Robot Systems: Hardware Overview

Building a Robot from scratch involves choosing the right software and hardware. In the previous article, I explained the various libraries that help the robot with moving, detecting, navigating and controlling. Now this article explains the hardware side: The computers, the motors, the sensors with which to equip the robot. As in my previous article, this list is in all means not exhaustive, but lists components that I found during my research and find interesting to keep them here.

This article originally appeared at my blog.

Single Board Computers

Raspberry Pi 4

  • Products Page

Jetson Nano

  • 128 Core Maxwell GPU
  • Product Page

BeagleBoard X15


Arduino UNO

  • Family of microcontrollers with manifold configuration
  • Wikipedia Page

Arduino Nano

  • Same features as the Arduino Nano, but compatible with breadboards and smaller in design
  • Wikipedia Page

Feather boards


  • Arduino compatible boards, that feature a Micro-USB connection and can seamlessly integrate with a number of other boards from the Grove module family
  • Product Page


  • USB and MicroSD connectors
  • Product Page

NodeMCU v2

  • Arduino Compatible, built-in Wifi,
  • IoT plattform
  • Wikipedia Page

Argon Wifi Development Board

  • MicroUSB Connection
  • Product Page

Espressif Systems ESP8266

Espressif Systems ESP32

  • Built-In WiFi, SD Card Reader
  • Successor to the ESP8266
  • Wikipedia Page

ST Microelectronics STM32

  • Family of Microcontrollers based on ARM
  • Provided as Arduino or Discovery Boards (for debugging purposes)
  • Wikipedia Page

Teensy 3.6

  • Arduino compatible
  • USB and MicroSD connectors
  • Product Page

MSP430 Launchpad

Netduino N3 Wi-Fi

  • Built-In WiFi, SD Card Reader
  • Wikipedia Page


2 Wheels + Caster

4 Wheels


Continuous Belt



Synchronous AC Motor

  • Once accelerated, the motor produces a constant torque

Asynchronous AC / Induction

  • Magnetic polarization in the stator change the motors torque

Brushed DC motor

  • Were the first commercially applied electric motor
  • Types: Grouped by their RPM

Brushed DC Geared Motors

  • Types: Grouped by RPM

Brushless DC motor / Synchronous DC motor

  • Types

Brushless DC stepper motor

  • Types: Unipolar, Bipolar

Brushless DC Servo Motors

  • Types: Nano, Micro, Slim Wing etc.



  • Photovoltaic Cells convert solar radiation into electric current


  • Ultrasonic sensors emit sound and measure the echo impulse
  • Laser emit lasers and measure the lasers reflection



Movements and Acceleration

  • Gyroscope


  • Humidity
  • Smoke

Complete Kits


IT Project Manager & Developer