Starting With Robotics (Arduino)

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Introduction: Starting With Robotics (Arduino)

About: I am an engineer and a maker who loves technology challenges.

Starting with robotics can be hard, if you don’t know where and how to start. Best way to start is to make mobile robot. In this step-by-step we will show you, how to make cheap robot with parts available in your local store and household.

Before you start you should make some plans how platform should look like. We did some sketches how robot should look like. Later we made some modifications so everything fit in properly.

I made this robot with my good friend purgec. (https://www.instructables.com/member/purgec/ )

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Parts:
- board
- breadboard
- arduino (any one you like, we used mega)
- motors
- fasteners
- Velcro fasteners (hook-and-loop)
Tools:
- screws (for making holes in board)
- knife
- tape

Step 2: Markup

You should start with marking up where everything should be. We did realized, that breadboard is little to big so we modified sketches to fit breadboard on base. Because of that motors must be mounted little bit back then in sketch.

Step 3: Breadboard

We mounted breadboard with Velcro fasteners. This step is one off the easiest. We used fasteners with glue on back side. We just have to cut them down and stick it to base board and breadboard.
In late steps we realized, that we did that too early because fasteners can got messy from making holes.

Step 4: Motors

We used modified hobby servo motors. How to modify a servo: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-modify-a-servo-motor-for-continuous-rotatio/
For mounting servo motors we cut holes in base board. After debate how to do it (drill can destroy this kind of board) we cut holes with two screws, smaller and sharper for making holes and bigger to make holes bigger.
For mounting motors in position we used fasteners. Fasteners were cheap, but where to short so we improvise. After this step robot was nearly finished

Step 5: Wheels and Support

In none of the steps before we didn’t think what we shall use as wheels for our robot. So we improvise again. We used two caps for canning jars and latex household gloves. We glued it to mounts with hot glue. Mount are not in center of caps. We didn’t mind that.
When wheels were mounted to motors, we realized that the vehicle is pretty high. On the back of robot will be a lot of weight so we had to make some a support. Because weight is in back (battery, arduino), there is no need to add any support in front.

Step 6: Arduino Mega

Mounting arduino is as easy as mounting breadboard. We used smaller pieces of Velcro fasteners on arduino board and bigger one on base board. Main reason of smaller pieces is that they are not in the way if you use arduino in another project.

Step 7: Battery

Currently we are using 9V battery. First we had to solder on connector to battery cable. When it was time to mount battery on base board we realized, that there is so little space. So in the rear part of base is a little unbalanced because battery is mounted on one side and there is no weight on other side.

Step 8: Test

We wrote test program using motor shield manufactures library. You can find it here: http://www.ladyada.net/make/mshield/use.html

Test program is also from the link above. We just modified it to contain what we needed.

Test (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAV3_175AOc


Step 9: Improvements

There is some space to improvements. Especially with the support. It worked out well but it is not very endurable.

We wanted to show you, how to start with robotics on cheap. The bigger expenses were arduino, motor shield and motors, around 30-40 $. Other parts can be found in household so the end platform is cheap.

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    37 Discussions

    If tou use arduino.one how can be coneccted the oin and the rest please

    Hi, I really like the project but it seems the page with the code no longer exists :(. Can you please post the code or send it to me, please.

    2 replies

    Add me on skype if you wish for further instructions: daniel.smith6394

    I am new to this but your project was pretty simple to understand, at least the hardware part. Can you please send me the code for this project

    Hello sir I have just started with electronics and don't have much idea about it can you please help me to choose which books to read to get about arduino programming

    3 replies

    I don't know about books, but I do know that the best way to start is using Arduino's examples and reference page.

    Examples: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage

    Reference: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/HomePage

    If you are new to programming, try to learn basics of C programming language.

    C tutorial: http://www.cprogramming.com/tutorial/c-tutorial.ht...

    If you want to know more about electronics, you can find some great tutorials on instructable, like this one: https://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-Electronics/

    You can also start with Arduino with help of instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/Intro-to-Arduino/

    Thank you for your precious reply
    But sir i wanted to know that how did you get started with electronics can you please share with me. I would be glad to listen it.

    Nice work. Your tutorial is one of the easiest to understand on instructables.

    Breadboard is not essential. Is there to provide teh easyest way for making upgrades.

    can i use DC motors ?

    and what is the use of bread board here and how does the robot work?

    when we power it does it go just straight?

    plz answer i hav to make it in 4 days

    1 reply

    You can use DC motors with some kind of reductor or other transmition, so you can get more torque from them.

    Breadboard is not used in this project. Later it was used for connecting aditional Arduino shields.

    It goes only forwards becouse sample program is written this way. You must edit sample program that in some time it will go backwards. If you want robot to go right and left, you must also edit program.

    I'm actually pretty new to the electronics field and to arduino so excuse my lack of knowledge lol but here's what I have so far

    13, 5:08 AM.jpg
    1 reply

    Those white motors are DC motors with reductor. Those can bedriven with H-Bridge (Arduino Motor Shield). You can also make your own H-Bridge with transistors or integrated circuits, like L293D. For those motors you should use 7 V supply. These motors are from RC car?

    That green board, what is it?

    I do belive that your 3 batterie pack will not do the job. Arduino got 5 V voltage stabilizer on board. Stabilizer must have 7-12 V for propper action (4 AA batteries will barely do the job). Also, that black box, looks like there is battery inside. What voltage output does it have?

    Sory about my last post... It was written in hury and it is a mess.

    I have some servos but I tore apart a rc car for its motors and reciever setup and as you can see I'm not currently implementing the arduino but would like to understand how I could also diagrams help me alot lol

    How would I do this without the motor shield?