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Starting a robotics company

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Tonci1234

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Aug 29, 2021
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Hey Guys,

This is my first post here, and I am really excited that there are so many like-minded people in this group.

Just a quick background of myself: I am 22 years old and have been into self-development for around four years now. This year I will be finishing my Masters degree in mechanical engineering (free education in Europe, which means I have no college debt :D).

Currently I am developing a robot (more exactly a series of robots) for the sports sector, that shall change the way we view the future of sports training. I suspect that the development will take around 4-6 more months in order to complete the first prototype (sections of the protoype have already been tested). I am also intensly studying electrical engineering, programming, and robotics as a whole, in order to make this prototype come to life.

My plan at the moment is to keep my part time job (research & development of electric motors), and finish my degree, until I am able to fully launch the business.

Considering the above, I would like to ask, if any of you guys have any experience in the robotics sector? If not, are there any other sources (books or articles), that will help with the launch of a robotics business?

Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated, I thank you guys in advance! :D

PS: I would also like to thank MJ for the effort that was put into these amazing books, which have completely changed my perspective about life.
 
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mdot

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Dec 24, 2020
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Welcome! I graduated university with a mechatronics engineering degree but mostly work in the embedded hardware/software world now and love it.

If your uni has clubs or student robotics/sae racing/engineering teams, JOIN THEM. My biggest regret of my university years is that I never took full advantage of the experience, mentorship and connections that those teams could have given me.
 

Tonci1234

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Aug 29, 2021
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Welcome! I graduated university with a mechatronics engineering degree but mostly work in the embedded hardware/software world now and love it.

If your uni has clubs or student robotics/sae racing/engineering teams, JOIN THEM. My biggest regret of my university years is that I never took full advantage of the experience, mentorship and connections that those teams could have given me.
Hey mdot,

Thanks for the suggestion, I definetely agree. These clubs are a great source of experience and connections. I also wish that I had participated in them more.

On the side note: I have been slowly transitioning from Arduino, to ESP32 and now to custom PCBs with the STM32 microcontrollers. Do you have any suggestions for decreasing the learning curve?
Additonally, may I ask what embedded projects are you working on?

Thanks.
 

mdot

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Your path is the one I pretty much took. I started with Arduino boards and the Arduino IDE, then I started making my own custom boards with the ATMega and ESP32. At that point I was using Platform.io to write "real code" but still using the Arduino library. Then I started my job and was thrown headfirst into the world of STM32 haha.

I recommend the book Making Embedded Systems by Elicia White. It's a great resource for how to think about building your application and using design patterns. I also recommend Mastering STM32 by Carmine Novello. It explains the different STM32 peripherals in a more concise way than the data sheets or reference manuals. Finally, the book "Designing Electronics That Work" by Hunter Scott seems awesome but I've only skimmed it so far.

Also regardless of what people say, there's really nothing wrong with using the STM32 HAL library, until there something DOES go wrong. Sometimes there will be bugs in the library or you'll need better performance and you'll need to modify it or write your own functions closer to hardware but in most cases they are OK.
 
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Tonci1234

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Aug 29, 2021
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Hey Guys,

I hope you are all doing well.

Just a quick update on my progress:
The prototype is coming along as planned for now, I am really excited and happy about the progess so far.
At the moment I am trying to cross the "desert of desertion", as MJ calls it, which is the period from the initial idea to the first sale. Even though, I am constantly trying to get feedback from different people in order to reinforce the feedback loop, I still find this period rather challenging. But we have to keep going and complete the development. :D

Does anybody else has any experience with the "desert of desertion" period? How have you managed to get objective feedback from people, not just encouraging words from friends and family?

Thanks.
 

Tonci1234

New Contributor
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Aug 29, 2021
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Progress update:

The robot is progressing better than expected. I have managed to complete the first prototype and show it to a few people. It is great to reach a point, where you can finally get some feedback.

The robot is performing wonderfully, however, I have also noticed a few problems and limitations of the design. My next goal is to redesign and optimize some components.

This has been a tough but very rewarding process. I am very excited to continue progressing on this project every day. Progress does indeed bring a lot of satisfaction.
 
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