Introduction: My First Arduino Robot

About: I enjoy reading adventure books, building robots, cooking, and helping my Dad do just about any project he's working on.

I built this robot because it is cheap, simple, and fun. The total cost of this project is under $100. It has a movable "head", a tactile push button controller, and uses an Arduino Uno micro controller for its "brains".

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Hardware needed for this project:

(1) Arduino Uno


Radio Shack

(2) Continuous Rotation Servos (not included in photo of parts above)


Radio Shack

(2) Nine Gram Micro Servos
Radio Shack


(1) PCB board


Radio Shack

(5) Tactile switches


(5) 10K ohm resister


Radio Shack

(1) 1 x 40 Male header pins


(4) AA Batteries

(1) 9V Battery

(1) Four AA Battery Pack

Radio Shack

(2) 9V Battery Clips


radio shack

(2) Toggle Switches, Single Pole Double Throw

Radio Shack

(1) Breadboard

Radio Shack


(1) 2.1mm Coax Plug

MCM Electronics

(12) ft 8-Conductor Phone Cable


(1) 16 Penny Nail

(2) Plastic Ball jar lids

(5) ft of 24 AWG wire

MCM Electronics

(1) 2 ft x 3 ft 1/4 ply wood

(1) Paper clip

(1) 1/2 in bead

Hot glue


Tools Needed For This Project:

Soldering iron

Hot glue gun

Wire strippers and cutters

Jig saw

Computer with Arduino software

Skills Needed For This Project



Power tools

Step 2: Building the Robot's Body

Cut out two sides, two decks, one bottom, four struts and one stabilizer using the drawings above.

Drill two holes in one side as pictured (the hole on the far left is not needed).

Glue the sides to the bottom and glue one of the decks on top.

Glue the stabilizer in the center of the bottom leaving 2-1/2 inches protruding.

Take the second deck and glue it on top of the stabilizer and flush with the back.

Last, glue the braces in place.

Step 3: Building the Robot's Head

Cut out three pieces for the base, three for the head, one for the upper neck, and one for the lower neck.

Assemble the base and glue the micro servos in place as pictured.

Next, drill a 1/8 inch hole in the side of the head as marked.

Then, cut the 16 penny nail to 1-1/2 inches from the head.

Glue the top of the robot's head to the side of the head that has no hole. Glue the servo horn in the upper neck so that the servo shaft is centered and 1/2 inch up on the side that you just glued to the top.

Then glue the nail's head to the opposite side of the servo.

Slip the hole on the opposite side over the nail and glue to the top of the head.

Now glue the base servo horn to the lower neck.

Glue the lower neck to the upper neck.

Last of all glue the head to the top of the robot.

Step 4: Adding the Wheels and Roller Bead

Remove the servo horns from the servo (don't lose the screws).

Facing the robot with the servo upright and the shaft closest to you, apply glue to the right side of the servo and quickly insert it into the right side of the robot holding the servo against the bottom of the robot.

Repeat with left side.

Drill a hole in the center of the each jar lid.

Glue the servo horns on top of the jar lid, centered with the holes.

Replace the servo horn and lids on the servo.

Unbend the paper clip and slip the 1/2" bead over the paper clip.

Then, bend the paper clip in a U shape with the bead at the bottom.

Half way up each side of the 'U', bend both sides foreword.

Glue the paper clip/bead assembly to the robot as shown in the picture above.

Glue a piece of cardboard over the paper clip ends where it attaches to the robot body to strengthen the attachment.

Now for the fun part!

Step 5: Mounting the Arduino & Breadboard

Glue the breadboard in place as shown in the pictures above.

Place the Arduino Controller as shown.

Squirt glue into the mounting holes to secure the Arduino Controller to the robot body.

Step 6: Building the Power Supply Assemblies

The Robot has power supply assemblies that connect the batteries through switches to the Arduino and the servos, respectively.

Solder the power assemblies together as shown.

Note: Be sure to solder the toggle switch to the positive side of the wire coming from the 9V Battery Clips and not the negative side of the clips.

Step 7: Wiring the Electronics

Put the two toggle switches in the off position and glue them in the holes you made in step two (See Pictures 1 & 2 above).

Now plug the COAX plug into the Arduino.

Plug the servo power to the breadboard power rails (With proper polarity).

Next snap in the 9V battery for the Arduino and the 6V battery pack for the servos.

Plug jumpers in to the breadboard as shown in Picture 5.

Cut and strip 12 one inch pieces of wire.

Insert the wire pieces into the servo connecters, 3 in each connector.

Assemble the servo connectors into the bread board following the schematic (Picture 3).

Take two long jumper wires and connect the left servo control pin to D9 on the Arduino, and the right drive servo control pin to D10 on the Arduino.

Take two more wires and connect the head servo to D5 and the neck servo to D6, also on the Arduino.

Last of all connect the servo ground to the Arduino ground.

Step 8: Assembling & Connecting the Controller

Assemble & solder the controller as in the schematic (Pictures 1 & 2).

Attach the other end of the phone cable (the yellow wires in the Schematic Picture 1) to the Arduino.

Step 9: Programming the Robot

Arduino Software Code

Copy the code from the document below and paste it into the Arduino Software.

Download the software to your robot's Arduino Controller. You can find out how to do that here.

Step 10: Driving the Robot

How To Control Your Robot

The video above demonstrates how to use & control your robot.

On the control panel (Picture 1), you can go forward, backward, turn left & right. The fifth button on the far left makes the head nod.

If you press the forward & reverse buttons together, the robot will "laugh".

If you press the left & right buttons together, the robot will "jitter".


Tech Contest

Participated in the
Tech Contest

Microcontroller Contest

Participated in the
Microcontroller Contest