learn by making, folknology.club..

3d-printed-robot-arm

So my initial goals for the folknology.club will be targeting robotics, partly for my own benefit and partly because I believe there is a growing need for robotosists which is likely to increase exponentially over the next few decades. Automation is experiencing significant economic focus for technology investment right now and will likely fuel the growth in robotics and other automation development worldwide. Robotics (a growing sector of automation) is highly multidisciplinary, covering electronics, digital design and mechanical engineering, computer science and artificial intelligence. As such one would expect to work in exciting and diverse teams and often with multi disciplinary engineers within those teams. In order for these engineers to thrive and successfully deliver automation projects we will need to develop better and more agile ways of working and sharing with automation.

This is something of which I have direct experience and have recently realised I need to up my game with both tooling and automation, This is in part, what has led me to engage on the folknology.club journey in order to develop these ideas further. I also believe that in doing so we will all help others get involved in this fascinating technology which in turn will help organisations looking for expertise and tooling within the robotics realm.

I also want to be realistic about what we can and cannot achieve, the idea here is not designed to replace traditional courses or education offered within engineering disciplines, we just cannot go into that depth within the limited timescales. The appeal should be for individuals that already posses some engineering and or computing knowledge who wish to explore the emerging area of automation and robotics. Therefore the club will be primarily focused on fun project based outcomes, supported with rich background content and deeper references for those who wish to explore further. This enables participants to progress at a level that they feel comfortably in a hands on fashion, actually making robots. In some ways this is rather ambitious, but I have been involved in similar multi disciplinary projects built by diverse groups of individuals before with a great deal of success, the things we all learnt from those projects will be used to enhance this endeavour.

So to action then, this month I will be working primarily with the folknology.club pioneers to get the initial kits and modules ready. This involves producing the rich content, sourcing the components and testing the builds with the club pioneers. In order to troubleshoot the process for you guys we need to build and test the prototypes kits ourselves.

So now is probably a good time to give you a glimpse of what the first block will contain and perhaps wet your appetite for whats to come so you can sign up your interest for the subscription:

The first build objective is a stand alone balancing robot, this was chosen in order to cover all of the basic robotics principles, yet meeting the tough hardware budget requirements. In order to get to this stage will will be covering the following core robotics disciplines (not in any particular order) :

  • Motors – PWM  brushed motor operation, gears and electronic drivers
  • Control – Proportional, Integral & Differential (PID) feedback systems
  • Information – Systems insight, sensors, measurement and data capture
  • Testing & Integration – System analysis, testing , build and optimisation

In addition we will cover basic communication, development tooling and Integration/Systems Development Environments (I/SDE) we will be using.  All of the content and tooling will be based around open source software and hardware.

If you are interested and would like to join please subscribe to the folknology.club mailing list to be ready when we launch next month, We will keep you abreast with updates and a peek under the hood of what we are working on..

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