm
-More microcontroller intro material http://www.mikroe.com/en/books/picbook/0_Uvod.htm
-A good C tutorial (programming language) http://vergil.chemistry.gatech.edu/resources/programming/c-tutorial/toc.html
-How to build a first robot cheaply - BEAM bots - http://www.solarbotics.net/