Sometimes we want to add some complexity to our Simple Bots so that the motors do more than spin in one direction. This is where switches, sensors and modules come in. These tools allow us to not only change the direction of the motor, but also vary the speed and toggle the motors on and off. These tools are indispensable in giving our bots personality and purpose. It is these added complexities that make the bots seem less like out of control machines and more like living creatures. Don't be afraid to experiment and try adding any of these modules to any of the Simple Bots.
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Step 1: DPDT Switches
DPDT switches are mighty tools in bot building because they can allow you to reverse motor direction with the flick of a switch.
The way we typically use these switches, in Simple bots, is to have a lever attached to the motor shaft, which rotates around and toggles the switch, hence reversing its direction. In other words, the motor hits the switch and changes its direction and rotates the other way, and then again hits the switch and changes its direction and rotates back the way it came and hits the switch and changes its direction, etc.
You can get quite complex behaviors by using this technique. For instance, you can have something attached to a motor hit the switch back and forth very rapidly to quickly change motor direction. If you put this motor in parallel with other motors, the bot can have two motors quickly moving back and forth in unison, which is ideal for a walking bot.
Alternately, the motor can have a wheel do a full rotation, hit a switch, and reverse itself. You can then use this technique to have two motors which are both doing this at the same time, but slightly out of synch. This will create a bot which is constantly alternating between turning, and driving forwards and backwards.
So, as you can see, using this simple switch, you can get a bot to do a lot of complex and interesting activities.