Introduction: Building the 3D Printed Arduino Social Robot Buddy

About: At LittleBots we are creating 3D Printed Robot Kits that get Kids excited about robotics and STEM

Buddy is a 3D Printed arduino social robot. He interacts with the world by using an ultrasonic sensor to map out his immediate area. When something changes in his environment he reacts. He can be surprised or inquisitive and sometimes a bit aggressive.

Buddy sees the world by checking particular points in a map around him. These points are updated as he moves around and reacts to new things.

If an object is placed in or removed from his vicinity he will react by potentially searching it out or becoming angry. Buddy generates his actions on the fly. Each one is completely original and based on what is happening around him. He never recycles a reaction. Buddy is currently on Kickstarter we welcome any support in order to keep this project alive.

Buddy will be be the 9th robotics kit that we have created at LittleBots. We have been working to make robotics and STEM exciting and fun. And it hasn't changed with Buddy. Except now anyone can enjoy this robot. Whether you are a builder or not. You can just "hang out" with Buddy.

Enjoy the build tutorial.


Step 1: Upload the Code

Before any assembly make sure that you have uploaded the Arduino Code to the Buddy. It will allow him to interact with the world. Updates of the code can be downloaded from the LittleBots Downloads Page

If you are not familiar with Arduino then you can visit this page for more tutorials

Step 2: Assemble the Neck

  1. Feed the 4 prong sensor wire through the channel on the neck
  2. Insert the Servo into the the neck that tilts the head from side to side

  3. If necessary use a think screwdriver to push the wire through.

  4. Insert the Nodding servo into the neck. It does not require any screws

Step 3: Assemble the Head

  1. Press the ultrasonic sensor firmly into the 3D printed front-facing head piece
  2. Take the back half of the head and set a two-prong Servo Horn into it.

Step 4: Prepare the Base

  1. Use 4 servo mounting screws to set the main arduino board into the base of the robot.
  2. Insert and secure with screws a servo into the base .

Step 5: Position All Servos

Using a Spare horn, GENTLY, rotate each servo to its home position
  1. Manually rotate the servo fully clock-wise
  2. Turn the Base Servo Fully Clock-wise.
  3. Rotate the Nodding Servo fully CCW

Step 6: Attach Head to Neck

  1. Mount the base of the head so that is it is tilted to the left a little less than vertically.
  2. Secure with a servo horn screw.
  3. Connect the sensor wire to the sensor, noting which color wires go with which pin on the sensor
  4. Seal the Head closed with 2 servo mounting screws

Step 7: Attach Neck to Base

  1. Attach the Neck yoke piece to the servo so that it is facing 90 decrees to the right.Secure with horn and screw
  2. Attach the Neck and head to the neck yoke. Insert by tilting the servo armature in and then twisting the neck into place.
  3. Secure with a horn and screw. Make sure that the neck is horizontal or slightly below.

Step 8: Wire Up the Motors and Sensor

  1. Feed all servo and sensor wires into the base.
  2. Wires servos to the main board according to the diagram.
  3. Plug in the Sensor Wire to the ultrasonic port.
  4. Make sure that the pins are aligned with the pins on the sensor
  5. Use 4 servo mounting screws to attach the base plate to the main body

Step 9: Enjoy Your Buddy

Simply Plug in Buddy now and watch him come alive.

If you would like to support Buddy you can preorder kits and parts from our Kickstarter

Find other parts and arduino kits at the LittleBots Website

Updates here on the Buddy 3D Printed Arduino Robot Kit

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