Introduction: Introduction to Basic Robotics

This instructable is intended to help build a basic robot that you can buy as a kit or assemble via open source. You can get the kit by using the open source bill of materials on our website,*

HAL-e makes robotics easy and affordable, without losing the educational value of assembling and programming the robot. Designed by two high school students, building HAL-e instructs kids on the basic principles of robotics as they assemble and play with it. Often kits are either glorified toys, with the robot coming together with a few snaps and clicks of buttons, or overcomplicated and impossible to assemble. Regardless, they are often prohibitively expensive, so HAL-e available as a kit or open source reduces the cost.

HAL-e can be assembled in virtually any setting, from home to school to after school activities and clubs. If you are interested in instructional or teaching materials to go with HAL-e, go to*

The prototype for HAL-e is also on Instructables,

*Both the BOM and instructional materials will be available by November 1, 2015.

Step 1: Attach Motor to Motor Mount

Using two 25 mm M3 bolts, attach motor to the motor mount with a screwdriver. Use a nut to hold bolt in place.

Repeat with other motor and motor mount.

Step 2: Attach Velcro

Attach the velcro to bottom deck between the D holes.

Step 3: Attach Metal Roller Wheel

Using 10mm M3 bolts, attach wheel to side of bottom deck without velcro (the bolts should stick out on the opposite side to the velcro).

Use nut to hold bolt in place.

Step 4: Attach Motors and Battery Pack to Bottom Deck

Slide the motor mounts onto the bottom deck on the side with the velcro. The mounts will fit the slots perfectly, so if it doesn't fit, try a different arrangement.

Then attach battery pack using the velcro.

Step 5: Attach Keypad to Top Deck

Put the keypad on the Top Deck, with the letters pointing up.

Place sticker on keypad, with up arrow on 5, hourglass on 8, and down arrow on 0.

Step 6: Attaching Screws to Top Deck

Insert 5 40mm M3 screws through holes on the same side of the keypad. The holes are labelled 'A' on the top deck. Place bolts on the underside of the top deck.

Step 7: Attaching Arduino

Using four 15mm M3 bolts and two washers, place the washers on the deck, place the arduino on top, and bolt in place. The bolts go in the 'B' holes. Make sure that the USB and the power plug of the ardunio are facing away from the keypad. (Note: if you attach the board directly on the deck, the board will warp.)

Step 8: Thread Wires

Thread the battery pack wires through the slot closest to the keypad and thread the motor wires through the slats closest to the motors.

Add the back mount behind the battery pack.

Step 9: Attach Nuts to Bottom Deck

Attach 5 nuts to the bolts connecting the top deck to the bottom deck.

Step 10: Attaching the First Wires to the Terminal Block

Loosen the screw on the top of the blue terminal block labeled M2B, so the screw is up at the top of the block. Refer to the first picture and look at the screw labeled M2B to see how far the screw needs to be.

Place red wire from the right motor in the terminal block labeled M2B like in the second picture, making sure the metal from the wire is touching the metal of the terminal block. Tighten the screws until you can tug the red wire lightly and it won't come out.

Step 11: Attach Motors to Motor Driver

Attach the remaining wires by first loosening the screw and then inserting the wire like you did in the previous step:

1. Attach the black wire from the right motor into the M2A.

2. Attach the red wire from the left motor into the M1B.

3. Attach the black wire from the left motor into the M1A slot.

Step 12: Attach Battery Pack

1. Loosen the screw above the other blue terminal header and insert the black wire from the battery pack to the GND terminal block in the blue terminal header. Tighten the screw a bit.

2. Loosen the screw above the blue terminal header, then insert the red battery wire to the VIN outside the blue terminal header on the motor controller. Tighten the screw a bit.

Step 13: Attach Keypad Wires

Follow the picture carefully! Insert the keypad ribbon in the 5 slots closest to the keypad into Digital -5, 4, -3, 2, 1, 0.

Step 14: Blue Cap on the Power Header

Place the blue cap that's called a jumper onto the two head pin, like in the picture. A green light labelled on should light up after placing the jumper. Congratulations! Now you're ready to program with HAL-e.