The shape of a robot



Take a good look at Zowi. Zowi’s size and shape weren’t chosen by accident. The size of its head is just right for storing the battery and chips, and the legs are the right size for storing the motors.


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Did you know?

Industrial designers and mechanical engineers aim to design objects which are both attractive and functional.

Experiment 1 – Zowi’s Head

What would happen if Zowi’s head were smaller? What about if it were a sphere?

Disassemble Zowi’s head to see what’s inside.

Experiment 2- Biología Robótica 101

Now that you have disassembled Zowi and you have all of those wires in front of you, it’s a good time to start talking about robotic components.

Basically, all robots need the following four components:

  • A circuit board to remember the program and carry everything out.
  • Sensors. Electronic components which sense the surroundings. You might think of them as the robot’s senses.
  • Actuators. Electronic components which allow the robot to act, i.e. move, make noises, light up, and so on.
  • A battery to supply energy to the other components.
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Are you able to recognise each of Zowi’s components and identify which ones are sensors and which ones are actuators?
To tell them apart, ask yourself whether the component collects information (sensor) or does things (actuator).

Componentes Zowi It’s very important to choose the correct sensors and actuators for our robot, as these are what will allow it to interact with the world.
 
As you can see, this means that when you build a robot you need to think carefully about its shape: it needs to both look good and have enough space for all the components.

Warning!

Don’t forget to reassemble Zowi. If you have also disconnected the cables from the circuit board, use the assembly guide to help you put them back in place. If you don’t get it right first time, don’t worry, you can open it as many times as you wish.