Let's Make Robots!

First Robot Plan

I'm about to start my first robot project so i thought i would document my progress, I don't imagine anyone else will be interested so i'm mainly doing this so i have a record.Controller PCB

For a project at Uni I have made a Wireless controller and a motor driver PCBs. They both include a built in arduino and communicate via XBees. I get to keep the PCBs from the project and have bought the ATmega328 chips, XBees and a chassis as these are the parts we had to return.

I plan to use this as a base for my robot and add more features as and when i can.


Current Features

Analogue Joystick - variable speed control

Wireless Communication

IR Sensor - Simple Collision Detection

Connection Indicator - LED to show when XBees are communicating




Buggy PCB

Features to Add

Robotic Arm

Intuitive Control for the arm - Ideally using a Wiimote or Nunchuck,

Autonomous mode - add more sensors, collision detection

There are many other things i would like to experiment with, i'm sure there will always be something else i could add to my robot!

Bluetooth? - would like to experiment with it, mainly to understand how it works, can use to upload new code

GPS, more complex sensor/vision, interfacing arduino and labview, Swedish wheels

There are lots of things i would like to learn about, so i guess i'll just add stuff as and when i can!

robotic arm

The arm i will be using is an OWI Robotic arm. It is cheap, meaning it doesn't have servo motors, but I plan to add feedback using trimpots on each joint. I have the version with a USB interface however I plan to make my own controller using H-bridge chips and then controlling that with an arduino.

I have chosen to use the Rover 5 robot platform as it had 4 motors and 4 encoders so it is good value for money and also i can upgrade it to have wheels if i require. Im very interested in using swedish wheels if i can!

When my order arrives i will start working out how to connect the arm to the arduino and write a code to demonstrate it moving. Then i will look into what to use to control it.

I plan to work out how to control the arm separately to the rest of the buggy then combine it. Having a complete PCB may make it hard to add to, i have an arduino mega so i may be able to remove the chip from the PCB and connect jumper wires to the same pins on the arduino board. Or i could use two separate IC's and just connect the XBee to both, this seems a bit inefficient though!

So for now i'm waiting for my order, then i imagine i won't have much time for this as uni exams take over but now its down in writing hopefully i will continue with this project asap!

Also i need a name! suggestions welcome! :P

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Will be interested to see how you combine the arm with the Rover 5. I haven't seen the OWI arms in person, what kind of use to envisage for it when attatched to the robot?


Looking forward to seeing what you do.

If im honest im not sure there will be much practical use as the arm can only lift about 100g. However i'm doing this project as its the building and working out how to combine the parts that i enjoy!

I am enjoying reading about projects other people are doing on this site and i'm getting lots of inspiration! I've just seen a way of having a colour sensor using an RGB LED and a light sensor, so i would quite like to code something where it can sort different coloured parts for example!