Picture of Ard-e: The robot with an Arduino as a brain
wiring detail.JPG
Copy of final.JPG
How to create an open source Arduino controlled robot for under $100.

Hopefully after reading this instructable you will be able to take your first step into robotics. Ard-e cost about $90 to $130 depending on how much spare electronics you have lying around. The main costs are:
Arduino Diecimella- $35 https://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKSP1
Bulldozer kit- $31 http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/item.php?product-id=70104
Servo- $10 I got mine at a local hobby store
Worm gear Motor- $12 http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/item.php?product-id=72004
Various other Electronics- around $10 radioshack or digikey.com
Sensors- anywhere from 0 dollars to $28 depending on how many you want and how extensive your pile of junk electronics is

So with spending around $100 you get a remote control robot with a pan and tilt system that could be used to aim a camera, a hacked airsoft gun ( http://inventgeek.com/Projects/Airsoft_Turret_v2/Overview.aspx ) or you could attach a laser to it because thats what you have lying around. If you wanted to be really cruel you could attach a dvd laser to it and burn whatever you wanted ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgJ0EpxjZBU )

In addition to making the pan and tilt system that is remote controlled you can also buy about three dollars worth of chips, attach sensors to Ard-e and make him fully autonomous. For around a hundred dollars you can build your own robotics system that has most of the functionality of a roomba or a lego-mindstorms robot: It can sense when it bumps into something be programmed to avoid what it bumps into, it can follow the brightest light, smell pollutants, hear sounds, know precisely how far it has gone, and be controlled by an old recycled remote control. All of this for about half of the price of commercial units.

This is my entry into the RobotGames robot contest so if you like it make sure to vote for it!

Note- Originally I was going to enter the remote controlled version only as my entry to the contest but since the deadline was pushed back Im gonna show you how to make Ard-e run himself.

So on to how to build Ard-e
That looks so hard and complicated idk how you could build that for a science fair project I am just saying well i guse some people are smart about building robots but I could not build that and what is it post to do? nothing or dose it move around? can it talk? can it pick things up? WHAT can it do?
lean042 years ago
does it even lift?? ;-P
awesome robot and instructable, i´m trying to build a roomba bot while learning robotics (my knowledge go as far as H-bridge..), also i was thinking about buying an arduino board, now i´m ordering one stat!
Hey could a adruino uno work?
I tried to use your servo code, but I can't even get the Arduino IDE to compile it.


int potPin = 2; // selects the input pin for the potentiometer
Servo servo1;
int val = 0; // variable to store the value coming from the potentiometer

void setup() {
servo1.attach(8); //selects the pin for the servo

void loop() {
val = analogRead(potPin); // read the value from the potentiometer
val = val / 5.68; //convert the value to degrees
servo1.write(val); //make the servo go to that degree
Servo::refresh(); //command needed to run the servo

The IDE seems to have a problem with the following line in your code:

Servo::refresh(); //command needed to run the servo

do you have a solution for this error?
I'm running the latest version of Arduino IDEs version 0023.
The latest version of the Arduino IDE is 0100

and try using Servo.refresh();
fmbfla3 years ago
"One of the motors spins faster than the other so he veers towards the camera near the end of it. I don't really know why this happens".
Would this be caused by the first motor (#1) in line with the + would cause a voltage drop to motor (# 2)?. Would placing a resistor in line with M#1 control the voltage better?
Another possible work around for this is to use the chip to control the ground circuit from the motor.

Just a thought, as most DC motors in automotive interiors use "Hot" motors and use the PCM directly or the PCM controls micro relays to control the ground to operate.

Cobalt594 years ago
Is that a toilet cleaning brush I see? (on the first picture) :) Nice 'ible!
lcona894 years ago
In the code are those declarations in the begging pin numbers?
lcona894 years ago
Anybody know how this was interfaced as a voltage divide?
Chowmix125 years ago
I love this instructable! 4/5* (becuase of the lack of code) Other than that Awesome! I really love how you made the robot with a lot of different functions..
Chowmix125 years ago
where's the actual code for the light seeking behavior?
imadami (author)  Chowmix125 years ago
I forgot to post the code for it and it was written on my old laptop... I did it two different ways. The first way was with two light sensors mounted on the left and right sides and pointing forward. I then programmed it to spin the side that had a higher reading faster. The other way that I did it was to mount a single light sensor in the middle of A-rde on a servo and have the servo turn to the left right and middle and measure the light at these three points. Whichever was the brightest it would drive towards, stop and then make another measurement. I never really got good light seeking behavior...
Also, try making adjustable eyes. Use solid core wires soldered onto the two LDR pins and then twist the wires together. there bendy yet they hold their shape. i found that the best way to get them to work is pointing them upwards, bent slightly away from each other...
i tried the first method with the cds cells connected to analog pins 1 and 2. the analog pins had 10k ohm resitors going to ground and the other end of the cds cell went to +5v. I'll PM the code for what i used, I got excellent behavior, very accurate. BTW, i used a l298hn chip instead of the l239d, because i was able to sample it. You should change the code for the l239d, and I dont mind if you post it on the I'ble for others to use.
Chowmix125 years ago
instead of the l293, i sampled the l298HN IC which is similar to the l293. but i got it for free...
D5quar35 years ago
 why are there pins coming out of the bottom of the schematic sorry im pretty new to this.
the pins come out the bottom to make a simple design on the schematic. When actually building this, you should use the data sheet or any other reference to match the pin numbers on the schematic.
use the joy with an X-bee and make a Ard-e wireless and a camera so you can remotely control it from your computer and maybe a weapon system!
fuzvulf6 years ago
Awesome instructable. Thanks for all the input. wanting to get a freeduino to start playing around with. Also thank your brother for the VOC, I know my cousin is going to freak when I finally get this worked out and the robot rolls up to his shoes and then waves it's little claw in front of it's sensor array/face does a 180 and speeds away.
me6 years ago
I really like it, I was thinking of buying an arduino, but now that I have seen this project I'm deffinately going to buy one. I'm thinking of making a mobile platform out of knex (instead of the bulldozer) I have a question though, I assume the motors from the bulldozer use 3v each and you hook up a 6v power supply because the L293 needs it, so how do you run the motors?
imadami (author)  me6 years ago
Originally i had the L293 hooked up with only 3V supplied to it and then attached another batter pack because it wasn't working. The motors held up fine probably because i usually don't run them at a full duty cycle for very long.
love it here is a robot im making
bubba's robot 001.JPG
Xellers6 years ago
I noticed that in your first video you are apparently controlling the robot by means of some switches that are physically wired from your controller to the robot. May I suggest using a wireless transmitter and receiver to make it remote controlled? I'm sure it will be worth the extra $10 - $15 and several new lines of code.
you should make a programmable paint ball gun like this then make an instructable awsome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JvxnrzB1Jk&feature=user
robotkid2497 years ago
Instead of using L293 to drive the motors, you could have also used a TIP120 transistor instead of spending senven dollars, or 20 for a driver.
liseman7 years ago
groovy little brother! glad to see all my stolen electronics components going to a good use:)
zjharva7 years ago
I have arduino and the tank kit. I should make this!
imadami (author)  zjharva7 years ago
Make sure you post a link to it if you do!
zjharva imadami7 years ago
ok, i just have to get a servo and some other stuff
GWJax7 years ago
Nice Job!! I was using the same bulldozer platform for the wall-e testing until I got a u-command wall-e now the electronics are in that so I can finnish the progrmming. Plus I like your instructible nice layout too. congrats. a++
imadami (author)  GWJax7 years ago
Thanks. Wall-e is awesome, he was part of my inspiration for this project.
GWJax imadami7 years ago
It's good to see that 4mem8 andI could inspire you and others that was our job to get the younger generation involved into thinking and modig what they see in robotics. Plus you have inspired people also, you got my vote!
culepet7 years ago
that is niceit would be better if you add more switches of not falling off the stairs hehe
Spoonman7 years ago
Very nicely written. I've been contemplating an Arduino and needed a project to start with, I think this is just the inspiration I need. I especially liked the info about the sensors and such. Thanks!
Bongmaster7 years ago
Kool project :) I like most arduino projects :D but this one is nice and detailed :)