Let's Make Robots!

S-BOT-i (spotty)

Hi All

I'm very new to robotics. Love all the robots you guys have made ........ very talented.

Have been programming OpenGL API with C++ for the last 10 years as a hobby ( taking some time off in the middle to spend time with the proggs ). Then as I was on a long bicycle ride I was listening to "Stuff to blow your mind" Podcast and it was about robotics and AI this was 4 weeks ago ............ after a little research some trial and error here I am with my first bot. The Coding was the easy part for me, as for the electronics .......... still learning!!

Bot is at just starting out going to add another Sonar so that it just drives around objects instead of stopping to make a choice of what dirrection to head. Going to add an Accelerometer and speaker to give it more of a personallity with beeps and the like. Also will be adding some light sensors so it will head towards the brightest area or a torch.

Anyway all in the pipeline ...... also the kids want to decorate it in fur and call it "Spotty"  :)

Cheers Jimmer

21/06/11 just a quick update.

Waiting on some parts to arrive then it should be full steam ahead with putting this thing back together ... in the mean time have been tinkering with L.D.Rs , an 8 ohm speaker and some dance moves.!


 23rd June Update.

While I was testing S-BOT-i in the living room I noticed that my Pet Bearded Dragon was freaking out at the ultrasonic sensor!!Maybe it's a similar sound to a cricket ? I'll post a vid when I get the chance.

Bit of a downer. I think the right motor is on it's way out, Bot is now pushing more on the left wheel and making it turn in a large arc. I have compensated for this a little with the coding by running the left motor at a slightly slower rate, but I think it's only a matter of time before it goes completely.


24th June Update

Got all my new parts now. Not put it all tegether yet having a very busy weekend as it's my boys 5th birthday will get it all together on Monday then start getting into the programming.



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before making this bot the last time I did any electronics was at school that was ... hem ... 27 years ago.

The most confusing thing about the programming for me at the start was the use of HIGH and LOW using the arduino uno. What's wrong with 1 or 0 I ask? but it's no big thing.


if you are stuck with any programming there are plenty of examples about or maybe I could take a look if you are truely cornered.

Hey! Can't wait to see him in fur :) Ha-ha! Nice little one!

Got some new parts now think I have everything I need to finish it off ... apart from the fur!!

On the advice of Birdmun I got myself a 7.4v LiPo battery and ........... wow power to weight is top notch. a work mate has a charger for sale need to buy it from him.

Still having a problem with the right motor it sticks from time to time. I have bought some faster motors as a replacement but need to put them on and test them.

Been doing loads of tests have now made a small program that calibrates the ADXL335 seems to work fine can detect if stationary or moving.

Also playing with 3 LDRs.

going to add red/green/blue/yellow LEDs to the base of the bot for mood and dancing!!

Lots of great ideas for the AI ..... watch this space.

Thats it will keep you all posted.


Why do you think your motor sticks?

You could try opening up the gearbox and seeing if there are some rough edges on the gears that can be carefully filed down.

It used to run fine but now every so often it just stops and I have to get is a helping hand to get it moving again.

I had it apart cleaned it out give ia a small amount of oil but it is still sticking.

Not to worry though ignoblegnome I got some new motors on there now and faster I have made the Bot "swagger"

as it goes along. Now it looks very rodent-like which is what I was after.


I have loads of updates. Here is a pic.

Have got an on/off switch at the back underneath. a LiPo 7.4v battery. Some screw terminals for the motor wires. And a ADXL335 accelerometer.

This actually my 2nd ADXL335 because the first one I cooked by accidently sending 7.4volts through it. Told you my electronic skills were pants!!..... anyhow live 'n' learn.

so what does it do? I hear you ask. Well it is much faster than before and I have added a little wiggle to it's movement by making it perform a slight slalom, this should come good when I attach a tail to the back.

also if you pick it up it stops it's wheels and waits for you to put it down again. 

and also I have a speaker to go on top of the back bread board and I am in the process of coding some music and beeps.

that's it so far I still ned to add a LDR at the frontto detct ambient light and follow a torch when it gets dark.

also need to add some LEDs underneath to give it some colour when the ambient light is low.

I have been thinking about maybe adding one ( or maybe 2 ) mics so it can listen for sounds like clips ect...

anyway keep you posted.