Let's Make Robots!


Navigate around, beep, talk, and look cute

New, Update2: Added a voice and sound module to make Henry talk.

This is my second robot so I wanted to build one with a track drive.  I

got some nice tracks from robotshop.ca. and they're really nice.  The frame is

made with Sintra board.... easy to cut and drill. Making the frame took the

longest time, the electronics was easier.  Just need to program the LCD module

and add the head servos....to be continued.



So I gave Henry a new head and eyes....used a pan and tilt with 2 servos, and two green Leds for the eyes. The head was made with a toy binocular. Got these at a Dollar store….ya for a dollar.

It was easy to remove the front lens cut the Styrofoam and make a hole for the green leds.   Mounted

this to pan and tilt with two blinking leds and Henry’s head comes to life.


On the front   a LCD displays messages and a bargraph of the Battery voltage level.  There is also a  super bright blue Led which lights up when he detects an obstacle so he can have a closer look. A piezo  on the front to make some warning beeps.

On the back I put 3 hinges which open to access the electronics inside.

Right now the only sounds are beeps but I will add a voice module to give him more personality.



Can Henry speak?  Found a neat voice module from 4D Systems.

The SOMO-14D is a tiny Audio-Sound module that

can play back pre-stored audio files such as voice

and music from a micro-SD memory card. The

module supports 4-bit ADPCM audio files with

sample rates from 6Khz up to 32Khz. By using the

freely available software tool, any WAVE(.wav) or

MP3(.mp3) file can be easily converted to the

ADPCM(.ad4) format which can then be can be

saved to a micro-SD memory card. The compact

14pin drop-in-module takes up very minimal

board space and is ideal for any application that

requires embedded audio.

The module offers two modes of operation,


The SERIAL-MODE provides a simple 2-wire

interface to any micro-controller via its DATA and

CLK lines. Audio operations such as PLAY, PAUSE,

STOP and VOLUME control functions are all

available to the host micro via simple serial


The KEY-MODE provides a stand alone operation

where a host micro is not required. With only 3

push buttons, a 3V battery and a speaker, an

extremely compact and low component count

MP3-Player like system can be implemented.

In short, the SOMO offers a very flexible, compact

and low cost embedded audio solution for many applications

With the module installed I used Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/), a free audio editor program to record, edit and save the sound files.  Next the sound files were converted and put on

a micro-sd flash card to be played.  The card fits in easily into the Somo module.

The speaker (taken out of an old computer) is installed under the top frame, then drilled

some holes for the sound. 

Henry can now make funny sounds and say clever things depending how he feels.

So far he says “My name is Henry”,”tada”, laugh1,laugh2,computer  beeps,”oh-oh”,”whoa”.





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Nice looking bot. He needs a 'hat' to cover his top. ; j

Beauty! I love tracks as well ))

Really nice eyes! good job. Great to see how it's looking around with his head finding a free path..

Thats the kind of personality i like to see on a robot. love it! sometimes you see only a pcb with a bunch of wires driving around.. I like this..

Just connecting the power line to an analog pin?

Yes, thru a resistor voltage divider and then to an analog pin

That SOMO-14D is a nice thingy.. i want one too! I have only no idea where to get it in the Netherlands.. mm mayby ebay?

It really is a nice thingy. I got it at www.robotshop.ca or www.solarbotics.com also has it.

It's about $28 dollar canadian since I'm from Canada.  Check the website at:

www.4dsystems.com.au/products.php for datasheets etc.