While the word “robot” may first bring to mind images of talking androids from science fiction, a robot is an autonomous or guided machine, capable of doing a task on its own. General robotics, organizations, and journals can provide an overview of the fields of robotics. When it’s time to gain more in-depth knowledge, a visit to a robot competition, the site of a university program’s robotics group, or the website of a robotics company can offer a better idea of the capabilities of these amazing machines. The online resources for robot architecture provide a deeper understanding of the hardware and software involved in the building of a robot. Today, robot technology continues to evolve and the technology is used in everything from artists’ studios to surgical theaters.
General Robotics Resources
History of Robotics: A concise timeline of the evolution of robotics, starting with a mechanical bird built in 350 BC.
Robot FAQs: What is a robot? Where did the word “robot” come from? Commonly asked questions are answered.
TechLab: These mini-lessons on robot building from the BBC provide a greater understanding on how robots work.
The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society: The society is interested in the theoretical and applied issues in designing and implementing robotics.
ACS Robotics SIG - Brisbane: An amateur robotics engineering group that meets monthly at Griffith University.
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Club: An undergraduate group at Carnegie Mellon University that encourages the building of robots.
The Robot Fighting League (RFL): The RFL organizes robotics sporting events, particularly robot fighting competitions.
CRASH: The Computers, Robotics, and Artists Society of Houston brings together enthusiasts from different fields.
San Francisco Robotics Society: This is the sponsoring group for the Annual Robot Competition.
Seattle Robotics Society: A mixed group of amateurs and hobbyists with interests in all aspects of robotics.
The Robot Group: A group exploring the uses of robotics in art.
Midlands Micromouse and Robotics Club: A club of enthusiasts based in England.
Advanced Robotics Innovations Society in Engineering: A Canadian club that welcomes students.
Periodicals, Journals, and Publications
Journal of Robotics: An open access journal that contains peer-reviewed, original articles and review articles.
International Journal of Robotics Research: A top rated journal of scholarly articles on the subject of robotics research.
IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation: A journal of peer-reviewed articles published by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.
Robotics and Autonomous Systems: affiliated with the Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) Society
International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems: A journal of articles on most aspects of the field of robotics.
Journal of Field Robotics: Practical articles on issues of applied robotic systems.
International Journal of Humanoid Robotics: News on the latest research in robotics that simulate human movement.
Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Designs: Peer-reviewed articles that cover the basics of robotics from theory to prototype.
ROBOT: For hobbyists and consumers, Robot Magazine offers articles on news and recent advances in the field of robotics.
Conferences and Competitions
Botball: A conference on the use of robotics in elementary and middle school education.
International Aerial Robotics Competition: A competition for unmanned air vehicles.
Eurobot: An international robotics competition open to hobbyists and students.
Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition: An annual competition of student designed autonomous ground vehicles.
Robogames: One of the largest international robotics competitions, it’s held annually in San Francisco.
Trinity College Firefighting Home Robot Contest: An annual contest to build a robot that can detect and put out fires.
MIT Autonomous Robot Design Competition: Each year, MIT sponsors this annual event that draws individuals and teams.
Jerry Sanders Design Competition: Open to anyone who can build a robot, this is a two day engineering event.
Manitoba Robot Games: The largest of the Canadian robot competitions, they have even have robot hockey games.
Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, Pa: Information about enrollment into the program at the Robotics Institute.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA: The Graduate program in Robotics Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): The Field and Space Robotics Laboratory is part of MIT’s Robotics Department.
Brown University - Providence, RI: Concentrating on the study of robotics and autonomous systems.
Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, VA: Research and education in the field of mobile robots.
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI: Students may earn a Masters of Education in Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles
University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA: A Masters program through their school of engineering and applied science.
State of the Industry & Organizations that Use Robotics
Emergent Systems: Using robotics in art.
International Robotics: A company in the field of techno-marketing.
Intuitive Surgical: A company specializing in the use of robotics in surgery.
NASA Robotics: The NASA Robotics Alliance Project encourages designing robots for multiple uses.
Robot Architecture resources
SAPHIRA - Robot Control System: The software of this robot control system is explained.
National Instruments: A reference architecture for the general software design used in mobile robotics.
Building a Robotic Webcam: A guide to building a basic robotic webcam for about $40.
Dick Cappels' Project Pages: Several hardware and software projects for the experienced hobbyist to try.
Evil Robotics: Robot design tips for building fighting robots.
Guerilla Guide to CNC Machining: These pages with manufacturing tips are designed with hobbyists in mind.
Alphabot Robot: The inner hardware and software for a working robot.
Society of Robots: Tutorials on how to build a robot, including information on hardware and software.
A Technical Guide to Building Fighting Robots: A step-by-step guide and explanations of robot building concepts.
Ikalogic: Articles and resources about the various types of software and hardware used in robot building.
A Reactive Robot Architecture with Planning on Demand: A downloadable scholarly article on a robot architecture design.
Other resources of Interest
Machine Brain: A resource robotics on the Internet.
Science Daily: Current news on advances in robotics.
PhysOrg: Robot news from around the world.