Introduction: How to Build SMARS Robot - Arduino Smart Robot Tank Bluetooth

About: I am Bluino Electronics.

This article is proudly sponsored by PCBWAY.

PCBWAY make high quality prototyping PCBs for people all over the world. Try it for your self and get 10 PCBs for just $5 at PCBWAY with very great quality, Thanks PCBWAY. The Motor Shield for Arduino Uno that I developed for use in this project uses PCBWAY PCB services.

In this instructable, I will show you how to build Arduino Robot Car is called SMARS Robot.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Part List

To build the basic model of SMARS robot you just need few parts. Divided into two main parts, 3D printed parts and electronics components. For 3D parts you can print yourself using a 3D printer, you can download the complete 3D files here. For electronic components you can buy on Amazon or AliExpress.

Electronics parts:

  • 1 x Arduino Uno R3 DIP
  • 1 x Arduino Motor Shield
  • 1 x Ultrasonic HC-SR04
  • 1 x IR Sensor
  • 2 x Geared Motor 200 RPM 6V
  • 8 x Cable jumper female to female 10cm
  • 4 x Cable AWG24
  • 1 x Connector 9V Battery
  • 1 x 9V battery
  • 1 x Battery Holder (2 x Li-ion 14500)
  • 1 x USB Cable
  • 1 x USB OTG

Step 2: Print 3D Parts

There are some of basic parts to build your SMARS, you can download the build files from Thanks to Kevin Thomas who was created SMARS.

List 3D Printed Parts

  • Chassis
  • Master wheels x2
  • Slave wheels x2
  • Mechanical tracks x32
  • Holding board (for the 9v battery)
  • Range finder holder
  • Range finder cover
  • Connector

To print all parts i used 3D Printer Creality Ender 3 with resolution: 0.2, infill 30%.

Step 3: Solder Wires to Motors

Preparation before soldering you can putting some flux to terminal of motors and wires.

  • solder a 13cm red wire to the positive terminal for front wheel motor
  • solder a 13cm black wire to the negative terminal for front wheel motor
  • solder a 13cm red wire to the positive terminal for back wheel motor
  • solder a 13cm black wire to the negative terminal for back wheel motor

After soldering, twist the red and black wires to secure them further. It also makes the wires easier to manage.

Step 4: Fit Motors

The motors will fix in the perfectly sized area behind the wheel hole.

Step 5: Fit Battery

The battery fits in the middle of the robot, between the two motors. You will need to attach a 9V battery connector to the battery.

If you want to use two rechargeable battery Li-ion 3.7V size 14500. You will need a chassis with size higher 3mm and a 2xAA battery holder. Then the batteries can be entered inside the chassis, and Arduino Uno board can be freely slid over it.

Step 6: Fit Motors Holders

The motors are kept in place by the motor holders. You will have to bend these slightly to insert them into the little recess just about the motors. It is also good practice to push the motor wires through these before inserting.

This will make them fit snug and will allow the motor wires to be free and untrapped.

Step 7: Attach Wheels

There are two types of wheel - Master and Slave. The master wheels are driven by the motors, whereas the slave wheels are free spinning.

The Slave wheels push into the lugs on the chassis (a little bit of force is required). It is also a good idea to make sure the lugs and the slave wheels don't have any rough edges so that they can turn without effort.

The Master wheels push into the shaft of motor, hold body motor by hand to prevent more force that will cause stopper motor broken.

Straighten the cable for the motor towards the back and the cable for the power towards the right side.

Step 8: Test Motors

Test the motors are working correctly by touching the positive and negative wires to the battery. They should spin enthusiastically!

If the motors do not spin when connecting to the battery, check that the wires are still soldered to the motor and haven’t come free when fitting (they are quite delicate). Also check the 9v battery is fully charged.

Step 9: Add Arduino

Slide the Arduino Uno or Arduino compatible into the robot chassis - there are two slots that run the length of the top of the SMARS chassis. To avoid splitting the top of the SMARS chassis, slowly insert the Arduino and stop and remove it if you encounter any resistance. Its best to sandpaper or file the channel if it is not large enough.

If you already have a Bluino One, this will be very easy to slide into the robot chassis because it has the same dimensions.

Bluino-ONE is good choice, you can programmed it and controlled it via bluetooth use Android phone or Laptop.

You can get Bluino-ONE on Tindie store.

Step 10: Upgrade Motor Shield

There are several motor shield options that you can use with Arduino Uno on this SMARS robot project, very commonly using Motor Shield V1/v2 made by Adafruit or compatible (clone from China), but the disadvantage of this shield does not have the Bluetooth connectivity is needed for SMARS robot project controlled by an Android phone. Follow step by step instruction of upgrading your Motor Shield v1 here (add bluetooth module).

If you use Bluino-ONE (Arduino compatible with Bluetooth built-in) or use Bluino Motor Shield (Motor Shield with Bluetooth built-in) you can skip step to upgrading Motor Shield v1.

Step 11: Add Motor Shield

Push the Motor shield carefully into the Arduino, making sure all the pins go into the header sockets without missing and bending.

Or you can also attach a Bluino motor shield into your Arduino Uno.

Step 12: Connect the Cable

Insert and tighten the power wires into the terminal block on motor shield, and the motor wires into the respective terminal.

You do not connect the a motor to the two terminals M1 and M2. The correct is the "left motor" connect to M1 and the "right motor" connect to M2.

Step 13: Attach Tracks

The tracks are attached to each other by using a piece of 1.75mm filament cutted at the right length.

To give the wheels same traction on each side you can either attach the 16 tracks to each side, in a caterpillar arrangement.

Or to give the wheels more traction on different surfaces you can either attach the 8 tracks to each wheel.

Step 14: Attach Add-on Module

Step 15: SMARS App (Arduino Sketch, Schematics & Remote)

To make SMARS robot come alive you have to program Arduino first, then assemble motors, sensors and other components, so you can play and control the SMARS robot. To do all that you can use this Android App:


Otherwise, you can program Arduino Uno board through a computer using the Arduino IDE software.

Step 16: Enjoy

Hopefully you enjoy your SMARS Robot. If you do, please share your makes, share the link, like and subscribe Instructables & Youtube. As always, if you have any questions please let me know!

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