A hobby robot is a robot intended mainly for amusement and experimentation. Such a machine is usually autonomous, and contains its own controller. It is, in effect, a sophisticated toy.

Hobby robots often take humanoid form; these are androids. They can be programmed to give lectures, operate elevators, and even play musical instruments. Wheel drives are commonly used rather than bipedal (two legged) designs, because wheels work better than legs, are easier to design, and cost less. However, some hobby robots are propelled by track drives; others have four or six legs.

Some hobby robots are adaptations of industrial robots. Robot arms can be attached to a main body. Vision systems can be installed in the robot’s head, which can be equipped to turn to the right and left, and to nod up and down. Speech recognition and speech synthesis can allow a hobby robot to converse with its owner in plain language, rather than by means of a keyboard and monitor.This makes the machine much more human-like and user-friendly.

Perhaps the most important feature for a hobby robot is artificial intelligence (AI). The “smarter” the robot, the more fun it is to have around. It is especially interesting if a machine can learn from its mistakes, or be taught things by its owner.

Hobby robot societies exist in the United States and several other developed countries. They evolve and change their names often.If you live in a large city, you might be near such an organization.

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