Edit: 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.
Step 1: 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: http://tinyurl.com/brxjx5h
Step 2: 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
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.
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
So far this is what my robot looks like.
Step 7: Attaching the Arduino
Step 8: 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
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
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!
Upload the test code and that’s it! You have made your first robot!