Overview of Arduino Robot Kit Open-Source – Design, Programming and Specifications

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Arduino Robot is the first robotic kit project with wheels from Arduino while keeps the same line like Arduino boards as an open-source project with comprehensive documentation. Arduino Robot is designed especially for education and research, for everyone who wants to develop new robots based on the Arduino platform.

Designed as a robot on wheels, AR is a source with everything you need for learning about how to combine the software with electronics and mechanics in order to develop an interactive and intelligent robot.

The project is new (was released in 2013 at Maker Faire Bay Area) and is under developments for a while, since 2011 when the team behind Arduino works to develop a new platform to extend the range of open-source products. This time the project was born as a result of collaboration between the Arduino team and Complubot association with impressive results in Robocup Junior robot soccer tournament.

Arduino Robot

Arduino Robot Kit


Two boards, two processors, but different tasks. One board is designed to control the motors while the top board is programmed to take decisions.
Including a Robot library for control, the Arduino Robot becomes a platform for sensors, buttons, memory cards, actuators, motors, color screens, and many other components that you need to build the desire robot.

Design

Arduino Robot Top Design

Arduino Robot Design Top


Arduino Robot Design Bottom

Arduino Robot Design Bottom


Arduino Robot has an opened and simplistic design with two 19 cm (7.5 inches) in diameter circular boards and Arduino controller and a tall of 10 cm (4 inches). Two motors are connected at two wheels that allow the platform to move in any direction.

The lower and upper boards have each integrated a 16MHz processor and 32KB of flash memory, which together can control the wheels and take decisions based on sensor input. Two main sources of power may feed the components, one source is four rechargeable AA batteries used when the robot is moving and the second source is a USB power mode when the user programming the memory of the robot.

As a safety measure, when the robot is connected to a computer via USB port the motors are disabled.

Designed to be modified, Arduino Robot offers additional spots to add additional parts if needed.

Programming

The robotic kit is fully programmable and is compatible with the Arduino IDE. The software that runs on the platform can be changed to control the robot in multiple scenarios or when the users add new components.

The brain of the robot is a combination between two ATmega32U4 processors that can be connected via ribbon cable and programmed with new instructions.

Arduino Robot has a well-structured documentation and a Robot library to have access at all of the robot functionalities in a friendly manner. Because it is a powerful instrument of interfaces, the library offer various control options to work with sensors, color screens, connectors, memories, control the speed and the direction of the robot, read the sensor input, full access to I/O pins, and many more functionalities.

Connected to a computer driver has to be installed for one of these operating systems: Windows, Linux, and OSX.

An example of simple code for robot control:

Specifications

  • Circular Boards: 19 cm (7.5 inches) in diameter;
  • Tall: 10 cm (4 inches);
  • Microcontroller: ATmega32u4;
  • Flash Memory: 32 KB;
  • Operating Voltage: 5V;
  • Digital I/O Pins: 5;
  • Analog Input Channels: 4;
  • Analog Input Channels (multiplexed): 8;
  • Power: 4 rechargeable NiMh AA batteries;
  • Screen: GTFT color screen;
  • Speaker: 8 Ohm;
  • Digital Compass;
  • IR line following sensors: 5;
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Dragos George Calin
Dragos George Calin is an IT analyst who graduated Faculty of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, specialization Industrial Automation and Informatics with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, Automation and Computer Science. He has a great passion for robots and web development.
2 comments
David Buss
David Buss

I am currently working on my senior design project. I plan on using the Arduino robot as a foundation for a fire fighting robot. I am required to have motor specs for my final report, and I am having a really hard time finding this information. Do you have any of the motor specs?