How Hard Would It Be To Make A Self Controlling Robot?

Hi! I was wondering how hard it is to make a robot kind of like the Sphero BB 8? It has a patrol mode where it rolls around and if it gets near a wall, the sensor makes it turn another way. How hard would it be to make a robot like that?

P.S also, is their any other prebuilt robots like that?

It is not that hard to make an obstacle-avoiding robot (if that is what you mean). There are many resources out there on that.

If you want to make your own, check out instructables. Most involve an arduino, an ultrasonic distance sensor, and a pair of motors.

A popular prebuilt robot is the BOE bot (the arduino is not included)

Unless you mean you want to make a robotic ball, which will be notably harder. Perhaps you could make an omni-wheel robot and put it inside a hollow ball.

Thanks! Could you please link me to any tutorials?

I'm assuming you mean to make an autonomous obstacle-avoiding robot.

Try this.

I recommend Sparkfun for parts. You can get a nice kit with both a shield and motors and wheels. Sparkfun also has a bunch of handy tutorials.

As for the ultrasonic proximity sensor, you can get one here. Also comes with good documentation.

The instructable comes with design files for a chassis, but it's not that hard to make your own for cheaper.

Instructables are mostly crap. Avoid them.
Here is a genuinely useful resource for both beginning and more advanced robot builders.

jremington:
Instructables are mostly crap. Avoid them.

This is my sentiment as well.

I wish I had Gordon McComb's Robot Builder's Bonanza when I first started building robots.

I used to belong to Let's Make Robots but it was assimilated by RobotShop. RobotShop made it clear they didn't want me around any more (and they deleted all my posts). Many of us (despisers of RobotShop) moved to RobotRebels.org. I've added a few of my robots to the site.

I think saying “avoid instructables” because they are “mostly crap” is a bit too harsh. While I agree that there are a lot of instructables out there which are “crap” - one has to understand how to separate the crap ones from the better ones.

For a newbie to a topic - this is understandably close to impossible - all instructables probable look equally good. At the same time, though, avoiding them won’t teach you how to spot the bad ones, either.

Perhaps better advice would be to avoid them if you are a beginner on a certain subject, but as you become more skilled, treat them with caution, and double check instructions with trusted sources or personal experience. Even better, add your comments to the instructable and/or contact the author to discuss the problem, and perhaps make the instructable better. If that fails, write your own instructable with corrections.

There’s definitely options between the absolutes of “instructables are perfect” (they aren’t) and “instructables are crap”. I know that more than a few authors welcome constructive criticism and strive to create good articles and tutorials there. Let’s not throw it all under the proverbial bus…

My take is that Instructables are much more often wrong, misleading or outright dangerous than genuinely useful, so the odds are excellent that a beginner will have a negative experience.

Furthermore many Arduino forum members spend time attempting to repair the damage that arose from those beginner's experiences.

cr0sh:
I think saying “avoid instructables” because they are “mostly crap” is a bit too harsh. While I agree that there are a lot of instructables out there which are “crap” - one has to understand how to separate the crap ones from the better ones.

For a newbie to a topic - this is understandably close to impossible - all instructables probable look equally good. At the same time, though, avoiding them won’t teach you how to spot the bad ones, either.

Perhaps better advice would be to avoid them if you are a beginner on a certain subject, but as you become more skilled, treat them with caution, and double check instructions with trusted sources or personal experience. Even better, add your comments to the instructable and/or contact the author to discuss the problem, and perhaps make the instructable better. If that fails, write your own instructable with corrections.

There’s definitely options between the absolutes of “instructables are perfect” (they aren’t) and “instructables are crap”. I know that more than a few authors welcome constructive criticism and strive to create good articles and tutorials there. Let’s not throw it all under the proverbial bus…

Is there any specific tutorials you can link me to?

Is there any specific tutorials you can link me to?

Have you already gone through the ones we linked earlier?

I apologize for setting this thread off in the wrong direction with the instructables comment. I guess it is more of a place where people post their interesting projects and ideas. @cr0sh is right, they're not always documented very well and I wouldn't rely solely on them (including the one I posted). The other posters' links are likely better. You can also try looking here.

My main point is that you will need some sort of proximity sensor (ultrasonic, infrared, limit switch, etc.) and a two wheel drive (an h-bridge and a pair of motors, or a couple continuous rotation servos).

As for tutorials, you may not find one specific guide that matches your vision of your robot. There are many ways to detect obstacles and there are many means of locomotion. I recommend you take some time to research and explore. Then when you sit down to design your robot, you can use a concept from one source, take an idea from another. Of course you could always find a guide you like and follow it directly. If you have questions or run into problems, you can always come to the forum.