3D Printed Boxing Santa Biped Robot With LOLIN D32 Board and Smartphone App Using BLE With Arduino IDE

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About: Robot building has become my main hobby hoping one day to make it a profession

Hello, Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

So I was looking around shopping online to see if I could find any Robot Santas on the market and as it turns out I couldn't so I decided to build one for myself.

I decided to design a 3 servo walking biped robot and seen as how there aren't many designs of 3 servo robots out there I had to design it completly from scratch.

I wanted the robot to be completley 3d printed with only pre existing readily available electronic parts that would fit without any modifications. Hard task but eventually I figured it out and the Boxing Santa robot was born!!!

All the 3d printed parts were designed using Autodesk fusion 360 software.

In this instructable I will show you how to make a simple 3D printed boxing biped Robot.

This robot has a 400 hole solderless breadboard on its back so feel free to customise the electronics to make him do what ever you want !

In this case the robot will be rechargable via 5V micro USB using an esp32 board with wifi and BLE capabilites:

LOLIN D32 Board

The board will be programmed using:

Arduino IDE

The robot will be controlled via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) on a smartphone app:

nRF Toolbox for BLE

You need to have a smartphone with BLE capabilities in order to control the robot through this app!

Since Christmas time is here it only made sense to make a Robot Santa.

Happy Holidays and enjoy Building !!!

Step 1: Parts List

For this instructable you will need:

TOOLS:

  • Small cross head screwdriver
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder

ELECTRONICS:

  • 1x LOLIN D32 Board (available on Aliexpress for $6.50 LINK HERE )
  • 1x 3.7V 5200mAh 18650 Lithium Battery Pack +2P plug (available on Aliexpress for $6.18 LINK HERE)
  • 5x SG90 micro servos (available on Aliexpress for $8.57 LINK HERE )
  • 1x Breadboard 400 holes (available on Aliexpress for $1.26 LINK HERE)

!! Important to get this model of breadboard for it to fit correctly inside robot !!

  • 19xSolderless Breadboard Jumper Cables (available on Aliexpress for $1.83 LINK HERE)
  • 17x Male Pin Header For Arduino Breadboard 2.54 (available on Aliexpress for $1.14 LINK HERE )

Total price of electronic parts on Aliexpress $25.48

PLASTICS:

  • 1x Red PLA filament (1KG Spool available on Aliexpress for $21.49 LINK HERE )
  • 1x White PLA filament (1KG Spool available on Aliexpress for $21.49 LINK HERE )

!! Please note 1kg spool way over requirements to print robot 100m of each filament will do nicely !!

3D PRINTER:

Minimum build platform: 150mm x 150mm

Any 3d printer will do. I personaly printed it on the Creality Ender 3 which is a low cost 3D printer under 200$

The print turned out perfectly.

SMARTPHONE

The smartphone must have BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) capabilities.

Iphone 5 and above have BLE.

Recent Android phones should come equipped with this function.

Step 2: Printing the Robots Plastic Parts

  1. The robot parts are available to download on cgtrader LINK HERE.
  2. They have been arranged to print on a build surface of 150mm x150mm.
  3. Print the Face and Forearms file in white the Body ,Clips and battery, Arms feet hat , Back cover files in red for the best Santa look.
  4. Ideally it is best to print with a layer height of .2mm but .3mm works as well.
  5. No supports are required for this print.
  6. I recommend printing with a 5mm wide brim of one layer height spaced .1mm from the parts to ensure that the parts stick correctly to the print bed whilst printing, Infill 15%.
  7. Total print time 10 to 15h.
  8. The parts list is as follows:

  • BODY x1
  • BACK COVER x1
  • FACE x1
  • HAT x1
  • ARMSERVO x2
  • ARM x2
  • ARM PIN x2
  • FOREARM x2
  • BATTERY HOLDER x1
  • BATTERY SERVO HOLDER x1
  • BATERY SERVO ARM ATTACHEMENT x1
  • FOOT DISK x2
  • BIG CLIP x2
  • SMALL CLIP x7
  • SMALL CROSS CLIP x2

TOTAL PARTS: 28

Step 3: Assembling the Robot Parts

Follow the pictures above to assemble the robot parts

  1. Assemble arm elbow joints with small clips left and right
  2. Assemble robot head and hat together by sliding the hat through the front slit in the top of head

Step 4: Wiring the Breadboard With Jumper Wires

  1. First things first before we start breading we must solder the header pins on to the LOLIN D32 Board.
  2. Now it's time to wire up the breadboard follow the diagram shown above to wire all the jumper cables to the breadboard correctly.

!!! Important !!! :

Make sure that the tongues of the breadboard are facing downwards they need to be this way for the breadboard to clip in place correctly to the robots body.

Step 5: Installing Arduino IDE

  1. Go to the arduino Software download page LINK HERE
  2. Download the Arduino IDE on to your computer.

Step 6: Installing the ESP 32 Board and ESP32 Servo Library in to Arduino IDE

  • In order to install the ESP32 servo library in Arduino IDE:
  1. Download the ESP32 Arduino Servo Library from Github. LINK HERE
  2. Click on Clone or download
  3. Click on Download ZIP
  4. Unzip theESP32-Arduino-Servo-Library-master.zip folder
  5. Copy the ESP32-Arduino-Servo-Library-Master folder
  6. Find the folder where you installed Arduino
  7. Open the libraries folder
  8. Paste ESP32-Arduino-Servo-Library-Master folder
  9. Rename ESP32-Arduino-Servo-Library-Master folder to ESP32-Arduino-Servo-Library folder
  • In order to install the ESP32 Board in Arduino IDE:
  1. Open Arduino IDE
  2. Click on file, preferences
  3. Enter https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_index.json in Additional Board Manager URLs.
  4. Click on OK
  5. Click on Tools, Board, Boards Manager
  6. Type ESP32 by Espressif Systems
  7. Click on Install

Step 7: Programming the LOLIN D32 Board Via Arduino IDE

  • Download the BOXING SANTA 1.ino program below
  • Open it in the Arduino IDE
  • Select LOLIN D32 BOARD in tools , Boards
  • Verify and Compile the program to the Board

If you want to play with multiple Santas at a time download the BOXING SANTA 2 3 and 4 .ino files to control up to 4 santas from up to 4 different phones.

Step 8: Assembling the Robot

Please note that I used a different board (LOLIN D32 LITE) instead of (LOLIN D32) in the assembly photos and my battery is white not blue this will not change anything for your assembly of the LOLIN D32 board Robot

We will be using the screws that come with the servos to assemble the robot

you will need 2 small screws and 3 big screws

View the pictures shown for detailed views of assembly.

  1. First of all we need to synchronize the positions of the servos for them to move correctly in the robot. Connect the left arm servo, right arm servo and center servo to the Breadboard without placing the breadboard and servos in to the robot make sure you plug them in the right way round. (picture 1 & 2)
  2. Connect the battery to the board The servos should move to their home position
  3. Take note of the left arm servo, right arm servo and center servo their assembly relies on them being set in the home position (picture 2)
  4. Disconnect the servos from the Breadboard
  5. The left arm servo, right arm servo and center servo arms should be connected to the servo as shown on (picture 3) do not rotate the servos when connecting the arms in their position!!!
  6. Place the foot servos in to position and secure them with the foot disks and double servo arms with a small screw. (picture 4)
  7. Slot one of the arm pins in to the Left side circular hole from the inside of the robot and slot the left arm back piece over the arm pin align the square holes together and secure with a big clip. (picture 5)
  8. Place the left arm servo in to it's slot from the inside of the robot and fasten the left arm front piece to the other side of the servo with a big screw (picture 5)
  9. Repeat processes 8 and 9 for the right arm (picture 5)
  10. Slot the battery in to the Battery holder and slot the cable through the upper hole (picture 6)
  11. Slide the Battery holder in to the front section of the robot with the upper hole facing backwards. (picture 6)
  12. Pass the battery cable through the slot on the top side of the robot (picture 6)
  13. Silde the battery servo support over the two support pins on the body (position shown on picture 7)
  14. Make sure the servo arm slots into the bottom of the battery holder with the servo arm at 90 degrees and the battery holder centered to the robot body. (picture 7)
  15. Secure the battery servo support in place with 2 small clips. (picture 7)
  16. Thread the bottom feet servo cables through the holes on each side that lead to the breadboard. (picture 8)
  17. Position the breadboard in place note that the three tongues of the breadboard fit in to three groves at the bottom of the robot the top is secured with a central small clip. (picture 9)
  18. Connect all the servos to the breadboard make sure you plug them in the right way round. (picture 9)
  19. Connect the battery to the breadboard if the servos were synchronized correctly the arms and battery holder shouldn't move when connected. (picture 9)
  20. Slide the robots face on to the robots body. (picture 10)

  21. Slide the back cover over the breadboard to conceal it and secure with clips (picture 11)

  22. That's it the robot is now fully assembled!!!

Step 9: Installing and Programming NRF Toolbox for BLE on Smartphone

  • Download NRF Toolbox for BLE on your Smartphone. The app is available for Iphone and Android.
  • Follow the instructions on the Images to program the app and connect it to the Robot.
  • Open app.
  • Select UART.
  • Select edit.
  • Click on the squares to determine their function and symbol in the configure button menu.
  • The functions of the squares on the app in the configure button menu are: up down left right leftpunch rightpunch
  • The symbols don't matter and can be chosen at random
  • Do not type any spaces at the beggining or end of the functions otherwise the robot will not understand these functions.
  • Click done
  • Click connect, make sure your Bluetooth is on your phone.
  • The robot is all set up and ready to go.

Step 10: Print... Plug... Play!!!

And there we are if you followed all the instructions carefully you should have yourself a Boxing Santa ready for battle!

Don't forget to unplug the battery from the robot when not in use.

The robot can be recharged with a 5v micro usb charger.

Here are a few pictures of it in action!!!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable.

Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing day!

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    Discussions

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    seamster

    4 months ago

    Very cool! I love the walking mechanism, and the whole design is just fun. Nicely done : )