11 Reliable Robotics Forums for Practical Discussions
Posted on Feb 05, 2021 10:30 AM
Which robotics forum is the right one for you?
Although there aren't tons of robotics forums online, there are still quite a few. As a result, it can be difficult to know which forum you should go to when you have a particular question about robotics.
Do you need a forum devoted to industrial robotics filled with expert users?
Or should you pick a forum with newer robot users like yourself?
How can you tell which forum will best suit your question?
The right forum for you will depend on your specific needs and situation. For example, a forum geared towards professional integrators of industrial robots wouldn't be a good choice for a hobbyist looking for a new educational robotics kit. Similarly, a hobbyist forum wouldn't be a good choice for a new industrial user of collaborative robots.
In this post, we'll look at 11 of the most active robotics forums available on the internet at the time of writing. I have drawn these suggestions from our my experience, research and lists of active forums.
I also give some recommendations as to what the forums are best for. However, these are just my opinions, you might like to check them out for yourself.
4 forums for industrial and collaborative robot users
If you're using robotics for your business, these are the first ones you should check out.
Best for: Collaborative robot users
The DoF forum is a community run by us at Robotiq. It has been running since 2016 and has grown into an impressively active place for discussions about everything related to collaborative robotics.
In DoF, you will find a huge array of robotics users, from seasoned veterans to newer robot users. We encourage active discussions — not just quick support-style answers — so it's a great place to learn from other's experiences of cobot deployments.
Best for: Automation engineers using conventional industrial robots
Robot Forum is probably one of the longest-established forums about industrial robotics. And, by its own reckoning, it's the largest community. The majority of the discussions are quite advanced and relate to the use of conventional industrial robots. There are also dedicated sub-forums on a range of robotics-related topics.
Best for: Soliciting supplier connections
The Robotic Industries Association Ask the Experts section is less of a forum and more of a one-way question and answer platform. In this board, you can only ask questions to a panel of industry experts and they can all submit their responses. Usually, these responses come in the form of lightly veiled sales pitches or petitions from suppliers, but you can also get helpful responses.
Best for: Urgent general robotics questions
Stack Exchange — the network of communities run by the company Stack Overflow — includes a very active forum on robotics. It's a good place to get a quick response about programming-related issues and other robotics fundamentals, such as kinematics formulations, sensor control, etc.
3 forums for users of specific robot brands
There are surprisingly few good, active forums for specific brands around robotics.
Best for: Users of ABB robots
The ABB Forum is primarily a support forum for users of ABB robots and their simulation software. It's a pretty active one and you're likely to get some quick answers from the staff and other users if you are an ABB user.
Best for: Technical questions for UR support staff
The UR+ forum is also primarily a support forum for users of Universal Robots. It is structured into sections relating to the different aspects of UR products, such as the mechanical interface to the robot, communication interfaces, and error identification.
Best for: Users of RoboDK
The RoboDK forum is quite an active one and one of the few that is devoted to offline programming. Like the previous two forums, it is very focused toward users of RoboDK products.
5 forums for hobby and educational robotics
There are more hobby-related robotics forums than for any other type, reflecting the range of different robots that are available in this space.
Best for: General hobbyists
Society of Robots is worth a browse if you are a hobby user looking for general discussions around more general robotics topics. It has been more active in the past but remains a good place to go to see if your question has been asked before.
Best for: Hobby/educational/research robots and users of Lynxmotion
As the name suggests, RobotShop is a shop that sells robots, mostly for education, hobby, and research use. The forum is well organized into a range of categories and also contains an entire sub-forum dedicated to Lynxmotion robot kits.
Best for: Researchers and robot kit users
Trossen Robotics is a provider of robotics kits for research and educational use. The forum is moderately active and contains discussions around a variety of robotics-related topics from Arduino programming to sensing and mechanics.
Best for: Users of specific hobby kits
Another hobbyist robotics forum, JJ Robots is a good place for some specific robot kits. For example, it has sections dedicated to brands like Spher-O-Bot, Blimpduino, and B-Robot, but there is little in the way of general robotics discussion.
Which forum should you choose?
With such an array of different robotics forums available, you might still be wondering which of them you should dip your toe into.
A good option is to narrow down the forums by the rough area of your interest (e.g. collaborative robots, industrial robots, or hobby robotics) then browse through all of the ones listed here.
If you are looking to see if a particular question has already been asked, you can use the search function on the forum itself or search for your query on Google with the option "site:" followed by the forum URL.
And, if you're thinking of using collaborative robotics, you should definitely check out the DoF collaborative robotics community and our new video series of popular forum discussions on the RobotiqTV YouTube channel.