I was just visiting Area51 when I noticed that there's yet another proposal for a robotics stackexchange getting started:

Robotics research

It's been marked as a dupe of E&R, but this question from Adam Davis aka Pollyana (a prolific Stack Exchange user and computer/embedded/electrical engineer, with >25k rep on both SO and meta.SO, who's interestingly not active on E&R) requested that the proposal be supported as a means to split from E&R, which he points out isn't really very much about robotics.

Are we really electronics and robotics, or are we actually just electronics?

BTW, I've posted an answer to the "We already have Electronics and Robotics" question here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, it might be courteous to leave a comment that you're from E&R if you go visit, and be cautious in your voting. We don't want to overwhelm this proposal with our numbers. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2011 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Incidentally, since it took me a while to find We already have Electronics and Robotics and I can't edit, a comment will have to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Booth
    Oct 16, 2012 at 8:14

3 Answers 3


I have given some thought to this. I think that we are really only accomplishing the task of being an electronics site right now. This is not surprising as chiphacker was only electronics. The core issue here is communication.

Electronics and robotics may be a situation similar to Server fault and Super user. The general knowledge is the same, but the perspective and language differ greatly.

I am supporting the divergence of Robotics from Electronics.

I do however value feedback. I think that at our current juncture we will not be able to build up a robotic following without a clash of the communities but I also think that the two separate communities with have prolific users that are shared. Both sites I see developing very well, but with very different communities on the whole.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As support for this, take a look at the new design we are getting. No one seems to mind that it does not incorporate robotics beyond the name. I think this is better to fix now then in the far future. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 16, 2011 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Definitely agreed that fixing this (either way) before launch is a good thing. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2011 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek, I have been told that if it were removed and the two sites ended up sharing a large part of their community it could be merged back again. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 16, 2011 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - Interesting! I know that I'd drop by a Robotics SE every once in a while. I think many of our users would do the same. However, I think that the core users of both sites would be separate groups. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2011 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek, I would also, as I would consider myself a hobbyist at it, but enjoy it a lot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 17, 2011 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek, Also, there is no reason we could not plan events together, nothing better then robotics guys working with electronics guys(I am from Texas, guys is unisex). \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 17, 2011 at 15:37

I sympathize with them on their desire for a more professional oriented robotics site. Most of their example questions are fairly high level (at least I don't understand them, but I have no formal robotics knowledge), so I think it's fine.

This site is 80% low-level electronics questions with maybe 15% being a little higher level, and maybe 1% are "robotics" questions that are really just RC or something where it's a bit of a stretch to call it robotics, at least as far as the discipline is concerned.

As an aside, I was somewhat excited to see an A51 proposal for chemistry (being a biochem student), but all the example questions are so low level it was disheartening (Coke + Mentos...seriously?). However, the biology proposal seems to be quite interesting. Most of those questions I can't answer, but at least I am on a level where I can understand the bulk of them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose that Bio and Chemistry will have to reach for the experts, like MathOverflow and Math.se have done. Coke and mentos questions will only last so long. The Math stack exchange is really an excellent site. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2011 at 14:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that a robotics site that really pushes towards expert research-level robotics is becoming necessary. The volume of "actual" robotics questions on this site is very, very low. I think that the basic electronics/robotics questions may be scaring off some of the higher-level experts in the field of robotics. \$\endgroup\$
    – mjcarroll
    Mar 9, 2011 at 21:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mjcarroll - I fear that it may also be scaring off some of the higher-level experts in the field of electronics! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2011 at 1:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mjcarroll, @reemrevnivek, This is an issue that has troubled me also. The only solution I see is trying to support both. I do wish that when someone asked an advanced question they did not get giving a number of answers along the lines of, "You missed this basic concept," and that the community could assume to some level that they had a reason for making such a design decision. I have had this happen to myself before and it was very frustrating as I got 0 usable answers and the answers that were significantly below what I needed got upvotes from users that understood them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seeing as how there are not many robotics questions, would there be enough to warrant a new site? Why not take this site and modify it in a way where each question is put into either a robotics or electronis division. Then the user could choose which to look at. IMO. Porbably several flaws. Maybe add complexity division also? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2011 at 3:24

For those who are still interested in Robotics, although many proposals have failed in the past, the latest combined Robotics proposal is now very close to full commitment.

It was only created 6 months ago, and completed the new 40 question definition phase a month ago. It currently has 233 of 200 required committers and a 100% commitment score.

All we need now are the final 10 experienced stack exchange users to commit (those with 200+ rep on any other site).

If you are interested in Robotics and think you could contribute towards getting the closed beta off it's feet, now would be a great time to commit.

Whether you are an expert willing to lend your expertise or a hobbyist with questions to ask, I think the new Robotics site will be a great resource.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You probably would get more views posting a new question asking for supports of a new robotics proposal, I would feature the question since we have many interested in that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Oct 16, 2012 at 15:12

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