Let's Make Robots!


Intoroducing R-Dev-Ino

R-Dev-Ino is a Robotic Development Arduino compatible board, easily stackable. If you want to build a more complex robot, you need to modularize it. Instead of designing specific boards for each module, I have designed a multipurpose configurable board with a small prototyping area and an I2C connector made so the boards can be stackable side by side, one on top of the other like this:


  • 3 pin headers for all I/O pins
  • power to the 3 pin headers is user selectable by manually connecting a pin to the desired power voltage (Vcc or Vin)
  • small prototyping area for board customisation
  • headers for SPI programmer and external FTDI Basic programmer
  • header for UART
  • mirrored dual I2C connector to allow stacking right on top or side by side
  • regulated and unregulated power connectors, with small regulator on board
  • power LED
  • board size 3" x 1.65"
  • user can use either a crystal or a ceramic resonator (8 or 16 MHz)


The board was designed using Eagle CAD software. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 License. You will be able to order boards from seeed_studio very soon!



The actual boards: dsc00291resize.jpg


Fisrt 2 modules, the MotorController and ServoController: 


The other modules are SpeechController and Mapper:


To program any board, use a FTDI Basic board from SparkFun:



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This is an interesting variation on the Roboduino theme. Just from what I see in the photo it looks like you can connect a USB-Serial adapter to it to program from the Arduino environment? I dropped by Seeed to see if they had it, as far as I could tell they don't have them yet. :-(


I made the required documentation for the Open Project at SeeedStudio, but then I discovered I made a mistake when I designed the board so I asked them to send all the remaining boards to me. I forgot to reverse the Rx and Tx signals at the FTDI connector. Easy to fix, but I can't have them sell a defective board.

However, when the boards will be in my hand in a few days, I'll give away a couple of boards to people that don't mind cutting 2 traces on the top and solder 2 wires on the bottom, and of course, pay the shipment. You would pay the shipment anyway if you would order the boards from SeeedStudio.

I will update the page with pictures of a few modules I'm using on my robot. 

Haha, I've done that! I have a couple of my SpeakJet shield boards like that. I had selected axial capacitors in the Eagle editor rather than the radial type I wanted to use. The board is perfectly fine, but the spacing is wrong for the capacitors I am using in the kits. I didn't realize it until a couple hours later, but since I had used BatchPCB, they won't cancel an order after its been submitted. At least I got only two as this was still during my "production prototype" phase, and I generally like to have a sample in hand to test before I order a huge batch of them (even *with* a month turnaround).

I would be interested in a couple of your boards though. As you already guessed, I don't mind modding a board from time to time :-) We can chat more about it later after you get them in!

I just received 6 boards in the mail, so I would like to trade one board for one of your SpeakJet shields (from a non perfect batch). If you would like that, send me a PM with your address.


The boards are made to be modified anyway. In the prototyping area the horizontal lines are made so you can cut them in half, so you can use them separately, but remember to cut from both sides of the board and check it with the DMM for discontinuity. For instance, I made a MotorController board, installing a SN754410 dual H-bridge in the prototyping area and to install the screw terminals to connect the motors, I needed to cut a trace in half because the spacing between the terminal pins are 3 holes apart where I needed to be 4 holes apart and it was going to the ground lines of the H-bridge IC.

In the next batch of these boards I will enlarge the holes for the horisontal connectors and have them already cut in half so the user will have to connect them together instead of cutting the board. And of course, reverse the Tx and Rx lines at the FTDI connector. Also I have designed 2 power connectors, one for regulated and one for unregulated voltages, I find the one for regulated voltages is not needed since if the boards are connected they share regulated voltage through the I2C connector. So I will replace the regulated connector with an unregulated connector so the power from the battery can go to multiple boards without making a separate connection in the prototyping area.

I find the prices at SeeedStudio much better than the ones at Batch PCB (I used it too) and a faster turn around time. Of course, if you need just one board, Batch PCB is still a good option. So this order at SeeedStudio cost me $45 plus shipment and I received the (5+5) boards in 3 weeks instead of 4 (in Canada). If you opt for an Closed project, you get 10 boards for that money, otherwise, you get 5 boards and they will refund you part of the money you pay upfront, and they will sell the remaining 5 boards. This is what I had in mind at first, but I love these boards and I'm going to use them any time I need a multi-module project or a customized board for some project.

BatchPCB is great for one-off prototypes, and I am another happy customer, but I agree, they are expensive if you need more than one or two boards. I also got my boards from SeeedStudio, and thus far I am very pleased with them as well. The downside to both services is the long ship time. Mine took 4 weeks in both cases (US). When I track them they seem to get hung up in customs for almost 3 weeks on one side of the pond or the other. It is not like I'm getting nuclear triggers shipped to me; so it makes me wonder what is the problem?


Or you could order directly from Gold Phoenix http://www.goldphoenixpcb.biz/ the guys that batch PCB goes through. Based on the size of your board, you could get 31 of them for $99 (including shipping), at your door, in about ten days.


(I'm not affiliated with GP, other than being a very happy repeat customer)

Those boards are great, but good thing would be to put reset pushbutton on them.

I thought about the reset button, but there is so little space, I don't think I can squeeze one in. However, I never use it. I flip the main power switch.

If someone needs a reset button, he can use a push button attached to a small cable with a regular 2 pin female crimp connector and plug it into the ISP connector, in the first 2 pins that are closest to the pull up resistor (marked as RST and GND, see the first picture).

So I have decided to offer some boards for free, anyone interested, get in touch with me. However, you may need to pay the postage if it gets too expensive.