When it comes to robotics, Python is one of the most useful and popular languages used. This language is most commonly used to design embedded systems in industrial robots. One of the main reasons this programming language is a key player in robotics is because of its Robot Operating System (ROS) that eases the entire process for developers.
Some of the strengths for robot programming with Python include software like Raspberry Pi and Arduino, which make robotic engineering easier than ever before. If you want to pursue a career in robotics, it is necessary to learn Python for your field. This guide will provide insight on how you can use Python for robotics.
What Is Python?
Python is still one of the most popular programming languages, today. This high-level open-source language doubles as a general-purpose language, and can also be used for complex machine code and low-level hardware for a robot framework. Python stands out as one of the top languages for robotics due to its beginner-friendly nature and ease of use.
Python is also a scripting language used for coding websites, prototype development, image processing, and scientific data. Its open-sourced nature makes it popular among developers and data scientists.
What Is Python Used for in Robotics?
Python is used for developing and testing robots. It is one of the best languages in robotics because of how easily it can teach, automate, and process robot programs. Professionals choose it because it eases the process of writing a script that records, calculates, and stimulates a physical robot program, which eliminates the need for manual programming.
Compared to other programming languages such as Java, C++, and C, Python lets you write fewer lines of code. It is used to design embedded systems and offers libraries to handle basic functions. The libraries are free, so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Generally, it saves you time and lets you focus on other aspects of your job.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Python for Robotics?
Learning Python for robotics can take a few weeks to several months, depending on your exact use. However, this also depends on your learning method and prior experience. Coding bootcamps and online courses are quick and effective ways to become proficient in Python robotics. College programs are also extremely effective, but more time-consuming.
Why Should You Learn Python for Robotics?
There are so many reasons to learn Python for robotics, but one of the primary reasons is to enter the machine learning industry. The machine learning industry continues to grow as technology advances. Below you’ll find more details as to why you should learn Python for robotics.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Development
Artificial intelligence is the next innovation in the tech space. This technology makes it possible for machines to mimic the human brain. It can analyze, think, and even make decisions. Libraries like TensorFlow and Keras allow AI development without being programmed explicitly. There are also other Python libraries such as OpenCV for image recognition or computer vision.
Scripting and Automation
Python is well-known as a programming language, but it also doubles as a scripting language. Scripting involves writing a code script form and executing it. The machine usually reads the code and interprets it while error-checking commences during runtime. When the code has been checked, you can use it more than once.
Portable and Extensible Properties
Python has portable and extensible properties that let you perform Ross language operations with ease. Several platforms support this programming language in the industry, including Solaris, Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and PlayStation. It is easy to integrate languages like Java and .NET components while also invoking C++ and C libraries.
How Can I Learn Python for Robotics?
Some of the main ways to learn Python for robotics include coding bootcamps, online courses, and books. The first two methods are instructor guided while the last one is self-taught. The learning method you choose depends on how well you assimilate information. Below you’ll find details of different learning options to help you determine which one is right for you.
Coding bootcamps offer intensive Python training for anyone in the robotics field. It is a flexible learning environment with hands-on training to ensure that you understand each module thoroughly. You can choose to attend remotely or in person, without compromising on the quality of your training.
Online courses are one of the most popular and effective ways to learn Python for robotics. You can find some of the best courses on platforms like Coursera, edX, Udemy, and Udacity. Each of these providers offers theoretical learning with lots of hands-on training.
Although books may seem old-fashioned, they’re actually a great self-learning method for Python engineering. You can find Python books on Amazon and other online platforms. Most websites provide hard copy and ebook options to accommodate a variety of readers. You can also look at book stores like Barnes and Noble.
Top Python for Robotics Libraries
Python libraries are valuable in removing the need to write codes from scratch. So far, there are over 137,000 libraries for different purposes. Robotics has its own share of libraries that make it easier to work. Some of the most popular programming libraries for robotics are listed below.
- DART. DART, or Dynamic Animation and Robotics Toolkit, is an open-source library that provides algorithms and data structured for dynamic and kinematic apps in computer animation and robotics.
- Simulation Open Framework Architecture. Also known as SOFA, this is an efficient framework and open-source library dedicated to prototyping, research, and physics-based simulation development.
- Klamp’t. This library stands for Kris’ Locomotion and Manipulation Planning Toolbox. It is a software package tool used for programming robots, robot simulating, modeling, optimization, planning, and visualization.
- PyRobot. This library is used for running experiments and benchmarking in robot learning. It is a blend of Requests and BeautifulSoup, which are two popular Python libraries. It is used to drive apps that don’t have an API or any other hooking method.
- Pyro. Also known as Python Remote Objects, this Python library allows you to build apps where objects can speak to each other over a network.
How to Learn Python for Robotics: A Step-by-Step Guide
Learning Python for robotics can be easy if you have a structured curriculum and learning program. It will also be easier if you have clear-cut goals that you want to meet. Here are the steps you can follow to learn Python for robotics.
Motivation is an essential factor in learning Python for robotics. At first, it may be challenging to start learning Python techniques, so you must motivate yourself to push past any challenges that may occur. Before you begin your project, develop your learning goals and your primary reason for learning Python.
Learn The Fundamentals
Every learning method starts with the fundamentals because you need a basic understanding before moving forward. You’ll want to start by learning data types such as strings, float, and int, as well as compound data structures like dictionaries, tuples, and lists. You will also need to learn about loops, conditionals, and functions.
After learning the fundamentals of Python, the next step is to get hands-on practice. The best way to do this is to work on Python projects. Since Python has a large community, you can always get pointers to help you while creating projects. Work on a structured robotics project that other programmers have worked on before.
Working on projects alone can only get you so far, so consider taking on pair programming projects, as well. Pair programming involves a pair of programmers working together to complete one task. Both programmers take turns as navigators and drivers. The navigator guides and reviews codes, while the driver writes them. Throughout the process, they switch places.
Take on More Advanced Projects
Hands-on practice is a continuous process required to learn Python for robotics. If you have mastered the basics and worked on some beginner projects, you need to work on advanced projects of your own. If you are up for a challenge, you can volunteer to provide solutions for robotics or simply come up with something unique.
Start Learning Python for Robotics Today
Python is a versatile programming language for robotics. It has an extensive library that can make your work much easier. Since Python is easy to read and write, it doesn’t take long to learn. It is also free to use to work on as many projects as needed to master Python for robotics.
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