Since robotics touches many subjects (electrical, mechanical, and software), and a variety of sub-fields (computer vision, machine learning, programming, Matlab, embedded, etc), it seems that we need to develop a system for determining when a question is good for our community, and when it would be better suited for another community.

What does the robotics SE offer that other sites cannot offer?

What should other sites cover so that the work is not duplicated here?

As I see it, Robotics.SE is very much aimed at the Application, whereas many of the other SE sites are aiming at the underlying theory. And as I commented on Where does Robotics end and Electrical Engineering begin? there cannot be a clear demarcation between the application and the principal.

On the other hand, as I've commented elsewhere, we have to be careful about too-basic questions.

Some questions will be obviously off-topic for R.SE, some will be on-topic but more on-topic elsewhere (and hence probably should be migrated) and others will be more on-topic here, so should stay.

But fundamentally, as long as it is on-topic here, no matter how on-topic it would be elsewhere, then here is fair enough.

• +1 for the last sentence Oct 25, 2012 at 6:57
• @Mark - no problems... done. Cross-linked to the other thread also.
– Andrew Mod
Oct 25, 2012 at 15:34
• That first link is broken. The question is here, feel free to use either that link or the share link with your ID. May 23, 2016 at 23:55

As I said over on Area 51. The policy we seem to be developing over on Raspberry Pi stack exchange is one of relative permissiveness with regards to strict cross-site division.

Thus we have had a number of questions which should strictly have been moved to Electronics or Unix & Linux but have stayed on Raspberry Pi because while they could be answered on those other sites, they are still directly relevant to Raspberry Pi users and answers on raspberrypi will be more appropriate to Raspberry Pi users than an answer on a sister site might end up.

I would suggest is that we do likewise here - migrate questions which aren't actually about Robotics but be relatively tolerant of questions which are.

As a final point, I would highly recommend that people read Shog9's blog post Respect the community – your own, and others’, which has some excellent points to make about striking the right balance.

• I like the concept of relative permissiveness
– Andrew Mod
Oct 26, 2012 at 18:55

To me, it seems like robotics is about using those components to solve more abstract problems, whereas lots of engineering/science/CS questions are about answering those questions for their own sake.

I think the line should be drawn that if a question is about robotics platforms, or cross-field engineering, then we're more qualified to answer it than a particular field. Otherwise, I think those questions are better steered towards the various engineering, science, and computer science fields that they represent.

I like Mark's approach. If it clearly relevant to robotics as well as other domains, keep it here, even if it could be within stack overflow's or electrical engineering's (or other) sphere. But if it's a very general programming or EE question, move it.