Picture of James - Your first Arduino Robot
For more Robotics Tutorials see my website here:
For awesome videos about robots and 3D printing go here:

Thank you so much everyone for voting for James in the Toy Contest! He got first place and I won a $500 Shapeways voucher! Expect to see more robot instructables from me in the future! :D

So you want to make a robot? Don't know where to start? How about you learn how to make a robot with me and make James!
James was made as part of a Robotics Class I teach to a few high school students.

I called him James in memory of my late Grandfather James Manning Edwards who passed away 14-3-2013. He loved teaching and helping kids and died doing what he loved, hopefully this James will carry on that legacy.
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Step 1: Gather your Components and Tools

Picture of Gather your Components and Tools
For this build we will be using the Arduino Uno with a Prototyping Shield. You could use whichever Arduino you want with its own Prototyping Shield or Breadboard.

If you are looking to buy this Prototyping Shield search on ebay for “arduino prototype shield uno” and you should see it. Alternatively you can buy a similar looking one from Core Electronics:

Step 2: Planning

Picture of Planning
On a piece of paper sketch out a rough sketch of the shape you want your robot body to have. It is always best to have an idea of what you want your robot to look like before you begin its construction.

Next you will want to sketch the shape of the robot body onto the protective sheet of the acrylic, this can be done easily with a pencil. If you do not have acrylic you could use; balsa wood, ply-board, foam-core, cardboard plastic containers or even food containers! You will also need to mark out where you want your servo to go. To cut out the hole for the servo drill four holes on each corner where you want to put the servo, this is to allow the blade of the saw to be easily maneuverered, preventing finger loss.

Step 3: Arduino Mounting Holes

Picture of Arduino Mounting Holes
The Arduino will be attached to the robot body using M3 screws and spacers so you will also mark where the mounting holes are on the Arduino so they can be drilled out. Once all of this has been done cut out the robot shape on a bandsaw, if you don’t have a bandsaw you can use a coping saw.

Step 4: Ultrasonic Mounting Bracket

Step 5: Drivetrain

Picture of Drivetrain
If you would like to learn more about DC Motors and Servos and how to use them with Arduino watch my tutorial below:

Step 6: Checkpoint

Picture of Checkpoint
So far this is what my robot looks like.

Step 7: Attaching the Arduino

Picture of Attaching the Arduino

Step 8: Wiring the Motor Driver

Picture of Wiring the Motor Driver
To learn more about the L293D Motor Driver Chip and how to use it with Arduino watch my tutorial below:

Step 9: Connecting the Ultrasonic Sensor

Picture of Connecting the Ultrasonic Sensor
If you would like to learn more about the HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor and how to use it with Arduino watch my tutorial below:

Step 10: Power

Picture of Power

Step 11: Code

Here is some basic code to get you started. I strongly encourage you to edit it and make it better once you have learned how it works.
To make the use of the ultrasonic sensor easier I have used the new ping library.

Step 12: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Upload the test code and that’s it! You have made your first robot!
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sami20003 days ago

hey why dont use fritzing for wiring

raptorcow3 days ago

Will it work with a 74hc59n chip?

raptorcow11 days ago

Im getting this error

avrdude: verification error, first mismatch at byte 0x0000

0x62 != 0x0c

avrdude: verification error; content mismatch

AfrizalC14 days ago

hello sir, i want to make a search tool avoider robot voice signals, no one knows its C program code.?
please help

RiyaVader16 days ago

Thank you for your tutorial! My Mimibot is ready. \(^_^)/

wmada18 days ago
anyone who needs a step by step walkthru look on youtube. komicbookkid228 a video that will walk you thru whole process
wmada25 days ago
msg me at
raptorcow wmada20 days ago

I emailed you. I had emailed you 5 days ago but I missed the j copying the address...

wmada25 days ago
@raptorcow email me and i can help ya out. i got no help from this instructable. took me weeks of playing around. parms videos help alot as do
raptorcow wmada25 days ago

I messaged you.

wmada25 days ago
mission success thanks parm .. robot sometimes.hits wall need to fix
raptorcow26 days ago
Could take a clear picture of where each of the brown wires go. This Instructables pictures are horrible. I need an aerial shot or at least a clear focused shot of the wiring steps.

I need to see where the brown wires come back to the bread board. I can see where they connect but the image cuts off the top of them so i cant see where they come from. Some one please do this

wmada27 days ago
why does only one motor spin? im usibg dc motor
wmada29 days ago
honestly can someone help me out.... i cant get this working. does anyone have a diagram maybe that would help me out. is the code working? i can get servo working and thats it. i built another robot but it doesnt have servo
wmada1 month ago
i am soooo frusterated i rebuilt it and still motors dont turn. i tested n they work... what am i doing wrong. im using 9v battery directly into arduino and a 4 pack of aa energizers hook to pin 8 n ground wtf
raptorcow1 month ago

Can someone make a schematic of the wiring? Also can I just use a

instead of all this wiring on the breadboard

ThinhN11 month ago

code ???



ChaitanyaS1 month ago

how much torque is requred to move the body of robot i planning to buy gearmotors for the purpose but no understanding which one to buy i have options to buy

1: 200 rpm with 1kg /cm torque

2:3.5 rpm with 3kg/cm

wmada1 month ago
i am.using 74hc595n is that the issue
wmada1 month ago
k seriously guys fml robot still will not move.... do i need more batteries..or am i missing something... the pic on this instructable shows wires on the breadboard which i have no clue is that my problem
wmada1 month ago
can anyone tell me why my motors wont spin. ive rebuilt and rebuilt the code for the motors r pin 3 n 6 11 n 14. could i not have enough power? plz help this robot is killn me
wmada1 month ago
my motors dont spin at all? im going to try to rebuild once more. if i follow exactly this instructable and use the james code will it work..and do i beed to change the pins for motors to pin 3 n 6 n 11 n 14 the code says differently
eset012 months ago


biliron eset011 month ago

wmada biliron1 month ago
does it work
biliron wmada1 month ago

Yes. But need some small modifications

wmada1 month ago
so i have figured out
wiring the code had to be changed right 3 n 6 11 n 13 for motors right?. anyways servo n sensor work.kinda . but wheels dont spin. im assuming its due to.weak power i used 9 volt and had usb xonnected to.laptop so am i gettn close?
gunnlaugursig made it!9 months ago

Thank you for this nice instructable. Made it using my tamiya twin motor gearbox and tank chassis. Learned a lot and lots of fun.

ypurs looks easier to build any tips i can get the wiring figured out
wmada1 month ago
plz someone lemme no.
wmada1 month ago
i am also confused of the wiring. is it the same as what u did in ur vids. ive hooked everything up cept the servo and power? plz help kind sir lol
ChaitanyaS1 month ago

will the code be same for DC motors or do we have to change the code

ChaitanyaS2 months ago

hey can we do this with the prototyping shield just by using bread board i have all other parts except prototyping shield

Yes i think it can be done with breadboard only

And which servos u r using ?

iam using a mini servo for the ultrasonic sensor and two dc motors

Can you please help me with the wiring as I can't see the picture shown clearly.

Thank you

thegrosskid2 months ago
How do I make the drivetrain?
eset012 months ago


biliron2 months ago

I got his Code on :

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