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Chapter 4. Robot Anatomy Class > A Word About Spaghetti

A Word About Spaghetti

So that’s a rundown of the major subsystems found in most of today’s robots. It might seem like a lot of information to absorb, and a lot of very different subsystems to have to consider, but much of it will become second nature as you get into robot building yourself.

We didn’t even bother talking about all of the minor hardware such as screws, nuts, bolts, nylon fasteners, cable ties, the many different types of tires, and all of the support electronics. Oh, and the spaghetti. Lots and lots of spaghetti. What’s spaghetti? Wire. Any self-respecting robot of any significant size is bound to have many feet (even miles) of wire and cable. This can actually be one of the most intimidating aspects of looking at, and trying to understand the construction of, a robot you didn’t build yourself. It’s hard to make heads or tails of all the robot’s systems because it’s all obscured by mounds of spaghetti. Amazingly, as you start working on robots, you should find those tangles of wire much less intimidating. Think of that Olive Garden growing behind your computer desk. Those hook-ups might appear horrifyingly complex to your grandmother, or some other casual observer, but to you, it’s nothing more than an unsightly mess that you keep swearing to yourself you’re going to organize and color-code one “free” weekend.


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