Let's Make Robots is the biggest robot hobbyist website in the world and I am proud to be an Elder Member there. From the beginning, LMR has featured the "Start Here" robot, featuring very simple assembly and basic operation. It has been a great platform for many budding robot folks to get started in the robot building world.

Here at Rocket Brand Studios, we took this basic "Start Here" concept and modified our already popular Tadpole kit to be a bit more like the original Start Here Robot. This is a great beginner's platform and able to teach you all the basic parts and concepts of a hobby robot. These lessons, once learned, will translate easily to bigger robots and more complex robots in the future.

This Instructable:
This Instructable is for the assembly of the Let's Make Robots Start Here Tadpole. If you are building the Tadpole or the Tadpole Educational kit, you should be using the instructions found here.  As we go along, I will mention when different accessories can be added, but  will not get into too much detail. If you would like additional information on each accessory, please visit its product page at Rocket Brand Studios.

**It should be noted:  The Tadpole is constantly being improved. You may notice slight variations between the photos here and the parts you have. Don't get too stuck on this and I promise nothing will be confusing.

Step 1: Getting Started

If you take a look at the pictures included with this step, this is more-or-less what you should have gotten.
  • Plexiglass
  • Motors
  • Battery Pack
  • Breadboard
  • Roller thing
  • O-rings
  • Bag of screws and stuff
  • Micro Magician brain
  • Servo
  • Sensor
Also make note of the pack of hardware. If you look at the picture and read along, it goes like this (clockwise from upper left)
  • 15mm brass standoffs and M3 screws (the short fat ones)
  • 2-56 nuts
  • Tail roller kit (in its own bag and with its own screws)
  • Motor clips (included with the motor hardware) ***Note*** Don't mix these up with other screws! They are metric!
  • 2-56 x 7/16 screws (if a specific screw is not specified in the instructions, use one of these)
  • 2-56 x 1/4 flat-head (these are the only flat-head screws in the pack and are for the battery)

What you will need for assembly:
  • One small Phillips head screwdriver
  • Maybe some tweezers or needle-nose pliers might be nice (but you don't really need them)

What is that smell?

Yup, you smelled that huh? Yes, the acrylic (Plexiglass) used in the chassis of these robots has a distinctive smell coming out of the laser cutter (you should smell it when its fresh!). Its just kinda a "plastic-y" smell. There is very good news though: The vast majority of that funky goodness is in the paper backing of the plexi, not the plexiglass itself. Unwrap your pieces and throw the paper backing away outside. The smell will go with it, I promise.
OK, This is a statement of opinion and should not be taken as reprisentative of anything else. <br> <br>I do see Mr Kiteman's point, though I suspect it was worded a little harshly. However, there ARE several parts that would have to be bought specifically for this project, and &quot;Oh Look! I can get them all in the same box from one person&quot;. I haven't checked the costings but I'll bet there's a cost benefit from buying the kit as opposed to buying the parts separately, especially when you consider that you also get some nicely laser cut chassis parts and other hardware. It seems to be nicely designed and well thought out... <br> <br>ON THE OTHER HAND! <br>Mr Carpenter sir? <br>An awful lot of your kit is fairly standard material and it would be more in keeping with the whole instructables open source ethos to offer some suggestions for alternative off the shelf parts and diy advice, as well as some ideas for upgrades and improvements. I have to say, I'd rather see instructions like this than the Picasso sketches that fall out of the ikea box. <br> <br>I do think LMR is cool, I recommended it to another user just the other day <br> <br>https://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-RC-Surveillance/?comments=all#CU1KOU3HET13K6F <br> <br>I think frizel hangs out on here from time to time and there ARE several versions of the &quot;Start Here&quot; robot, already on instructables. Perhaps Chris the Carpenter would consider a link to some of those in the introduction as inspiration for those who can't or won't buy the whole kit. Maybe you'd also consider offering an &quot;Export&quot; version, by which I mean a variant of the kit with the more common parts removed to reduce postage for international orders? I do rather resent having to pay postage on a handful of screws which I could buy down the road for less than the postage on the kit, especially when I probably have the right screws in my &quot;Stuff&quot; anyway. <br> <br>Mr Carpenter, you are doing good things, and you have some very creative design solutions. The finished project does look awesome, thank you for sharing it.
So, to follow your instructable, we have to buy your kit first? <br> <br>That's kind of spammy, isn't it? <br> <br>Or have you included a parts list and cutting template somewhere I haven't spotted yet? <br>
Its a wee bit later now and I have sorta &quot;sat&quot; on your comment for a bit now. Everything I said in my previous response still stands, but I have to admit, the fact that you called me a &quot;spammer&quot; is starting to grate on me a bit. I don't think you bothered to give anything the benefit of the doubt and I think it was a bit impolite. I think I might even be a little offended. <br> <br>In response, I offer you a free kit. If you would like a kit, I would be happy to send you one, I will cover the cost of the kit as well as the shipping. Send me an email, DM, IM, or PM with your address and color choice and I will get one out the following day. (This is not a joke, I am not being sarcastic, if you want a kit, its yours)
Can I have a kit too, I promise not write something mean. By the way, well put together instructable for a novice to put it together.
You know what, sleeping? You got it. If you really want to get into this stuff and you are hurting for cash, I am happy to send you one. Just show it to kids and tell them that being a nerd is cool, huh? --Shoot me a PM with your address, I'll get one out quick as can be for you.
I use to be a teacher and still teach alot of students at work. I do it because someone also taught me once. You put alot of work putting this instructable together. I appreciate that I can learn from it. If anyone says something differently. I would say, don't listen to them. Thanks for the offer. I would take advantage of it, but I would feel guilty.
Wow, I think you might be looking at this a bit backward. For those who have purchased a kit, these would be the instructions they would use for assembly. These instructions have not be &quot;imposed&quot; on you in any way and yes, there are folks in the world who sell things for a living and use resources like Instructables as a convenient way to post instructions. Based on the fact that Instructables has featured many of my other kits, I think this is pretty far from spam. <br><br>Now, all my stuff is Creative Commons and I use what I call a JAN license. &quot;Just ask nicely&quot;... If you would like access to any or all of my design files or parts lists you are more than welcome and I will be happy to send them to you, however this kit uses very specific parts from very specific suppliers and I guarantee one will spend twice the price of the kit if they were to try to source their own parts. <br><br>I encourage you to use your Freedom as a consumer to vote with your dollars. If you feel my actions are spammy, simply refrain from buying a kit.
@kiteman-with all due respect, There are plenty of instructables specific to products made by one manufacturer-how many &quot;Repair your iPod&quot; or &quot;How to re-machine the tailpipe on a Harley Fatboy&quot; tutorials are there? Are they spammy? Would they be more or less so if Apple or Harley put them out? Probably less, right? If you want, I'm certain you can buy the Tadpole Assembled (though that would defeat the purpose it was created for) but these instructions make it easier to DiY. RocketBrand has an INCREDIBLE pro-bono record, by the way.
Because, for those, step one isn't &quot;go and buy this product in which I have a vested interest&quot;.

About This Instructable




More by Chris the Carpenter:Rocket Brand Studios Tiny Tank Rocket Brand Studios Medium Tank The Glen the Stove Project 
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