This Instructable shows you how to build a simple, inexpensive breadboard for robotics experiments. It is a companion to Cheap, Easy Robotics for the Non-Programmer. Here we'll learn how to build a Babuino robot to use for experiments with the Babuino/Blocos software environment. Using a breadboard like this makes it easy to experiment with robotic circuits. Since no soldering is required, it's also very easy to make changes to your circuits. (Note that some soldering is required to build the breadboard, but it's pretty minimal.)

This website (featured in the last Instructable) provides a great design for a simple robot. That platform is both simple and elegant, but has two short-comings for an individual wishing to experiment with robotics. The first is that the platform really wants to be built for a class. That is, the tools and setup to build it may be beyond an individual who does not have a fairly complete shop (like a band saw or jig saw) and the materials become economical when purchased in quantity. The other short-coming is that the platform is fairly specific once the Radio Shack prototype board is built. Sensors, motors, etc. are soldered in place, so making changes is difficult.

There are many other examples of simple robots and Arduino clones on the Internet. Pointers to some of these were given in the last Instructable, and lots more can be found with Google. So why am I reinventing the wheel? Simply to bring together in one place all the pieces you need to build a robot breadboard, complete with motors and motor controls, at minimal cost and assembly effort. Add the environment from the last Instructable and have a blast with robotics for a tiny investment.

First, I'll show you how to build the mechanical platform, then we'll add the Babuino controller. Two alternative Babuino incarnations will be presented. The first will be an actual Arduino clone, using the same processor used on Arduino and having exactly the same hardware resources. The second is a simpler to use version with a built-in USB interface and additional hardware resources. Both will work great, pick your favorite.

Important Note: When I use the name “Arduino” I mean not just the (not quite copyrighted) Arduino itself, but also the many public domain versions collectively known as “Freeduino”. In some cases I use the term “Ard/Free-duino”, but the terms should be considered interchangeable for the purposes of this Instructible.

Step 1: Assembling the Robotics Breadboard - Part 1: Mechanical

Here are the mechanical parts need to build the robotics breadboard. Suitable suppliers are listed for most of these although there are many alternatives you can use.

Mechanical Parts List
Note: Digikey part numbers can be entered on their home page. Press GO and you'll go right to the part description.

1 Solderless Breadboard (Available from PJRC, Radio Shack, or Digikey 438-1045-ND)
2 Pololu Motors
1 Pololu Roller Ball (come in a pack of 3. Share with a friend or keep for spares.)
1 Battery box for 4 – AA Batteries (Digikey BC4AAW-ND; also try Frys, RadioShack, etc.)
1 Battery box for 2 – AA Batteries (Digikey BC22AAW-ND
Foam Tape
2 Pipe Plugs (These become wheels) You can find these in the Plumbing department at Home Depot or a good hardware store. Pick a diameter you like. See the pictures below.
2 Large rubber bands (like on asparagus bundles). Could use multiple smaller ones also.

Let's start putting the pieces together. Picture 1 shows the front of a solderless breadboard. This will be the chassis for the robotics breadboard. We'll attach our motors, battery holders, and roller ball to this. If you don't already have a suitable one, some alternatives are in the Parts List.

The key mechanical component for a robot is the motor. Let's talk about motors for a minute before we get on with building. The Babuino is designed to control DC motors. The problem with DC motors is that they spin very fast. If their voltage is reduced enough to slow them down, then the power they have is greatly reduced. To reduce the output speed without reducing power, gears are used. A servo motor contains both a motor and a gear train in a nice package, but must be modified to provide continuous rotation. This website provides clear, thorough instructions for turning a servo into a DC motor which you can use for this project. (Such servos can be purchased very reasonably here.) However, while those instructions are very clear, this modification is still a lot of work. A simpler solution is to buy the units shown in Picture 2 from Pololu; they are less than $6 each. The link is in the Parts List.

To ready them for use on our breadboard, simply solder a wire to each lug on the motor (22 gauge solid copper works great). Cut pieces of Scotch foam tape (Picture 3) to fit, apply them to the motors and attach them to the breadboard. Line up the axles of the motor gearboxes and get them as perpendicular to the breadboard as possible. Place the motors as far to the rear of the breadboard as you can to leave room for the other parts. Then stick them to the back of the breadboard as shown in Picture 4. I used foam tape to do this, but you could use Velcro or hot melt glue to do the job.

Once the motors are in place, it's time to add the battery holders. We need two battery holders: one for four AA batteries and one for two AA batteries. We'll mount the one for the four batteries first right in front of the motors. Attach with foam tape, Velcro, or hot glue. Your breadboard should now look a lot like Picture 4 (except you won't have wheels yet). The two battery holder can be attached to the top of the breadboard wherever it's convenient – there'll be pictures later. Velcro works great here because you can move the batteries when you're building circuits.

At the front of the robot (or the back, you can make it go either way) we'll mount a roller ball. It is shown with the motors in Picture 2. Picture 5 shows one way to make the roller ball mount from a milk jug handle. After removing the handle, cut it to length with the hack saw and drill a 5/16ths inch hole in it. The roller ball will be a force fit into the hole. The finished mount is shown in Picture 2 also. Picture 6 shows the attachment to the breadboard. You could use a block of wood, or other scrap to mount the roller ball.

<p>I&rsquo;m working on a project which is about making a rescue <br>robot . I have struggling with it for 4 months and now all the mechanical works <br>had been done . but I&rsquo;m facing difficulty in make the robot to work with rf <br>module can u plzz help me&hellip;</p><p>I want make transmitter and receiver that can control the <br>motion&hellip;I mean that receiver should have control 8 dc gear motor and each dc <br>motor should have a forward and backward botton to control the motion &hellip;&hellip;can u <br>kindly help me with this project &hellip;.if u can make the circuit board diagram for <br>the PCB &hellip;.or any other suggestion plz reply&hellip;&hellip;mail me at &ldquo;sunny1995gagan@gmail.com&rdquo;</p>
I fixed my problem by using an AE-MDL-DualusDC chip. I originally couldn&rsquo;t get enough power, but this board gave me plenty of power (1A RMS, 2A peak, per H Bridge). It has connectors on both sides that give you access to all the control and power signals. It also has SMT pads, which allow you to solder your own wires on. You can get more information about the board here http://www.avayanelectronics.com/Products/AE-DualusDC/AE_DualusDC_Manual.pdf . The cheapest ones I&rsquo;ve found so far have been from DiverDudes.com, they sell assembled and bare chips, this is the link to their site http://driverdudes.com/product_info.php?products_id=32
Hey shall we use any other motor which drives the robot fast( i mean servo motor) ????????????????PLZ HELP ME. IF SO WAT ARE THE CHANGES! <br>
A modified servo motor (as described in the links) works just fine. After modification, it is basically just a DC motor and is controller the same way. Servo motor control from the Babuino is planned, but not implemented yet.<br><br>You could also use a DC gear motor with a different gear ratio to give higher speeds.
Mr.Doctek plz help in motors!!!!!!!!
could i use solar panels instead of batteries
Should work fine. The important thing is to be sure the processor and the 5V side of the HBridge never see any voltage higher than 5V. Solar panels put out a voltage that is actually pretty variable. Using some sort of voltage regulation / charge controlling circuit would be important.<br><br>The other option would be to simply use the solar panels to charge the batteries you use. ;)}
which batterie pack should i change to the solar panels the two pack AA or the 4 pack AA or should i just use one 6v solar panel and no batteries
Important: I am not an expert on solar power! So anything I suggest is along the lines of thoughts and questions to investigate, not design info. <br><br>First, all 6 batteries are used to power the robot, so it would seem that the solar panel should charge or replace them all,depending on the route you're planning. <br><br>I have two main concerns. First is that the 5 Volt power supply must never see over 5 volts, as I've mentioned before.<br><br>Second is whether or not a small panel can provide the power to run the motors. I don't know what size panel would be required.<br><br>Good luck! Maybe it's another Instructable.
cool, I can certainly use this thanx for posting :)

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