An “Arduino” is a micro-controller that really makes robotics a lot easier and fun to create. First designed in 2005 by an Italian company, these single boards were originally intended for students learning robotics.


The board consists of standardized connectors, which allow a whole host of interchangeable add-on modules (shields) to be used. It’s like the brains of a computer that you can add inputs (like sensors) and outputs connections (like motors) to.


Arduinos are not limited to student robotics. In fact, you’ll find them anywhere there’s automation, from telescope observatories to weather stations to smart home functions.


We’re going to learn how to transform an inexpensive Arduino board into a fully functioning autonomous robot with sensors, just like the one in the image above. This will take several steps, so watch the videos in order so you don’t miss a thing.


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In this video, we’ll go over what will be covered during the various 2 wheel robot build, the tools you’ll need to complete the build, and other important information.



To begin with, we’ll build the motor shield for the robot. Next, we’ll build the chassis for the robot and install the Arduino and the motor shield. Then, we’ll build the line sensor and install it into the robot. At this point we’ll install the Arduino IDE and begin testing the robots motors and the line sensor. And finally, we’ll build the PING sensor, install it into the robot, and then test the servo motor and the PING sensor to make sure they are working as they should.


To complete the robot build you’ll need the following tools (if you’ve completed other projects from Unit 14, you’ll probably have most of these already):


  • 2 Wheeled Arduino Robot Kit. Originally this was able to be purchased from MAKE, but unfortunately, it seems to be no longer available. Here is the parts list of the components you will need to create your own kit. You’ll want to review the videos in detail first to get familiar with the parts you’ll need.

Here are the alternate links to get the most important parts:


Tools:


  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Wire Cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Small pair of pliers
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Digital multimeter
  • And possibly a drill and a 1/4th inch drill bit. I had to use a drill to make one hole on the chassis larger, you may need to do this as well.
  • You’ll need to get a micro B USB cable to connect the Arduino to the your computer.

I also want to point out a few things before we get started:


  1. During the motor shield build, be sure to save the excess leads that you cut off. We’ll be using those during the line sensor build. ([Note: the kit is no longer available, so you will not be building the Motor Shield, but rather purchasing one presoldered.]
  2. You may also need to get some additional straight pin strip header. Look for 0.100 inch or 2.54 mm.

Let’s get started!


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In this video we’ll show you how to build the motor shield which is used to control the motors of the 2 wheel robot. We’ll also show you some tips and tricks for soldering that are useful skills for any soldering project.


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Now it’s time to build the chassis. We will cover every aspect of the assembling the chassis and solve a few problem along the way.
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Since the line sensor will be constructed using a generic prototyping PC board, a lot of issues are discovered and solved during the build. A number of design changes are covered in this video dealing mostly with simplifying the line sensor build itself, and solving a connection problem between the line sensor cable and the motor shield. Additional pin strip header will be used in this video to solve one problem.


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This video covers the installation of the Arduino IDE, driver for the Arduino Leonardo, Install sketch libraries for the robot, test the Arduino with a simple LED blinking program, and then test the motors and the line sensor to make sure they are working correctly.


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This video covers building up the PING sensor, installing it into the robot, and then testing both the servo motor and PING sensor to make sure they are working correctly.


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