Robotics Design: Key Principles and Best Practices for Robotics Engineers

Robotics Design: Key Principles and Best Practices for Robotics Engineers

Robotics is an ever-evolving field, and robotics engineers are constantly pushing the envelope to create ever-more efficient, robust and cost-effective solutions for the industrial world. Designing a robot requires precision, skill and knowledge of the technical aspects of robotics, as well as an understanding of the physical environment that the robot will be operating in. To be effective and successful, robotics engineers must carefully consider a variety of key principles such as kinematics, dynamics and control. In this article, we’ll explore the essential design principles that robotics engineers should follow in order to create more efficient and reliable robots.


Kinematics is a field of study within mechanical engineering which deals with the motion of objects without considering the forces acting on them. It covers the study of the geometry and motion of systems and how they interact with each other. This is especially important in the design of robots, since they require specific motion control in order to complete their tasks effectively.

Designing robots requires proper planning of the robot’s kinematic structure, which includes determining joint types, link lengths, link shapes, axis definitions, and other such measures. The kinematic structure of a robot thus determines its ability to move through its environment and complete tasks. Additionally, the engineer must specify the control system needed to command the robot’s movements.


Dynamics is the study of the forces which affect the motion of objects. It is the study of the interaction between objects, and of how external forces like gravity, friction, and acceleration can affect the motion of an object. When designing robots, it is important to consider the dynamic properties of the environment the robot will be operating in, such as terrain, terrain features, and surface roughness. This helps engineers determine the most efficient design for the robot’s motion capabilities and to understand how the robot’s motion will be affected by external forces.


The control system is what enables robots to sense and react to their environment. This enables robots to make decisions and move around in the environment autonomously. In addition to kinematic and dynamic considerations, control needs to be considered when designing a robotic system. A control system consists of sensors, actuators, and a form of communication which connects all these components together. Sensors allow robots to gather information from the environment, while actuators enable robots to manipulate their environment or take action based on the sensed information.

An important consideration for control systems is the type of control approach used. Control systems can be either open-loop or closed-loop. Open-loop control systems use pre-defined commands that are given to the robot, while closed-loop control systems are able to respond to the environment and make changes to the robot’s behavior accordingly. Closed-loop systems are more suitable for more complex tasks, and can be used to implement adaptive behaviors.


Safety is an important consideration when designing robots, and engineers should take into account potential hazards to both humans and robots in the environment. Safety features should be designed into robots, such as sensors which can detect the presence of humans, and emergency shut-off features which can be triggered if something goes wrong. It is also important to consider protective equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses, which should be worn by operators when working with robots.


Robots are often subjected to unpredictable and dynamic environments, and it is important to simulate these environments to test the performance of the robot in advance. Simulation allows for the testing of different scenarios such as obstacle avoidance or path planning, and provides opportunities for engineers to fine-tune their robots’ performance.


Designing robots is a complex process which requires careful consideration of a variety of principles and best practices. Robotics engineers must consider kinematics, dynamics, control, safety and simulation when designing efficient, reliable and cost-effective robots. By carefully following these design principles and best practices, engineers can ensure that their robots are effective, safe, and can perform as expected in their environment.