Introduction: Simple Robotic Arduino Arm

Here I will be showing you how to make a basic arduino robotic arm controlled by a potentiometer. This project is perfect for learning the basics of arduino, if you are overwhelmed by the amount of options on instructables and don’t know where to start.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

Here is a list of the tools and materials you will need for this instructable:

Step 2: Wiring the Arduino and Breadboard

To make sure that your arduino works correctly, you need to wire it up to the servo and potentiometer correctly, otherwise the servo will not react to the potentiometer, or you would even break your arduino in the worst case! To make sure this does not happen, we will wire the board very carefully, using the diagram above. The green lines represent wires, the rotation dial is the potentiometer, and the blue box on the left is the servo motor. To begin, you should attach a wire to the 5V pin of the arduino, and the other side to the + side of the breadboard. You should also connect the GND pin to the - of the board. Next, you should attach a wire to the ~11 pin, and the other end to the signal input of the servo, and attach the servo power inputs and outputs to the corresponding pins on the breadboard. These wires will provide power to the servo, and the third wire will tell it where to turn. The 5V pin will provide a power input of five volts, which will flow towards the GND pin, which stands for Ground. Next, connect a wire to the A0 pin and the breadboard, and two wires to the breadboard so that the potentiometer has a power input and output. Finally, connect the potentiometer to the breadboard. Depending on what kind of potentiometer you have, you may need to solder wires to it. The potentiometer will tell the arduino where to move the servo, over the wire connected to A0.

Step 3: Testing Your Wiring

To test if you wiring works, start up your arduino program on your computer, and then paste the following code into it:

int pot = 0; Servo servo_11; void setup() { pinMode(A0, INPUT); servo_11.attach(11); Serial.begin(9600); }

void loop() { digitalRead(A0); pot = analogRead(A0); servo_11.write(map(pot, 0, 1023, 0, 180)); delay(10); Serial.println(pot); }

Plug in your arduino and run the code to see if it works. If it doesn’t, make sure that your wiring is all correct, and that your arduino is properly connected to the computer. If it still doesn’t work, do not hesitate to contact me!

Step 4: Attaching an Arm

Since a rotating servo is not of much use and doesn’t really demonstrate you amazing arduino capabilities, we are going to attach an arm to it. Depending on what kind of servo you bought, there might be some plastic bases that you can attach to it, or it might come with a base pre-attached, like the one in the diagram above. Either way, you can glue a piece of any material you fancy on it, like wood, plastic, or even cardboard! I’ll be using wood. Use your hot glue gun to glue the arm to the servo, and viola! You’re done!

Step 5: A Base (Optional)

You could just end the project here, but what use is an arm that’ll just fall over if you use it? For lit reason, you can use more hot glue to glue your arm to a base, again, out of any material you like. I still have some wood left so I’ll be using that. And now, your arm is done. Really, this time. ;)

If you have any questions about this instructable, do not hesitate to contact me in the comments here or on the YouTube video attached! I hope you liked this project, and thank you for building it.