After you have developed your robot, it is now time to determine the means to control it. The different types of robots (check chapter 2) and its functionalities will play a key role in helping you decide the type of control you opt for. There are robots for a wide range of applications such as collecting data related to the environment, performing specific tasks in a manufacturing plant, etc. There are robots that are completely controlled by human beings and then there are robots that perform tasks on their own. In addition, in order to send or collect information, you will have to understand and also focus on developing a robot on the basis of the autonomy tethered, wireless, or completely autonomous.

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Wired Control

One of the most convenient and the easiest way to control your robot is with a physical controller which is linked to the robot by using a cable (tether). Moreover, levers, knobs, switches, buttons, joysticks which are on the controller enable you to control the robot without the need of integrating complicated electronics. In most cases, these robots rely on human commands to perform tasks.

Advantages of wired control robots

  1. No issues related to the operating time as it is directly linked to the mains.
  2. No problem related to loss of signal
  3. No complicated electronics involved
  4. Light in weight
  5. If at all there is a problem, the robot can be retrieved physically


  1. The cable or the tether can get caught or get stuck
  2. The length of the tether affects the distance
  3. The movement of the robot is affected if the tether is dragged on the ground

Wired Computer control

The next important step is to include a microcontroller and connect it to one of the ports in your computer which will then enable you to control it with either a keyboard, peripheral device, or a joystick. In addition, it is important to program the robot as the microcontroller will be used to control the robot. Netbooks have gained a significant amount of popularity owing to its light weight and smaller size compared to laptops and desktops.


  1. Complex tasks can be programmed which can be controlled from a single button
  2. You can get a larger controller
  3. Onboard intelligence makes it easier for the robot take certain decisions on its own


  1. The cost may be more due to additional electronics


Ethernet interface is another type of a computer controlled robot in which the robot is connected to the router. Hence, the robot can be easily controlled through the internet for robots that are not in the close vicinity. There is a fair share of hurdles to developing a robot that can send and receive signals from the internet and could often be a complex task. Thus, the wireless internet becomes a preferred choice.


  1. Robots can be controlled from any part of the world
  2. There is no limitation on the operating time as the internet is used.
  3. The communication can further be enhanced by making use of Internet Protocol (IP)


  1. Complex levels of programming
  2. Could take time to configure the robot and could mean initial glitches.



One of the most notable advantages of using an infrared transmitter is that it negates the need to use tethers. However, in an infrared control, the receiver and the transmitter need to be in a line of sight of each other to get data. These are mainly used to give a command to an infrared receiver which is connected to the microcontroller. The signals are responsible for the action of the robot.


  1. Not an expensive alternative
  2. A simple TV remote control can also be used as a controller


  1. The line of sight between the receiver and the transmitter is a must
  2. Distance limitations
  3. The data rate is fairly low


The data is transmitted and received in the form of radio frequency signals using small microcontrollers. You can get more info here about how to store that data safely. One main reason why it is preferred over infrared robots is that it does not have any issues related to the line of sight and offers a much larger range. In fact, advanced RF units such as Zigbee and Xbee offer no range limitations. Another advantage is that it is easy to set up and also takes into account communication protocols.


  1. Larger distance offered
  2. Easy to setup
  3. No direction limitations


  1. The transmission frequencies may be shared


Wi-fi has certainly become one of the best alternatives owing to advancements in internet technology. The robot can be easily controlled from a remote location. The Wi-fi robot needs to be connected to the router which is linked to the internet and also a Wi-fi device on the robot.


  1. Can control a robot from any part of the world provided it is within the range of the router
  2. High levels of data rates


  1. Additional complex programming may be required
  2. The choice of wireless router determines the maximum range

There are several other ways you can set up the control of your robots such as Bluetooth, GPRS, and other autonomous alternatives. Being one of the best robotics training institute in Pune, we strive to increase the prospects of robotics in the younger generation and increase the buzz around robotics.