The conception of the RoboDolly can be traced back to my senior year of high school. This aluminum ornament evolved from housing a few flashing lights to displaying a fully handmade LED matrix. The final product was awarded to my robotics programming mentor; it now sits on his desk and gleams at his envious co-workers.
The following will provide a step-by-step guide of the RoboDolly's creation. As this robot served primarily as a learning experience, I was involved in each aspect of its designa and creation: body, electronics, and software. The first version of the robot, which was gifted away, was completely hand-wired. It can be distinguished in the photos by its spaghetti-like wiring, use of perfboard, and black knobs. The second version was made entirely with PCBs, which greatly reduced the amount of wiring. This instructable will focus on the latter model, although photos of the original will be provided for reference.
Attached, you will find all the necessary files. They are all neatly zipped into 'RoboDolly_files.zip'. The enclosed files will be referenced hereafter by filename.
In 'parts.xlsx', you will find a list of all parts necessary for the project. Although the calculated bottom line sums to $103.80, the final cost is likely to be far higher. Most of the parts listed cannot be purchased individually; instead, they are sold by the foot or in a pack. Also, all of the suppliers mentioned are online retailers who charge shipping fees. The cost of my latest version totaled roughly $180. You may make substitutions for certain parts, but this should be done with extreme caution. For example, the power connector mounted to the rear of the robot must be constructed of plastic: a metal jack would ground the electronics against the body of the robot, which would cause the device to appear dead. (Of course, I found this out the hard way.)