Getting Started with Robotics/Physical Computing
Sometimes the most difficult part about robotics is knowing where to start and knowing which of the many options are the best to go with. Below we have a selection of tutorials to get you started with Arduino Kit. Arduino is an open source platform that has some really great features to make learning to interact with the outside world easy, fun and fast.
Arduino Tutorials - A Great Place to Start
MindKits Arduino Tutorials
Pick up all the needed kit for each tutorial here
and make learning Arduino fun and stress free. The kits have everything
needed for each tutorial but leave out anything in the kits for
previous tutorials. This means you'll never have to buy something twice
and always have just what you need to make your way through the tutorial
(we do pop a few extra resistors in there though as they're always
handy). Remember, you can pick up most items on MindKits if you want to
skip a tutorial too.
In my humble opinion these books are the complete toolkit for robotics
and tinkering - How to use the Arduino, getting a workspace setup,
trouble shooting, making sensors, deep diving with Arduino and
All of these are great starting guides for Arduino and electronics and take you through the learning curve from the start. You just can't beat Jonathan Oxers book for being a complete reference though and is my personal favourite.
User Groups and Clubs
MindKits Arduino Meetup - Monthly meeting on the second Thursday of the month to catch up over a beer, talk and learn.
- Guest speakers - delivering information on current areas of interest or requested info.
- An opportunity to ask experts for advice and help with problems
- A show and tell so you can share what you've been working on with others
- A chance to meet people interested in the same stuff as you
- A fun way to quench your thirst over a beer
- Bit or byte swap - exchange your goodies for others stuff
http://kiwibots.org - Christchurch based robotics enthusiast group but their mailing list is active with people all over New Zealand. Very friendly bunch with great support and regular meet ups.
http://www.freeduino.org/ - Fantastic Archive of everything Arduino. If you ever wondered if Arduino could interface with a piece of hardware this is a great place to start. Lots of code and tutorial links.
Video TutorialsA great tutorial by Make Magazine to help you get started with the Arduino Basics.
- Make Magazine - Arduino 101 - The Ping Sensor (note - you can use the ultrasonic sensor from MindKits too)