Introduction: Make:it Robotics Starter Kit

Picture of Make:it Robotics Starter Kit

I finely got some spare time to start working on C/C++ embedded systems and robots. So in browsing around at Radio Shack I stumbled upon the Make:it Robotics Starter Kit. Apparently a joint collaboration between Radio Shack and the folks at Maker Media, Inc. The same people who bring you Make: Magazine.

For more info check out my blog:

http://joepitz.wordpress.com/

Step 1: Line Following Robot

Picture of Line Following Robot

When I got home I quickly broke open the box and started looking over the contents. The kit comes with everything you need to build two robots with the exception of an Arduino Uno and 8 AA batteries.

In Starter Kit you can build either a line following robot or a walking robot. I choose to build the line following robot first. It took me two leisurely evenings to put the robot together. The assembly instructions were great. All of the robot parts were first class, the robot frame is black powder coated metal angle and flat brackets, similar erector set style.

The only plastic parts were the battery boxes, the wheels and the motor cases. The only comment was with adult sized hands it was a bit tough fastening the corner nuts and bolts. But if you are assisting your son or daughter with the building steps, this will be great for little hands. Once you finish building either robot, there is a link in the manual where you can download the software for the robot. Within this download there are some example programs, a readme file, and circuit diagrams for the sensors and motor/sensor shield. There is no documentation available concerning the hardware, consisting of an Arduino motor driver, sensor shield. In order to get the specifications you must read the schematic.

For the person who wants to take the robot building process further than just assembling the provided kits and running the provided software, there is little information provided. You must figure this out for yourself, by reading the schematic, a bit daunting for someone just starting out with electronics. Loading the line following program, to the Arduino is easy using the Arduino IDE or if you are an advanced user you can use one of several available development packages such as the freely available Atmel Studio, which is what I use. In my next post I will go further into reverse engineering the software provided.

After tracking down 8 AA batteries my robot was ready run run. The Make:it Robotics Kit even comes with a sheet of heavy duty white paper with a 360 degree circle for the line following robot to follow. The instructions indicate that the optical sensors that come with the line following robot are very sensitive to light an if the robot is not functioning properly to lower the ambient light around the robot. I placed the robot on the white paper just off of the black circle and turned the robot on.

My robot would only make it about 1/4 the way around the circle before loosing track of the black line. I tired several times, but still no luck. I turned off the room lights and tried again. Still no luck. I double checked my wiring and everything was wired ok. But the best the robot could do was only make it about 1/4 around the black line circle. Time to do some modifications: Here is an image of the stock robot with the sensors exposed to the ambient light.

Step 2: Duct Tape?

Picture of Duct Tape?

I have played around with line following robots before and there is a trick to shield the sensors to the ambient light.

So I took some duct tape and covered the sensors from the top.

After this modification the robot was able to make it 3/4 of the way around the circle, ambient lights on or off, better but still not good.

Step 3: Sensor Height

Picture of Sensor Height

Time to do some more hacking.

The kit comes with some additional parts for the walking robot. I noticed that there were some shorter posts, (referred to as “Column B” in the manual). So I changed the longer posts with the shorter posts thinking this might help with optical sensors. Nope it made it worse, But the change was less than 1/4 of an inch. So I tried something else. I left the shorter posts on the robot and added 1/4 posts to each post. I picked these up locally at Fry’s Electronics. Radio Shack did not carry these parts in the store.

Fired up the robot and success, ambient light on or off the robot was able to make multiple passes around the circle without loosing it way.

Comments

JanusA (author)2016-02-07

Any hints on getting the Walker to walk better than default?

MysticHead (author)2016-01-31

Thanks for your help Joe, like others we got this kit over christmas only to find that finding support info was difficult, we found the stuff on your blog, but your tips here are great as well. just wanted to say thanks for your help!

-marc

kmingea (author)2015-11-23

How do you make this thing go. ?? I got the compile to run and complete without any error msgs, and uploaded it. but now what ? I see a couple buttons ? (don' seem to do anything) but what to do ?

kmingea (author)kmingea2015-11-23

Wow thanks for the reply. There really is someone there. Yep, linefollow pgm. I'll check for jumpers. I bought a New U3 (?).

(Turns out my father, 86, just passed away and I'll have to put this project on hold for now. Thanks much, we'll revisit this in a couple weeks.)

jpitz31 (author)kmingea2015-11-23

Turn on both battery switches and see if wheels turn. You did not mention which program you are trying to run? If you are trying to run the line following program, place the robot on the black line and see if the wheels turn. If nothing works, double check your wiring. Also make sure you have replaced the jumper to re-connect the arduino serial port to the robot driver board.

Look in the manual for an image of the location of this jumper or on my blog, where there is an image of this jumper

Thanks

Joe

JamesX1 (author)2015-11-23

mine doesn't even go?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

How does it work

jpitz31 (author)JamesX12015-11-23

Hello,

Were you able to upload the program? I am assuming you are trying the line following program. Place the robot in the black circle, turn both battery switches on. Make sure you have connected the jumper to connect the arduino board to the motor driver board.

Look in your manual for an image of where this jumper is located or look on my blog, I have an image with this jumper highlighted in red.

If the robot still does not move, double check your wiring and up-load the program again.

Thanks

Joe

DPont (author)2015-06-02

jpitz31,

Just finished construction. I cannot find the Arduino sketch. All sites I attempted are gone. Do you have it and will you share?

DP

jpitz31 (author)DPont2015-06-02

Here is a github site with the Radio Shack files,

Enjoy

https://github.com/RadioShackCorp/2770168-MakeItRobotics-Starter-Kit

Joe

ede oliveira (author)jpitz312015-07-03

There you go, I´ve been looking for this link for almost an hour now! Thanks, Joe!

DPont (author)jpitz312015-06-03

J,
Thank you for your instant response. I downloaded the linefollower sketch, and attempted to load it into my Arduino, unfortunately, I got several syntax errors!!!
DP

JasonT12 (author)DPont2015-06-11

DPont; did you get this figured out? Your question came in more than a week ago, so I assume yes, but just to be sure.... !

Joe, thank you for your information here. I was hunting everywhere for a location to obtain the software. (It seems strange to me that Radio Shack would sell a product for which they do not offer the software to make it function as intended. However, I digress.)

My son built the stock line following robot on Sunday, modified to have a "roll cage" to protect the electronics. True to form, he tested it by dropping it off the table onto our concrete floor, and, amazingly, it survived unscathed! I suggested that this was probably *not* the best way to test the quality of his design. *sigh* What it is to be eleven.....

Anyhow, for the program, I also had initial syntax errors. This was because I did not copy the files into the right location. Joe's instructions were great, but then if you go into the Zip file, there is a "Libraries" folder. After you put the entire directory into ProgramFiles(x86)\Arduino\Libraries\MakeItRobotics folder, then take the contents of the Zip's Libraries folder (specifically, the Keywords, MakeItRobotics.cpp, and MakeItRobotics.h files) and copy this to the base directory of "MakeItRobotics" that you just created. If you look at the ReadMe file that accompanies these, it also walks you through these steps.

Finally, open the Arduino program, open the LineFollow.ino file, compile, and you're good to go! If you don't get it right the first time, and have further syntax errors, try again to move them to the proper location, but be sure to close and reopen the Arduino program each time or else it retains the bad directory info from the last go.

jpitz31 (author)jpitz312015-06-03

The files you downloaded need to be placed in the Arduino Libraries folder. UnZIp the files and copy the MakeitRobotics folder to the Arduino/Libraries folder.

Restart your Arduino IDE, load the line following project and then you should be able to compile without errors.

Thanks

Joe

DerockX (author)2015-07-03

i made the line following robot but the step i can't do is the code everytime i try going to the website shack.net/makeltrobotics it takes me to commingsoon.radioshack.com and i'm not good at coding so i can't just ploop in my code help

DPont (author)2015-06-14

hours, this is truly amazing. YOU are following up with me!! I know professionals that don't do the same. Thank you again. I've been so busy doing other things that I have not touched this system since your last response. This week. I will keep you posted.
DP

jaym8 (author)2015-02-20

does anyone know how to make the line following robot work? the paper work does not tell me how to program the main board on the robot. i have arduino uno my windows 7 cant open some of the files even if that part worked i still do not understand how you transfer the program from the uno to the main board on the robot. can anyone help?

jpitz31 (author)jaym82015-02-21

Hello Jaym8,

The Make:it motor driver board comes pre-programmed and you cannot upload any programs to this board. The Arduino Uno is where you upload your code to. There are methods in the .cpp file that are used to interface to the code on the motor driver board. You need the example code files that you can download from the Radio Shack site. or look on my personal blog and download the file and rename it using a .zip file extension. You do not mention what files your are having problems opening or the problems you are having in uploading the code to the Arduino UNO. Let me know what problems you are having and I can assist you.

Thanks

Joe

Tbending (author)2015-02-19

Does anyone even know where I can get a replacement cord PCB motor control card? I fried the one that came with the starter kit. Now I'm dead in the water. I've contacted maker shed and RadioShack. Is the Arduino Motor shield a possible replacement?

jpitz31 (author)Tbending2015-02-20

Hi Tim,

If Radio Shack does not sell the replacement motor driver board then you would have to come up with an another solution, The idea of using the Arduino motor shield would work. but you would have to rewrite the motor control methods and the sensor reading methods.

This is possible, not sure of how much experience you have, but example code is given with the Arduino motor shield. For the sensors I would try wiring then directly to the Arduino Uno analog pins, power then also from the Arduino Uno 5v and ground and then, using the black circle, send the output to your serial port, similar to what I did in one of my tutorials and determine the black and white analog values. Then you could wire the sensor reading method.

This would take some work but would be a cool project to do. I was thinking of doing the same thing, as Radio Shack does not publish the code on their motor driver board.

Good Luck

Joe

DavidL22 (author)2015-01-23

Not to interrupt, but I have a question to whomever will answer. Not picky. Question: how do I trouble shoot the make: it robot starter kit completed robot? Problem: The cool robot just sits there; the green and amber lights are lighted on the arduino uno board; Background: completed the build for line following robot; uploaded the line following program from the library in the arduino environment; checked the wire connections to ensure everyone was in its proper location. Not sure what step to take next to troubleshoot for the problem. Any suggestions? davidlewis824@gmail.com

pulper111 (author)2014-12-31

Hi Joe:

Just wanted to add that i've successfully converted the robot into being remote controlled. I purchased a simple IR receiver module, attached the three pins (using a breadboard for the time being) to J11 on the motor board, and used the apple TV remote control. I used Ken Shirriff's programs, first to determine the codes that were transmitted by the apple RC, and then to go along with the make it robotics program for movement. Here is my code. Hope you don't mind me posting it since i am hoping that it might help others out. While it looks easy, it did take me some significant troubleshooting to get it to work.

One thing - the pabmake.h file is the same as the MakeItRobotics.h file except i've taken out the items not needed for my program (to help with debugging). it should still work with the MakeItRobotics.h file.

One other thing - I've kept the functions as line_following. Although that doesn't make sense given that it isn't following a line, it was just simpler this way.

/*

* IRremote: IRrecvDemo - demonstrates receiving IR codes with IRrecv

* An IR detector/demodulator must be connected to the input RECV_PIN.

* Version 0.1 July, 2009

* Copyright 2009 Ken Shirriff

* http://arcfn.com

*/

#include <IRremote.h>

#include <pabmake.h>//include library

MakeItRobotics line_following;//declare object

int RECV_PIN = 10;

IRrecv irrecv(RECV_PIN);

decode_results results;

void setup()

{

Serial.begin(10420);

delay(500);

line_following.line_following_setup(); //initialize the status of line following robot

line_following.all_stop(); //all motors stop

irrecv.enableIRIn(); // Start the receiver

}

void loop() {

if (irrecv.decode(&results)) {

if (results.value == 2011254930)

{

line_following.go_forward(500);

irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

}

if (results.value == 2011246738)

{

line_following.go_backward(500);

irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

}

if (results.value == 2011271314)

{

line_following.turn_left(500);

irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

}

if (results.value == 2011259026)

{

line_following.turn_right(500);

irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

}

if (results.value == 2011249298)

{

line_following.all_stop();

irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

}

irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

}

delay(1000);

}

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112015-01-01

Hi pulper111, thanks, sounds like a cool project.

Joe

pulper111 (author)2014-11-09

Just built it myself and thank you very much for the suggestion about the jumpers. that did the trick as it wasn't doing anything with the jumpers in the wrong position.

Do you have any suggestions as a way to make this robot a little faster? I'm assuming that it would require a stronger motor, but i'm not sure what would go with this specifically. the shack has motors based on different "tips" but i'm not sure which one this one has and if the others would be compatible.

Thanks!

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-11-09

Hi, pulper111,

A couple of things, There is not much room in the chassis for larger motors, But you might be able to find some motors with different gearing in the same fit form factor. I know there are several sites that sell this style of motor, check out

http://www.pololu.com/category/56/pololu-plastic-g...

or

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Set-Smart-Car-Robot-Plas...

I am sure with a little digging you can come up with some motors with different gear ratios.

Good Luck

Joe

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-11-11

also, would this be a possibility (a good fit) for this robot, so that it can run on it's own?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E0NXTJW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ADHH624DX2Q66

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-11-11

Yes, this is a good price on an Ultrasonic module, In addition to VCC and GND leads you would need two pins free on the motor driver shield. You have I believe 4 free pins, so you should have enough free pins. Also you do indeed need to get your nephew programming.

Here is a good book for kids:

http://www.amazon.com/Python-Kids-Playful-Introduc...

There is also a free e-book series for kids:

https://inventwithpython.com/ Also both books are good for Dad to use to learn how to program as well.

Thanks

Joe

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-12-02

Hi Joe: I'm back for a little bit more help on this. I hope you don’t mind. My nephew wasn't as interested in the line following, so i configured the two US modules with the robot, attaching their wires to a breadboard and the breadboard to the motor shield. My goal is to make the robot travel autonomously. I of course altered the programming and kept it simple. I found a library online for pinging using the US module, added that library, and then, while still using some code from the line following program, had the robot go forward as each module read the distance, and when the distance was 10 cm from an obstacle, it would back up and then turn left, and continue doing this until it was far enough away from a wall that it would just go forward.

The program works ok so far and is of course much simpler than what’s out there (but I have just reused the line following code for go forward, etc). I at first tried it with only one US module but the “beam” of US sound was too narrow, so I added the other one. They are now sitting on a breadboard on top of the light sensor modules, with an US module at each side.

I attached the power from each of the US modules in parallel on the breadboard and then attached one wire to the 5v of the motor shield. My questions are:

1. Is there a way that you can connect these two sensors so that they don’t need a breadboard? They both need power and as far as I can tell there is only one 5v pin in the motor shield so it has to be shared. Any suggestions?

2.Is there a way, based on your understanding of schematics, to use the attachments to the line following sensors for power/input for the US modules? On your blog, you discuss these attachments but I’m having a hard time understanding which “pin” would be voltage, which would be ground, and then which could be used for the echo and other pin on the US module, if possible. I’m assuming the light sensor modules require power so those pins have to provide power to it. I’m just thinking that this might be a possibility and make the connections easier.

3.Any suggestions on how to connect the US permanently to the front of the robot?

Thanks for your help here and with your blog as well. I really appreciate it.

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-12-02

Hello pulper111, If you look at the rear of the robot, at the rear of the motor driver shield there are a set of 8 header pins un-used. The second set on the right hand side are 5V and ground, forward pin is 5V, rearward is ground.

Also each sensor has 4 pins, The right hand two pins are also 5V and ground, Red wire is 5V, Black wire is ground.

Funny I am in the process of playing around with US sensors myself. I am going to pick up some acrylic sheet, cut some strips and and make a bracket for the US sensor, hot glue the pieces together and bolt the bracket to the metal cross member at the front of the robot.

Thanks

Joe

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-12-05

Hi Joe - Thanks for your reply. However, I'm just checking to see if you are sure about the power on those 8 header pins. I just today was able to try it (had to get jumper wire - female to female - which i didn't have) and i get no power to the US module. To explain what i've done, i took off the light sensors from the front of the robot. Then, where the wires were attached on the motor shield to the light sensors, i replaced those with wires now attached to VCC and GND on the US module.

Further explanation: As you said, there are two sets of 8 pin headers at the rear of the motor shield. The left set of 8 wasn't used for the light sensors and i am not using them for the US module. On the right set of 8 pins, when looking at the front of the robot, I attached the furthest right front pin to the VCC and the furthest right back pin to ground on one US Module. Then I repeated the same with the other US module, except using the next pins to the left. I kept the echo and trig pins the same. When I go to view the results in the serial monitor, i get 0 cm, which for this program means that the US module isn't reading anything. When I simply attach the VCC and Gnd from the US Module to the 5V and Gnd on the motor shield, all works as planned.

Any idea what is happening here? Perhaps i need to make changes in one of the programs (perhaps a header file) so that the power is applied to these US modules from these pins? I've spend some time looking at these files but am at a loss as to what to do next. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-12-05

Hello pulper111, From the front of the robot, the right set of eight header pins. two pins are supplying voltage, the next two are reading output from the sensor, then the next two are voltage etc. Now is the time to make a trip to Home Depot and pick yourself up a digital multimeter. Cheap ones are around $20.00, price goes up from there. If you are going to invest your time in robotics you might as well get some tools to make the job easier.

Here is a tutorial on how to use one.

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-...

Thanks

Joe

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-12-05

Thanks Joe - Funny but I had pulled out the multimeter right after posting and was having some problems with getting good readings on those pins. But then i realized, after researching the header files, that my simple test ping program doesn't turn on the back pins (ie it doesn't do the setup for the line_following). Once i added the setup to my test ping program, i checked the pins with the multimeter and got voltage out of the pins you referred to. However, unfortunately i still cannot get the US modules to read anything correctly while connected to those pins (i'm connecting just the power to those pins - the echo and trig pins (for each of the modules) are still attached to pins 4-7).

I'll continue my research and if i find anything i'll add it here.

Thanks for your help and responses. I am not proficient at all at using the multimeter so your link will be valuable.

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-12-05

pulper111, I think you are going to need a steady 5v voltage for the uv sensor, if you are triggering what use to be line following pins, on and off this may be causing some issues with the US sensor. On the left rear side of the motor driver board, the second set of 8 pins, there appears to be a constant source of 5 volts. (second set of pins from the left) I would try these pins to see if your US sensor will then work. The US sensor consumes 35 ma of current, so do no double up the sensors on a single 5 V pin as arduino digital pins can only consume 40 ma of current.

Joe

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-12-08

Thanks Joe. I tried your suggestion but couldn't get it to work. Same issue - still couldn't get the US module to read using those pins. my program was still showing a distance of 0.

My multimeter was giving me some weird readings and thanks to your link i was able to determine that it wasn't accurate (tested it with a AA battery and was getting about 2x the normal reading). I've ordered a new one and I'm hoping that should help.

In the meantime, I also took a look at the schematic for the PCB. As you can probably guess, I am a beginner at this but was able to determine that the voltage from the back 2 sets of 8 pins runs through a few other little chips so i was guessing that's what the problem is. By looking a little deeper, i also found the IR Remote Sensor on the schematic which shows a straight 5v coming out of J11 3-pin header. When I used those pins, my US module works well. So, for the time being until i need to add the remote sensor (which might be sooner rather than later), this does work. As I have two US modules that i'm using, I therefore am using both the 5v from the left row of pins (the regular 5v from the arduino) and the 5v from the IR remote sensor pins. seems to work fine. still, i'll need to try to figure out those other pins on the back for future work on this robot.

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-11-11

Thank you Joe for your quick response. I am very new to this and your links I'm sure will help me. I am hoping to get my 7 year old nephew interested either in robots or programming when i visit him with this, which is why i've built it. right now he loves lego and i think this would be the next step for him.

When you say different gear ratios, would a lower gear ratio provide a faster robot? right now, my main concern is that the robot simply going around in a circle very slowly on a piece of paper won't hold his attention very long. that's why i'm also going to be going over to your blog for more options.

thank you.

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-11-11

Hey pulper111, Look at the specs that I sent you. (Look at the RPM) one motor had almost twice the RPM as the other. On the Make:it robot, run the robot setting up on blocks and count the number of rotations of the tires (put a strip of tape on the wheel) You can then get an idea of current RPM's and what to look for if you want faster motors. At pololu one motor ran at 45 RPM and one ran at 85 RPM. By doing the motor test that should put you in the ballpark on which motor to look for.

Thanks

Joe

pulper111 (author)jpitz312014-11-16

Hi Joe - Thanks again for your quick reply. I have purchased the US module that was in my link. I will try to get it to work. If you have any links that might be helpful for that, that would be great. I of course will also do some searching.

In regards to my other post, I looked at the code a bit and found out that the creators of the code limited the speed, for obvious reasons, for the line following bit. When i reduced the code by taking out the sensor part and just having it go forward, with the speed of 500, it was definitely fast enough for what i want.

i have showed the robot to my nephew and he really likes it. he doesn't understand how the "coding" part of it works but what i've told him is how, by changing a few lines, you can change what the robot does. he thinks that is really cool, especially considering all he's used so far are closed source type of robots. he had a friend over this morning and i showed them how the robot, with a few changes, would go forward for a bit, then do about a 90 degree turn (more like a spin) then then go forward again, repeating it forever. they both thought that was cool.

hopefully i can get my nephew hooked. the work i put in putting the robot together and now learning a bit of the code will hopefully pay off.

thank you again for your help and replies.

jpitz31 (author)pulper1112014-11-16

Hi pulper111, Were there any code samples that came with the sensor? If not, yes I would web search for that model of US and see what was available. If you cannot find any, then look for a part number on the main chip on the sensor board. Often you can find the spec for the chip and the manufacture often will give programming examples or a run down of the registers, interface to the chip. But if is is a popular chip I am sure that you will find some code examples out on the web. Get the kids programming early. Good engineering skills are good to have even if they do not want to become engineers.

Good luck

Joe

pengyu.ren.1 (author)2014-11-23

I just got this kit for my kid and I hope someone here can help me out. I bought the starter kit WITHOUT Arduino Uno since I just want her to try it out first. But it seems that it does nothing after assembling it. The Radioshack guy sold me this says it has everything we need to make the two robots. My question is, do you HAVE TO have Arduino Uno R3/download the program to make the robot move? Also the +/- on the PCB is getting electricity but the motor has nothing.

jpitz31 (author)pengyu.ren.12014-11-23

Hello pengyu.ren.1,

The kit does require the purchase of an Arduino Uno. The PCB that comes with the kit is the shield for the motors, and the interface to any sensors you want to connect to the robot. But you need a micro-controller (Arduino Uno) to control the motor driver/ sensor board.

Once you get the Arduino Uno, work your way through the instructables I have written, that will get you started show you how to get started with the line following robot. Feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.

Thanks

Joe

pengyu.ren.1 (author)jpitz312014-11-23

Thanks very much for confirming this! Will get the Uno.

jkowalski12 (author)2014-10-25

Hi, I am wondering if the line following robot is compatible with an arduino uno

SoylentGringo (author)2014-10-04

Hello again,
You helped me a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, I am now having some issue with getting any sketch to upload, w/ a consistent error of: avrdude: stk500_getsync() : not in sync: resp=0x30 . It does it on both boards (now the proud owner of 2), so I'm fairly sure it is a software problem but I am so not an expert.
Nonetheless, to quote a well used and time honored phrase:
"Help me Obi Wan..."

jpitz31 (author)SoylentGringo2014-10-04

Hi, SoylentGringo,

This is a common error and there may be several issues causing the problem.

Were you ever able to upload your program to the Arduino? If not check to make sure you have installed the USB drivers, or if you have re-install the USB drivers again. Here is a link: http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/Windows

The other possible option is that you are selecting the wrong COM Port. Load the IDE, plug in your Arduino and select the Tools->Port menu and make sure the correct port is selected.

In one of my published tutorials I explain how to see what the correct COM port is.

Try rebooting you computer and re-loading the Arduino IDE again.

Try pressing the re-set button on the Arduino just before you attempt to upload your script.

If none of these items work, then it is possible that your bootloader has become corrupted on the Arduino. No big deal. This happens to me all of the time. You are going to need to pick up a ISP programmer to burn the bootloader back on your arduino. Here is a link http://www.adafruit.com/products/46. Very cheap and if you are going to get into programming Arduino projects, you will need one. $22.00, best money spent.

Adafruit has a great tutorial on how to setup and program your arduino with a new boot loader.

Get yourself a free copy of Evernote and start taking notes. This will become a valuable resource and can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet.

Good Luck and enjoy the ride, it is a fun one.

Joe

SoylentGringo (author)2014-09-20

I recently got one of these also. I am only just learning to write code for this (or any kind of code) and thus I know nothing of troubleshooting. Every time I try to verify any of the sketches I get a whole bunch of errors, the first saying that "Make_it_robotics is not a type" plus about 20 more. I imported the folder from the link provided, unzipped per instruction, but have had no success. Ideas/fixes appreciated.

jpitz31 (author)SoylentGringo2014-09-20

Hi SoylentGringo,

Make sure you first copy the MakeitRobotics folder under the Arduino libraries folder. For example on my computer, (Windows 7) I copied the MakeitRobitics folder under the following location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\

Adding an existing arduino sketch to a new sketchbook can be a bit tricky. (Normally the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is setup to create a new sketch and sketch book from scratch.)

Here is what you have to do:

Open the Arduino IDE program and select the File->New option.

A new Sketchbook (folder) will be created, Select the File->SaveAs option and call you sketchbook something like linefollow and save the sketchbook.

Close the Arduino IDE.

Using Windows Explorer copy the linefollow.ino from the MakeitRobotics folder and place it inside of the new sketchbook you just created, you will overwrite the linefollow.ino file that the Arduino IDE created for you.

Launch the Arduino IDE again, Select File->Sketchbook->linefollow.

The sketchbook will load and you should now be able to verify/compile the program without error.

Good Luck and do not give up. Learning programming can be challenging as each development environment is a bit different, but after working at it for a while it becomes second nature.

Thanks

Joe

SoylentGringo (author)jpitz312014-09-20

Thank you very much. Yeah, I'm kinda arriving late to the game. I got some catching up to do.

I will make some minor changes where necessary as I also got some of the add-on stuff, specifically the bulldozer kit & the IR remote. But again, tha

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