Introduction: Bluetooth Robot... Fast, Cheap and Reusable

Picture of Bluetooth Robot... Fast, Cheap and Reusable

*Updated 2011-01-03: Added an additional video that demonstrates the EZ-Builder software.

This robot is the best platform at getting started in custom robotics. The parts used in this build, and the knowledge you learn can take you deeper into the robotics world! The EZ-B and EZ-Builder software will start you off nice and easy. There is plenty of room to grow with the EZ-B as your software and hardware solution. It won't take much to build impressive robotics to impress your family and friends.

I've received many questions on how to start getting into robotics... People see my completed projects and think it is too difficult for them. Well this instructable is going to change all that!

Building this robot with the EZ-B board and the free software will get you started onto bigger and better things. The parts from this robot can be recycled to use in your future projects.

1 x EZ-B Board

EZ-Builder Software

1 x Tamiya Bulldozer Kit

2 x modified gws servos for drivetrain

1 x gws servos for head

1 x sharp gp2d05 distance sensor

1 x battery pack

- Hot Glue Gun
- Flat head Screwdriver
- Small Side Cutters

The video will show in detail how each step is taken. It might be best to watch the video before executing the photo steps.

Assembly Video

EZ-Builder Demo Video 



Step 1: Assemble Bulldozer

Picture of Assemble Bulldozer

Put the bulldozer together by combing my video instructions and the directions in the box.

Don't go any further then i have demonstrated.

Step 2: Modify Wheel

Picture of Modify Wheel

The wheel needs to be modified to fit the servo.

You will need to modify the wheel by cutting out the inner axel support. Then use a flat head screw driver to carefully pick away any petruding peices. Make the surface nice and flat.

When you purchase a servo, it will come with various fittings. Find the fitting closest to the size as I demonstrated, and modify it to fit inside the wheel.

Insert the servo fitting inside the wheel that you have modified.

Do this for two wheels.

Put wheel on servo.

If you are lost, watch the video.

Step 3: Fit the Servo and Glue

Picture of Fit the Servo and Glue

Assemble the tractor tread and temporarily fit the servo. Hold it with your finger to align it correctly.

It may help to use a Marker to mark the fitting position.

Use a Hot Glue Gun to secure the servo to the frame.

Step 4: Head Peice

Picture of Head Peice

Attach the Standard Servo to the front of the tractor chassis by a glue gun, and then a twist tie.

Glue the Sharp IR Distance Sensor to an appropiate servo fitting.

Check video if you need help.

Step 5: EZ-Builder

Picture of EZ-Builder

Download the EZ-Builder software for free from

1) Install the EZ-Builder Software

2) Run the EZ- Builder Software

3) Add a Communication Control

4) Add a Movement Control

5) Add a Horizontal Servo Control

6) Click the connect button

7) Use the movement panel and servo panel to control your robot.

There are many other Controls available in the EZ-Builder software package. Such as Radar Scanner and Scripting.

Voila! :)


Sai Sathvic (author)2014-01-03

where will it EZ-B Baord..because i'm from india and i'm not able to find anyone can give me the link address of any online shopping! please! i'm in urgent!!

robotmaker (author)2012-01-14

i am getting ready to make the WALL-E you have under robots ,i bought same one for $50 on ebay,can any camera work for it
getting you EZ-ROBOT controller from makershed

Electrodude (author)2011-05-18

How much does it cost and could you get it to play music?

Chowmix12 (author)2011-04-10

Can your computer software be used with an arduino?

djsures (author)Chowmix122011-04-10

No, arduino is something different. However, the EZ-B V3 bluetooth robot controller is compatible with arduino sheilds :)

inbox.jason (author)2011-01-09

Wow - totally impressed that you have developed your own dev board for robotics. I read some of the above comments and looked at your web site, and it's clear that you know what you're doing! Totally blown away tbh!!
Some questions...
*What made you decide to create your own environment like this? Something along these lines would have made my life soooo much simpler a year ago!
*Why no linky to your website or promotion as such?
*Could you mass produce and get this into schools etc etc as this would be absolutely perfect to learn the basics of robotics/programming.
*Would you be willing to share some of the processes involved in creating a robotics platform esp. the design of the motherboard
*What microcontroller are you using?

Why no arduino?!? (Kidding ;-)
Totally impressed and inspired by this! Apologies for the wot!

djsures (author)inbox.jason2011-01-10

Thanx jason!

I started the project because i was having trouble keeping up and answering e-mail requests for help. From my other robots, I've been receiving emails for years asking where to start, etc.. I didn't notice anything being done to introduce people to the microcontroller/robotics world. At least nothing that allows for the transition from beginner to advanced.

The EZ-B project has the ability to start very simple by using the EZ-Builder software, and move all the way up to building autonomous and remote control robots like on my website. I also release the code for most of them, so anyone can do it :)

I guess i'm a bit too modest and didn't feel that my name would matter much to the popularity of the project. Maybe i'll try it out and see how its received :) Thanks for the idea.

The board isn't being mas produced, i'm only doing 50 at a time. I'm currently sold out, and taking the break to work on version 2. It should be released sometime this week. It has a more powerful voltage regulator and a cleaner configuration. It's really just a hardware upgarde, not software. The software will always be compatible with every future version of the board, i suspect.

I wouldn't know where to start on introducing this to schools. It's been mentioned to me before also. I have been unsure on the how to direct marketting for the project. I'm far too technical LOL. Maybe someone will volunteer to help push this project into schools.

The EZ-B board is actually quite simple. The cost of the PCB itself is very minimal, at around $15 each. The real cost is in the parts and assembly. I mean, this thing comes with a bluetooth module AND a usb bluetooth dongle AND its assembled AND it has 20+ I/O AND it can handle 14 servos AND it has 10 ADC and and and and :)

The microcontroller is a Pic 18F4685 @ 40 mhz by PLLx4. It's a very fast processor with a lot of hardware support, which is why it exceeds what ATMEL (arduino) is capable of. Also most of the code is in assembler, which allows for the crazy ammount of functionality and speed.

I could probably even lower he price if there were more sales. Then I could by larger stock of the peripherals. I had thought about contacting some online robotic websites to sell it.

I just wish i had more time :) Amongst my other hobbies, i barely have enough time for sleep LOL

Thanks for the compliments and good luck with your projects!

inbox.jason (author)djsures2011-01-31

Hi DJ, thanks for your reply!
I've had another look at your EZ-Board and I'm still impressed as hell!
Got a few more ideas/questions for you.
Why no AC power source?
The price seems a little high, but considering you're creating these yourself I think it's justified. The fact that color vision and voice recogition is inbuilt make up for the higher cost.
What's the power output of each of the IO pins.
What about some sort of case, leaving only the pins exposed, this will allow children to plug and play.
As far as schools go, I've done some asking around and it would more than likely have to be professionally manufatured and tested before it could be used in a school. Not sure if you've seen the link below, but Oomlout is a small company specialising in robotics components for end users, and it may be worth contacting them as they'd probably be able to assemble a few kits and get the ball rolling as it were.

Good luck with this, it's definitely something worth pursuing!


djsures (author)inbox.jason2011-01-31

thans jason. there is a company locally that i'm going to be speaking with shortly regarding mass production. i have a contact at a local college and would be speaking with them eventually also.

the power output on the pins is +5v @ 3.5 amps . there are two voltage regulators, one for the pins and one for the chip. the servo pins have an alternate power source plug if desired.

i'd most definetly not consider the price as being high at all. in fact, i have received feedback from buyers who think its too cheap compared to what is out there. the fact that i include an sdk with a billion support modules and a free gui for non programmers. also it comes with the bluetooth antenna, and a usb bluetooth dongle... plus it is assembled and fool proof.

i'm 100% i didn't cut any corners on this thing :) and its sellin fantastic with great feedback. i can't stop smiling and feeling great about it

also, the no power is because ppl can chose their own power source.. batteries? ac adapter? its up to the user...

this board isn't designed to replace lego mindstorms :) .. it's a hobbyist board

djsures (author)2011-01-02

"no a picaxe" is not a complete sentence or thought :) can you expand?

i can tell you are trying to compare "picaxe" to ez-b. its unforteante you commented before reading my reply to the this thread. you were to quick on the trigger to push the reply button :) . since you didn't take the time to investigate what you tigerbomb were replying too.

i don't feel like re-typing what ez-b is again, or what ez-builder is. but maybe you'll demonstrate diligence by reading on your own. robotics and electronics attract intellegent minds... prove to me and other readers that you are able to thoroughly understand before making empty comments. :) look forward from hearing back from you.

tech123456789 (author)djsures2011-01-11

Yeah i was in a hurry to write that.
I guess i like to use picaxe because its easier to program and cheaper.
Oh yeah,I forgot to mention i like this instructable. 5 stars

djsures (author)tech1234567892011-01-11

do you think picaxe is easier then this?

tech123456789 (author)djsures2011-01-12

Well, i did not know it was that easy to program.

djsures (author)tech1234567892011-01-12


tech123456789 (author)djsures2011-01-13

One thing:Do I have to keep ez-builder on in order for the robot to run?

djsures (author)tech1234567892011-01-13 explains it. you can either use ez-bulder or the ez-sdk. your robot is controlled entirely by the pc. your code doesn't reside on the ez-b. the ez-b is more like a dumb terminal for your hardware. gives you the freedom and benefit of a graphical control on your pc, rather then making some remote control box.

also, the ez-sdk and ez-builder have features that are very difficult to do with a microcontroller. for example, the Voice Recognition, Camera Color Recognition, Voice Synthesis aaaaaaand quite a few other little features :)

tech123456789 (author)djsures2011-01-13

OK Thanks!

djsures (author)tech1234567892011-01-13

anytime :)

D5quar3 (author)2011-01-08

This is awesome I wish I had the money for your micro controller, personally I prefer Arduino because it is open source and there is a whole realm of people using it so I can get a lot of help because i am a beginner. Now i have a Arduino project i am working on but i will definitely recommend this to people.

djsures (author)D5quar32011-01-09

Thanx dude. The only thing not opensource about the EZ-B is the communication DLL. And that code is hidden for one simple reason: I don't need anyone messing with it and screwing it up hahah :)

Anyone who codes against the SDK DLL can release their code opensource, if they wish. Much like anyone with the Arduino doesn't have to release their code. Oh politics!

best of luck with the Arduino!

PS118 (author)2010-12-29

Love the bot!

I don't know about the word "cheap" in the title though. I mean, check my math, but this thing comes out to like $170+shipping.

So in reality it'd actually cost average to slightly *more* than a lot of robot kits out on the net. I mean, that's fine. You did a good job, and a project costs what it costs. Just don't label it as the "cheap" way is all.


djsures (author)PS1182010-12-29

The kit that you linked too does not contain any worthwhile sensors, no development environment, no centralized managed support, no servos. That kit also comes with horrible DC Motors, that have zero accuracy. Hence the reason I put this instructable together :)

The circuit board on your linked kit is not reusable for other projects. And it takes a long learning curve and time to develope anything that will impress your friends. Coding directly to a microcontroller is annoying when you have a real life, check out my robots and I can speak from experience :)

"In Reality" my kit and the demo that you commented on provides the most functionality for the dollar. The expandability, useability and user-friendliness of EZ-B is superior to anything else on the market for the price... Making it cheap VS the functionality.

Additionally, if you were to order your servos and kits off Ebay, the cost of the robot would be a lot less then $170.

Think of the possibilities the EZ-B and the free EZ-Builder offers you for the dollar. Also look at the EZ-B SDK and recognize the infinite custom control you have over any sensor for any project. :)

Thanks for your comment! Hope I was able to explain what "Cheap" in a functional sense means...


tigerbomb8 (author)djsures2010-12-31

if you want to be accurate use stepper motors than you could move it step by step

djsures (author)tigerbomb82010-12-31

if i wanted to be even more accurate than stepper motors, i would also combine a rotary disc and verify its rotation. there is always a "more accurate" comment. do you have anything positive to say?

i would like to tell you why i didn't use stepper motors... but anyone who understands stepper motors wouldn't make a comment like yours. for example, how many I/O would be required for a stepper is determined its phase count. that would greatly limit the number of "motors" ez-b could support (it currently supports 16, could have been more but i stopped the array in the timer at 16 i/o, figured it was more than enough)

also, stepper motors would require a transistor per phase wire. so the size of the board would increase dramatically.

this next comment assumes you bothered to visit the website and read about what the ez-b project is...

and next would be the SDK/EZ-Builder interface to the ez-b. you would need the user to specify each port of each phase of each stepper. that would not be a very fun way to program.

i could add stepper motor functionality to the ez-b if there are enough requests. but quite honestly, i can't forsee that.

PS118 (author)djsures2011-01-03

Wait a minute. You mean you're the *owner* of the ez-b system?

So in other words, anybody who follows this instructible has to pay you $84.99?

djsures (author)PS1182011-01-03

nobody HAS to pay me anything :P

i don't recall a instructable that involves free items. unless there is an instructable for breathing. but sadly, you'd need to stand somewhere in order to breath, so technically the taxes will cost you. :)

i put together ez-b and every tutorial on the website as a contribution to the robot community. my robots have been featured in magazines, television and many websites. sadly, all of the emails i receive are "how do i program my robot?". that was nearly an impossible question to answer, until it hought of the ez-b concept.

your comment implies that it is a bad thing that i charge for the circuit board and hardware. i can't understand why you would think i should give the circuitboard away for free? aka nothing is free, so i would have to pay out of my pocket. however, i need to pay bills, eat and live. it is very selfish of you to assume that i should buy chips, sockets, pins, bluetooth receiver, pcb printing, solder it all together and give it to YOU for no charge.

from the comments i have received since i released ez-b, it has made many people very happy. finally there is a product that is more DIY than lego mindstorms, and much more affordable and re-usable. it can be used by beginniners with the ez-builder software, or it can be used by advanced users with the .Net SDK. there is nothing else out there that provides an all-in-one solution.

i don't see how you can have a negative comment towards my contribution to the robot community with ez-b. its not like i can make a living off it hahaha!

jakebaldwin (author)2010-12-29

This might be kind of a stupid question, but I don't know much about servos.

Can't servos only move a certain amount in one direction, rather than "forever", like DC motors?

djsures (author)jakebaldwin2010-12-29

the servos that are referenced are called "Modified Servos". They have the "stopper" removed so they can turn freely.

They provide greater control to the programmer. So your robot doesn't fly around the room at insane speeds :)

If interested, there is an active PWM discussion on Lets Make Robots website regarding DC motor vs Servo for drivetrain use. You can of course apply a rotory sensor, disc wheel, gear set, etc to a dc motor and monitor its speed with a dedicated circuit and control it by PWM... but man that's a lot of work :)

I just wanna build robots with little hastle :D

martzsam (author)djsures2010-12-31

I always wonder why they aren't more heavily marketed. I had a lego NXT set that had those free turning servos with the rotation sensors, best idea for a robot EVER!

djsures (author)martzsam2010-12-31

Thank you, this was the most positive response i've seen from you on this project. usually your responses contain criticism caused by a lack of knowledge. glad to see you coming around! :)

on note of your comment, i put together a video last night of modifying a standard servo. if i have time today, i'll edit it and throw it up as an instructable. thanx for the idea!

martzsam (author)djsures2010-12-31

That's awesome! I have a bunch of servos leftover from a RC airplane build. I always like to re-purpose!

djsures (author)martzsam2011-01-01

Here you go dude:

djsures (author)martzsam2011-01-01

okay sweet! i'll put the video together today

The Incredible IT Maker (author)2010-12-30

QUICK IDEA, could you mount a wireless camera onto it? dependind how strong your bluetooth signal is, you could opperate it from the next room . just a thought :)

The EZ-Builder software supports color recognition for a webcam. The camera is not connected to the EZ-B bluetooth. But it can use its own wireless technology. I do have a robot with a wireless camera, and I purchase the camera from E-bay for $50.

The title of the product is "2.4GHz GFSK RF Mini Wireless PC Webcam Camera Receiver"

And here is the link while the item is still available:

martzsam (author)djsures2010-12-31

FYI- Bluetooth operates on the 2-5 ghz range. I had a robot that used bluetooth and a 2.4 ghz camera, not only did it get in the way of my bluetooth, it had bad video reception because of interference from my wireless internet network.

Get a 1.2 ghz camera instead. It doesn't interfere.

djsures (author)martzsam2010-12-31

that's strange. i experience absolutely no issues. sorry to hear you had a problem with your 2.4 camera.

martzsam (author)djsures2010-12-31

I believe it could be the crappily manufactured camera, I only paid 30 dollars for it. What brand did you use?

djsures (author)martzsam2011-01-01

mine was from ebay.. i seem to buy a lot of my stuff off ebay. it's so much cheaper than hobby shops. for servos, i use acom servos, which aren't great for high precision of a plane. but for hobby robots and costing on $6 each, they are unbeatable :)

the camera i used is this: .. i bought 3 of them. i put one on my roomba discovery. i hooked up an ez-b to the remote control so i can remotely trigger it to start cleaning when i'm not home. and then i can watch it . i do love the ez-b cause its so versatile. so much u can do with it! and because u don't have to "reprogram" it, u just plug it into new sensors on a new project and voila ..

tigerbomb8 (author)2010-12-31

should have used Arduino

martzsam (author)tigerbomb82010-12-31


djsures (author)martzsam2010-12-31

most people wish i used arduino for my projects because it is open source and would like to see my code. however, the problem with using the word "arduino" applies merely to the compiler environment, and not the processor itself.

the processor for arduino is an atmel and it is limitted in low level functionality and speed compared to the microchip pic series. the reason i chose microchip pic is due to the speed required for the features provided by ez-b.

arduino also doesn't offer a complete solution like the ez-b does, with its .net sdk and ez-builder library.

it's unfortunate that you didn't click on the link or read about the ez-b and ez-builder to understand what you were commenting on. hopefully you will be more diligent onn your research before commenting in the future.

if you can find a project that combines as much functionality and simplicity in its design as ez-b, its sdk and ez-builder please tell me.

martzsam (author)djsures2010-12-31

This ones is kinda hard to explain. The closest thing I can do is this;

Arduino is to other micro-controllers like PC is to MAC.

More of a joke than any real comment.

martzsam (author)2010-12-31

Nice robot! The term "cheap" seems to be relative. As far as a robot goes, this is waaaaay cheap, which is awesome. For use as a toy or something to build and let you kid mess around with, this is waaaaay too expensive. So I guess it all depends on our end result. It is a great project for beginners, and I enjoyed reading it. Great work!

djsures (author)martzsam2010-12-31

i purposely have not marketted the ez-b as a childrens toy. it's sharp, has exposed wiring, exposed circuits, and clearly is a hazard. if a parent is considering the ez-b for their child, i would question their parenting skills :)

this is a project for beginners and advanced programmers. the ez-b board is flexible in how it is used. for example....

if you are a programmer, you can use the .Net SDK to communicate with the EZ-B at a low level. you can access all of the functionality with unlimited creativity. the only restriction is your imagination and programming ability. please watch some videos of some of my robots to see what i've done. this includes voice recognition, video color recognition, and tv output!

if you are not a programmer, then the EZ-Builder software lets you visually design your project without programming. you can remote control and script features for your robot. it is so easy and a great learning tool.

i think you may not have taken the appropiate time to read about the ez-b before commenting. if you think the website is lacking a proper explanation of its flexibility between beginning and advanced users, then let me know.

marketing feedback is always welcomed. i dont know a single person who has used/seen the EZ-B and left bad feedback. my goal is to provide a platform for both advanced and beginner users. contributing to the hobbyist community is important to me.

martzsam (author)djsures2010-12-31

You must have misunderstood me, and I can tell now by reading my above comment why... I meant that this is a good project for a person whit little experience who wants to get into robotics but doesn't want to spend much money. I in know way was meaning this should be marketed to children, I was just relating to an earlier comment by user "PS118". He said;

"I don't know about the word "cheap" in the title though. I mean, check my math, but this thing comes out to like $170+shipping."

I should have put in a quote earlier. I was in no way meaning to insult you and your obvious better experience with the EZ-B platform. This is a great project! I love it, and I'm sorry that I came across as too critical, hope I cleared some things up. :)

thepelton (author)2010-12-31

The bulldozer kit is temporarily sold out.

djsures (author)thepelton2010-12-31

they are a very popular little kit, as you can tell. another source for the kit is ebay:

or even your local hobby shop usually carries them. Here is the link from tamiya for reference:

Other websites that have stock are:

i was able to find those links by googling "tamiya bulldozer kit" for future reference.

TSC (author)2010-12-29


About This Instructable




Bio: I build robots to encourage others to do the same. I believe the future is in robotics and playing a part for the future is ... More »
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