Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why I Love LetsMakeRobots

My Robotics Journey

Most of what I've learned about robotics, I've learned through the support of an online community called Let's Make Robots. While there is an abundance of information on the Internet and in books, LMR is where you can get the encouragement, advice, and inspiration that will get you someplace.

Whether you are an experienced robot builder, a tech-saavy artist, a teacher, a retiree or a student, you will not find a better place to move you further and faster.

Never built a robot before? The now famous start here robot project has gotten hundreds of people from dreaming to actually building and programming a complete robot. It's how I started, and I still use many of the basic techniques learned on that project today.

Though I wanted to build a robot since I was a kid, it wasn't until I found this place that I managed to do it. Now, I blog on robotics and have taught kids at a local museum, a learning center, and at Maker Faire. I've got a lot more stuff cooking, and I owe it all to the other members of LMR.

What You'll Find at LMR

LMR is a free and volunteer based initiative, originally started by Frits Lyneborg in 2008. LMR is 100% produced and maintained by members of the community.

The site is packed with projects, tips, blogs and forums contributed by members. Anyone can contribute, and everyone is encouraged to do so.

Unlike some other sites, where content is controlled by a central group or individual, LMR is uniquely democratic.

It is worth saying that I'm constantly impressed by the quality of young builders that come to LMR. They come in with energy and a dream. They quickly learn how to guide that excitement into the necessary steps to make something cool.

How You Can Get Involved

Well, join the site, obviously! Add your voice, your imagination, your expertize, or just your questions to this thriving community of thousands of users. We have over 10,000 registered members and thousands of visitors every day. There have been over 3.3 million individuals who have visited over the site's lifetime.

Join us!

(Pictured: LMR members map)

There's something else you can do too.

Help LMR Get Even Better

Just to be clear, this is a shameless plug for money.

Whether you are an LMR member, or just want to support a geeky friend or loved one, we could use your help. We are raising money for the development of an updated LMR website. The site is non-commercial, free to users, and supported by generous donations by a few.

But there are big plans for LMR, and it's going to take some help to get there.

Version 4 of the website have been in the works for quite some time. Our developer Hugo has been working unpaid all this time, but he's a professional programmer and cannot continue dedicate time to LMR forever.

The new version will look as much as possible like the present site. Under the covers, however, it will completely new! Each underlying element that makes up a project (robot brain, ideas, components, etc.) can be used and cross referenced by others. This will kick collaboration up to a whole new level, allowing you to drag other people's elements into your own posts.

So, please come visit the LMR donation page

In addition to the great feeling you'll get from supporting this community, there are Fabulous Prizes to Win

In appreciation of your contributions, all donors:
  • Earn LMR's eternal gratitude, and will be listed as a contributor on the LMRv4 'About' page.
  • Will be invited to participate in the LMRv4 beta test.
  • Will be invited to the LMRv4 Virtual Launch Party!
Plus, donate before May 1. 2012, and be entered into drawing for some fabulous prizes from Seeedstudio:
Thanks for reading!