How hard is it to learn robotics? As someone who has never taken a robotics course, I’m curious. I’ve read that you need an understanding in linear algebra, physics, and probability. Let me say right now that physics is the hardest thing I’ve ever learned and math is not my god given talent, though I did pass algebra II last year pretty easy. But I am very interested in technology, and robots are undoubtedly the future. I’m not trying to find an easy challenge, but I definitely don’t look forward to learning something that requires the subjects that I do not excel well in at all.
Robotics as a hobby can really be as challenging as you want. Since you can more-or-less set your own goals and consider any progress a success. For example, a beginner might start by following some simple Arduino tutorials about blinking LEDs and handling user input, and eventually progress to controlling motors and dealing with feedback.
Once you start getting some understanding about how all of the systems can work together, you can start putting it together to create some simple robots. There are also different aspects to robotics, such as designing or building a robot, and programming it to do certain tasks. Doing some Internet search to see what interests you is probably a good place to start. You might also consider looking through our blog for inspiration, such as our “Simple Hexapod Walker” tutorial. If something is becoming too difficult, there’s usually a way to simplify it or get it working good enough to revisit later.
What I’ve always enjoyed about robotics is that there is always ways you can improve and more to learn, so it can definitely be rewarding!
I agree with everything Brandon wrote, and would also add that when you’re working on something cool, something you chose for yourself and not something that was just assigned to you as homework, you’ll probably be more motivated to learn the underlying math/physics/mechanics/programming/electronics and more likely to remember it years later. Maybe you’ll become great at math and physics as a result…