Introduction: Starting With Robotics (Arduino)

Picture of Starting With Robotics (Arduino)

Starting with robotics can be hard, if you don’t know where and how to start. Best way to start is to make mobile robot. In this step-by-step we will show you, how to make cheap robot with parts available in your local store and household.

Before you start you should make some plans how platform should look like. We did some sketches how robot should look like. Later we made some modifications so everything fit in properly.

I made this robot with my good friend purgec. ( )

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Picture of Tools and Parts

- board
- breadboard
- arduino (any one you like, we used mega)
- motors
- fasteners
- Velcro fasteners (hook-and-loop)
- screws (for making holes in board)
- knife
- tape

Step 2: Markup

Picture of Markup

You should start with marking up where everything should be. We did realized, that breadboard is little to big so we modified sketches to fit breadboard on base. Because of that motors must be mounted little bit back then in sketch.

Step 3: Breadboard

Picture of Breadboard

We mounted breadboard with Velcro fasteners. This step is one off the easiest. We used fasteners with glue on back side. We just have to cut them down and stick it to base board and breadboard.
In late steps we realized, that we did that too early because fasteners can got messy from making holes.

Step 4: Motors

Picture of Motors

We used modified hobby servo motors. How to modify a servo:
For mounting servo motors we cut holes in base board. After debate how to do it (drill can destroy this kind of board) we cut holes with two screws, smaller and sharper for making holes and bigger to make holes bigger.
For mounting motors in position we used fasteners. Fasteners were cheap, but where to short so we improvise. After this step robot was nearly finished

Step 5: Wheels and Support

Picture of Wheels and Support

In none of the steps before we didn’t think what we shall use as wheels for our robot. So we improvise again. We used two caps for canning jars and latex household gloves. We glued it to mounts with hot glue. Mount are not in center of caps. We didn’t mind that.
When wheels were mounted to motors, we realized that the vehicle is pretty high. On the back of robot will be a lot of weight so we had to make some a support. Because weight is in back (battery, arduino), there is no need to add any support in front.

Step 6: Arduino Mega

Picture of Arduino Mega

Mounting arduino is as easy as mounting breadboard. We used smaller pieces of Velcro fasteners on arduino board and bigger one on base board. Main reason of smaller pieces is that they are not in the way if you use arduino in another project.

Step 7: Battery

Picture of Battery

Currently we are using 9V battery. First we had to solder on connector to battery cable. When it was time to mount battery on base board we realized, that there is so little space. So in the rear part of base is a little unbalanced because battery is mounted on one side and there is no weight on other side.

Step 8: Test

We wrote test program using motor shield manufactures library. You can find it here:

Test program is also from the link above. We just modified it to contain what we needed.

Test (video):

Step 9: Improvements

Picture of Improvements

There is some space to improvements. Especially with the support. It worked out well but it is not very endurable.

We wanted to show you, how to start with robotics on cheap. The bigger expenses were arduino, motor shield and motors, around 30-40 $. Other parts can be found in household so the end platform is cheap.


R Jordan Kreindler (author)2016-07-11

Nice. Thank you for the post.

juanb83 (author)2016-05-03

If tou use how can be coneccted the oin and the rest please

االعرﺂقي (author)2015-11-21

i need help

kayan_p (author)2015-08-05

Hi, I really like the project but it seems the page with the code no longer exists :(. Can you please post the code or send it to me, please.

kayan_p (author)kayan_p2015-08-05

ALso what do you use to control the robot?

DanielS232 (author)kayan_p2015-11-19

Add me on skype if you wish for further instructions: daniel.smith6394

lyon_engineer (author)2015-09-18

I am new to this but your project was pretty simple to understand, at least the hardware part. Can you please send me the code for this project

AK K298 (author)2015-07-20

Hello sir I have just started with electronics and don't have much idea about it can you please help me to choose which books to read to get about arduino programming

vonPongrac (author)AK K2982015-07-20

I don't know about books, but I do know that the best way to start is using Arduino's examples and reference page.



If you are new to programming, try to learn basics of C programming language.

C tutorial:

If you want to know more about electronics, you can find some great tutorials on instructable, like this one:

vonPongrac (author)vonPongrac2015-07-20

You can also start with Arduino with help of instructables:

AK K298 (author)vonPongrac2015-07-20

Thank you for your precious reply
But sir i wanted to know that how did you get started with electronics can you please share with me. I would be glad to listen it.

PhillipP1 (author)2015-07-08

Nice work. Your tutorial is one of the easiest to understand on instructables.

vonPongrac (author)2015-04-07

Breadboard is not essential. Is there to provide teh easyest way for making upgrades.

IshanP (author)2014-11-18

can i use DC motors ?

and what is the use of bread board here and how does the robot work?

when we power it does it go just straight?

plz answer i hav to make it in 4 days

vonPongrac (author)IshanP2014-11-18

You can use DC motors with some kind of reductor or other transmition, so you can get more torque from them.

Breadboard is not used in this project. Later it was used for connecting aditional Arduino shields.

It goes only forwards becouse sample program is written this way. You must edit sample program that in some time it will go backwards. If you want robot to go right and left, you must also edit program.

IshanP (author)2014-11-17

can u please post the code?

amiller72 (author)2013-12-26

I'm actually pretty new to the electronics field and to arduino so excuse my lack of knowledge lol but here's what I have so far

vonPongrac (author)amiller722013-12-27

Those white motors are DC motors with reductor. Those can bedriven with H-Bridge (Arduino Motor Shield). You can also make your own H-Bridge with transistors or integrated circuits, like L293D. For those motors you should use 7 V supply. These motors are from RC car?

That green board, what is it?

I do belive that your 3 batterie pack will not do the job. Arduino got 5 V voltage stabilizer on board. Stabilizer must have 7-12 V for propper action (4 AA batteries will barely do the job). Also, that black box, looks like there is battery inside. What voltage output does it have?

Sory about my last post... It was written in hury and it is a mess.

amiller72 (author)2013-12-26

I have some servos but I tore apart a rc car for its motors and reciever setup and as you can see I'm not currently implementing the arduino but would like to understand how I could also diagrams help me alot lol

amiller72 (author)2013-12-25

How would I do this without the motor shield?

vonPongrac (author)amiller722013-12-26

Remove mechanical blockadge from servo and instead of potentiometer use voltage divider made from 2k2 resistors (like in this ible). Then you just drive servos like regular servos, where value '0' is one direction and valuve '18' is another.

arduinodude11 (author)2013-07-05

Your design is really simple and nice. However, you might want to put some friction for the wheels for its mobility. Just like a rubber ring of some sort that will fit your wheels.

vonPongrac (author)arduinodude112013-07-06

I cut down rubber gloves for that purpose. The diameter of gloves is just right to make tight fit with the wheels. You can see that from pictures.

arduinodude11 (author)vonPongrac2013-07-06

I see, I wasn't able to notice at first glance. Thank you sir! That actually gave me an idea for my wheels :)

qquuiinn (author)2013-05-06

is that a motor shield? I dont think you need a separate shield just to control servos

vonPongrac (author)qquuiinn2013-05-06

Those servos are modified to constant rotation. there is no electronics or any potentiometer in there. Is basically a DC motor with reductor. To drive DC motor you should use H-bridge (motor shield). If I use digital servos that can rotate constlantly (like the one in LEGO Mindstorm nxt) there will be no need for any H-bridge.

Gelfling6 (author)vonPongrac2013-05-24

Converting standard RC servos to constant rotation is fairly simple.. requires (a) removal of the position potentiometer, (these are usually 5K is value), and replacing them with a pair of 3.3K (red-red-red) resistors in a "M" (the two resistors in series, with the open ends where the outer ends of the POT were, and the center connection where the wiper was) and (b) filing-down the stop point on the final drive gear.).. Using the arduino servo library, you simply assign 90 as dead stop, and 0 to 89 as one direction, 91 to 180 as the other direction. This way, you only need a 5V supply (OTHER THAN THE +5V from the Arduino! the 5v regulator will not handle it!) for the red wires of the servos, and only needing the signal from the arduino, no H bridge needed. There are plenty of plans for modifying servos here on instructables too.

vonPongrac (author)Gelfling62013-05-24

I heard of that, but never used it. I like my way and it never failed me.
My modification got pros and cons. Cons is using H-bridge (more elements, not very cheap). Pros are that you can connect motor to any voltage up to 12 V (9 V for micro servo, I tested those voltages) and you can control motor speed with PWM.
So in the end modification depends on aplication in which motor will be used. You can check on my instructable LISA. I am using modified servos at 7.2 V for higher tourqe and H-bridge build with relays. But tourqe is still a little low. In future I plan to raise voltage up to 12 V. There is no way this can be done by your modification. But with Arduino platform it would be better to use your modification, becouse you get lost of H-bridge which is not cheap and you get the same result.

vonPongrac (author)vonPongrac2013-05-24

And I do realize that with your modification you can still use servo as servo, with my modification servo become DC motor with reductor.

Gelfling6 (author)Gelfling62013-05-24

... and yes, I do realize 2x 3.3K resisters do not add-up to 5K.. negligible extra 1.6K.. you're only reading a center value from the +5 to GND.. (2.5V)..

s00500 (author)2013-05-12

Have a look at my Project =D

charels88 (author)2013-05-07

That looks almost like my robot Sid, zip-tied continuous rotation servos but no electrical tape holding everything else down. Good Job!

PavelZP (author)2013-05-07

Веду свой блог про создание сайта.

deqwer (author)2013-05-06

any video for this robot?

vonPongrac (author)deqwer2013-05-06

In step Test is link to video.

eddevine (author)2013-05-04

Excellent , thank you this will be a project that I can't wait to start

vonPongrac (author)eddevine2013-05-05

Good luck with your project! Keep me posted.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an engineer and a maker who loves technology challenges.
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