Getting Started

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So you like robots but don't know how to start?

Welcome to the Imperial College Robotics Society (ICRS). The aim of ICRS is to help students learn about and create cool projects based in robotics or technology that they would be unable to achieve on their own. We help provide finance, tools and expertise to help you create that cool idea you have. The main challenge is where to start when you have no idea what to do and don't know anything about robotics. This page provides tips on how to start your project and learn about robotics.

Courses

ICRS runs several different courses throughout the year aimed to help new students learn the basics and get involved with robotics. The course have proved very popular with interest far exceeding our capacity. Most of these courses sign up at the beginning of the year and tickets usually sell out within a couple of minutes. Join the ICRS mailing lists to receive information on when to purchase these tickets and hear about new course. If you are unable to get a place on one of these courses then you are more than welcome to view the online material compiled for the courses. To find out more about these courses please see the course page.

Tutorials

ICRS has produced many comprehensive written and video tutorials which can be accessed from the tutorial page. These tutorials will aid you in simple beginner projects and help explain many concepts in electronics, programming and robotics.

Projects

The robotics society is all about building cool projects. The best method is to get stuck in and contact a project leader on a currently existing project, bellow is a list of currently active projects simply contact the members involved and they will be glad to accept your help.

F.A.Q

Where are you guys?

We hang out in the EEE building on the level 5 labs, room 505. We are most active on Wednesday afternoons but there is almost always someone there who will be happy to help.

I want to learn about robotics!

Robotics is a practical science and we believe that the best way to learn it is to do it. Either try to get involved in one of the courses or join a project. Even simple, specific projects will cover much of the basics of robotics. We have online Tutorials to help provide the knowledge and there are always many people willing to help you.

I want to build something, how do I go about it?

The most important thing is to be proactive. Just drop in to the level 5 labs with your idea and your enthusiasm, and you will be tinkering in no time! There are people from the society hang around there almost every day, so hacking with us is indeed a social experience. Some more detail follows below.

I don't know what to build!

Be sure to check out hackaday and make magazine. They showcase a ton of really cool projects! You could also check out our current projects, and see if you find any of them interesting. You can also check the Ideas section of the project page. If none of them take your fancy then some simple beginner projects are suggested bellow:

  • Rover Robot - a simple robot that drives around and can detect obstacles and avoid them.
  • Line Follower - a simple robot built to follow a line on the ground.
  • Robot Arm - a robotic arm to possibly draw pictures or interact with objects.

How can I get involved with a project?

Join one of the current projects by sending the appropriate project leader an email. If you have problems contacting them, send our project supervisor, Oskar, an email.

How do I propose a project?

If it's just a minor project or a small hack, just drop in and go for it! If you're looking at a more substantial endeavor, then the first step is to discuss it. Contact out project supervisor, Oskar and discuss your idea with him. You then need to create a wiki page and advertise your project to find people to help you.

How do I find someone to work on my project with?

Send an email to our Mailing lists and advertise your project! Everyone in the society will receive it and several people will always be interested in getting involved.

How do I get the society to pay for my project?

Check out the Budget Approval section of the Buying Things page.

What equipment do you guys have?

Check out our Labs and Equipment page.

I didn't get a ticket can I still join a course?

We're afraid not. There are several courses available so hopefully you will be able to join one of them. If not then please try to get involved with one of the projects.