Let's Make Robots!

Getting started with my Dagu Adventure Bot?

So I just picked up the Dagu Adventure Bot, with the intent of giving it to my kids for Christmas.  This allows me a good couple of months to make sure I know the ins and outs of what we can make it do.  I'm a programmer by trade so the idea of doing some C coding to make it do some not-out-of-the-box stuff doesn't bother me at all.  But being a software guy, what worries me is the potential for bricking the thing.  So before I proceed I wanted to ask some reallly basic questions:

* I've got a Mac powerbook to work with.  I've setup the Arduino IDE software and have the Adventure Robot software.  So far so good.

* I've got the robot out of its box, batteries in, and have verified that it properly runs the demonstration software (following an object, etc...)

Question#1 - I plug in the USB cable, but if I power on the robot it just tries to jump into its demo software and walk away (which is funny in its own way, like it doesn't care that it's tethered...)  How do I put it into a "ready to receive new code" mode?  Is that what the little button on the right side (opposite the usb port) is for?  How exactly does that work?  Will hitting that in any way wipe out the code that's there?

Question#2 - Assuming I get an answer to question 1, is putting new code onto this thing as easy as telling the Arduino software the right board (Nano/ATMega168)?  What other options do I have to set up properly?

For my first code I'd be doing simple things like commenting out the noisemaker and so on, simple non destructive stuff, just to demonstrate that I'm properly loading and executing the new code.  It's more the process of getting that code onto the bot without killing it irrevocably that I am worried about.

The robot actually comes with a pretty large assortment of Arduino related code, drivers and documentation ... but I have no way of knowing where to start.  There are no OSX compatible executables (even though the readme.txt says to install some drivers) so I'm not really sure what to do going down that path.





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I have just purchased a advetnure bot but having problems uploading sketch to it, getting the following error:

Avrdude: stk500_read_sig_bytes() :  (a) protocol error, expect=0x10, resp=0x14

Avrdude: error reading signature data for part "ATMEGA168", rc=-3

avedude: error reading signature data, rc=-1

avrdude: stk500_disable() : protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x10

How i am using Adrunio 0018 which as on the disk and have tried all the board types with Amega168 and get the same result.


Cheers Trevor

As the Adventure Bot is basically an SMD version of Mr. General with an ATmega168 you might want to check out this guide.


where/how the code is stored. Most current microcontrollers have EEPROM for storage. The program will, for the most part (think years), stay in memory until you over-write it.

The program is stored in Flash memory. There is some EEPROM storage space, but, only 1 or 2k in many cases. 

The adventure robot is basically a Mr. General using an ATmega168. It is compatible with the Arduino Nano (5V, 16MHz) w/ ATmega168.

Using the Arduino IDE 0018 (I have not tested it with the newer IDE's), plug in the USB cable, select your com port, select the board type and upload your new code.

It should work OK with Arduino 0018 - 0023. I make no promises with the new IDE as many of my old programs do not compile correctly on it.

If you are writting new code then the newer IDE should be fine.

P.S. That button underneath is the reset button.

P.S.S. you can download manuals, sample code etc. for DAGU products here: https://sites.google.com/site/daguproducts/home

I appreciate the help!  The software that came with the kit is labelled "arduino_0018" but there don't seem to be any Mac compatible binaries in there.  The Arduino.app IDE that I downloaded identifies itself as 1.0.1.  Is there a way that I can tell what version I have, on that 18-23 scale you mention?  

Ok, I guess you're new to Arduino then. Go to their website and download the version for Mac: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
Load version 0018 as this is the version that the original code was written in.


Success!  After getting the latest USB driver direct from the FTDI site, I put some new code onto my bot - just a simple change from the sample code, merely commenting out the tone() calls so he doesn't make noise.

And it works!  He's quiet now.

Unfortunately he's no longer behaving like he did, doing the "Follow the object in front of you" thing.  Now he tucks his head down and spins around in a circle.  I'm going to attribute that the sample code available for download being different from the actual program that he was running, and start work on debugging him.  But at least now it's a software problem!

Thanks for the help everybody!




Since no one else has tried to help, I'll see what I can contribute. I'm assuming the board that comes with that is the Micro Magician. You don't have to do anything to put it into a receptive mode except plug the USB port in and hit the download button in the IDE. If it's like most Arduinos (I assume Oddbot made it that way) you want to leave the power off when uploading the software, if only to keep the robot from walking away as you mentioned. The USB port from your computer should provide enough power to write the sketch, and you'll see the TX/RX LEDs blinking when you upload. The button on the board you mentioned is most likely the reset button, which just starts the sketch over again. It won't erase anything. As far as the options to look for, there's a chance you may have to select your port (dev/tty/whatevs) and its under the same menu item as the Board, but chances are the IDE will automatically select the right one. In toto, you should be pretty much ready to go. The file system is a little strange if you're used to Mac-all your sketches are saved as sub-menu items. That fills up rather quickly. Just start playing with it. Once you make it "just do one thing" as Chris the Carpenter says, it will come naturally.

Can I do that? Leave it off when plugging it in?  I haven't tried yet, am away from the device at the moment, but looking at the manual:

"Plug your robot into the computer using the USB cable provided and turn it on. After a few seconds your computer should detect the USB interface. Now go to the “Tools” menu and select your com port as shown."

You know us software geeks, we always read the fine manual. :)  I was hoping that if I turned the little guy on while USB tethered he'd recognize this and go into a different mode like my kids' Kindle Fire does, but nope, he tries to run away.  Kindle doesn't do that.  (At least not yet, I don't have the latest version...)