Step 1: Build a Simple Circuit as an Introduction to Snap Circuits
There are several Snap Circuits kits that range from a few simple circuits to the largest kit that includes 750 electronic projects. All the kits include manuals printed in color with easy to follow diagrams to assemble the projects. The illustrations for each project look almost exactly like what the components will look on the base grid when finished. Because the electronic symbol is printed on each electronic component, once the project is completed, it will look almost exactly like a printed electronic schematic.
The first image is what a project in the manual page looks like. As you can see the projects in the manuals are self explanatory.. (Source: Snap Circuits Project #1 http://manuals.elenco.com/manuals/sc-100%201-101.pdf)
The photos are what the circuit, will look like: three electronic components, the battery holder, the slide switch, and a lamp are connected together with snap conductors on the plastic base grid. This simple circuit will switch a light bulb on and off.
Step 2: Build the Roverbot Circuit
10 X 10 Plastic Base Grid
Snap Circuits Rover
Snap Circuits 9 volt Battery Block B5
Snap Circuits Motor Control IC U8
Snap Circuits 8 Pin Socket U14 With PICAXE 08m Installed
4 Snap Circuits 1KOhm Resistors R2
Snap Circuits Slide Switch S1
Snap Circuits USB Programming Cable
(You may substitute the Snap Circuits USB to DB9 Converter and the Snap Circuits DB9 Programming Cable if you do not have the USB Programming Cable)
Snap Circuits Micro Software CD
3 Snap Circuits Single Snaps
9 Snap Circuits Two Snap Conductors
1 Snap Circuits Three Snap Conductor
2 Snap Circuits Four Snap Conductors
1 Snap Circuits Seven Snap Conductor
Snap Circuits Jumper Wire (Orange)
Snap Circuits Jumper Wire (Yellow)
Snap Circuits Jumper Wire (Green)
Snap Circuits Jumper Wire (Purple)
Snap Circuits Jumper Wire (Gray)
Snap Circuits Jumper Wire (White)
Step 3: Program the Roverbot
I’ve divided up each function into columns to make the flowchart easier to read. In the first column under “start” are the commands to test the Roverbot’s left forward motor. This will cause the Roverbot to turn right. Under the label “Test left backward” are the commands to turn the Roverbot’s left motor backwards. This will cause the Roverbot to turn left. The next four columns are the commands to test the right motor turning forward and backward, then turn both left and right motors forward (Roverbot rolls forward), and finally turns both motors backwards (Roverbot rolls backwards).
You can also convert the flowchart into BASIC program code. BASIC is an acronym that stands for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It was created way back in the 1960s as an easy to understand programming language to introduce students to computer programming.
Click Flowchart and then click Convert Flowchart to BASIC. The following is what the code will look like in BASIC (I added the comments in the code to describe what the code does):
‘BASIC converted from flowchart:
‘C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\DESKTOP\SNAPROVERBOT.CAD
‘Converted on 10/30/2011 at 20:53:11
‘Snap Rover programmable robot
‘Test left forward
‘Test left backward
‘Test right forward
‘Test right backward
The code is very simple but should demonstrate how easy it is to program the Roverbot.
Step 4: Test the Roverbot Program
1. Connect the yellow snap to the S-In snap on the Snap Circuits 8 Pin Socket U14 block (the PICAXE chip carrier).
2. Connect the red snap to the S-Out snap on the Snap Circuits 8 Pin Socket U14 block (the PICAXE chip carrier).
3. Connect the black snap to the GND, or negative (-) snap on the 8 Pin Socket U14 block (the PICAXE chip carrier).
In the Programming Editor click PICAXE and then click Run. A status bar will display to show the progress of the download of the program to the PICAXE.
Wait a minute or so after the program finished downloading, then place the Roverbot on the floor a safe distance from any obstacles. Then switch the Snap Circuits Slide Switch S1 to on. When you are ready to watch the motor tests, switch on the Snap Circuits 9 volt Battery Block B5 and watch the Roverbot perform the motor tests.
Step 5: Happy Hacking
If you enjoyed this Instructable, please vote for it in the Toy Challenge 2 Contest. Go to http://www.instructables.com/contest/toy2/?show=ENTRIES and click the vote button (you may have to scroll through a few pages to find it).
I have recently become interested in hacking toys as is evidenced by the numerous Instructables I have posted about hacking the Spy Video Trakr:
I have documented these hacks hoping to inspire other Trakr owners to come up with their own new hacks for their Trakrs (and hope they post an Instuctable about their hack so I can try it too).
I posted my Roverbot hoping to inspire Snap Rover owners to create robots of their own. I also hope they post their designs so I can try them too.
I am very interested in hacking the Parrot AR Drone. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to purchase the AR Drone, nor an iPad, nor an iPhone--not even an iPod to use as a remote control for the Drone. Obviously I hope to win the the grand prize for the Toy Challenge 2 Contest so I can have an opprotunity to try hacking the AR Drone.