Let's Make Robots!


Hello everybody, I'm Acer. I'm one of Aaronsuper1's schoolmate. I'm a bit new to robotics. So I need help. I'm making a free form arduino. I'm waiting for aaron to bootload an atmega328 for me. Gonna buy parts tomorrow. Any tips?

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Although not what I would call "freeform" I have heard of people printing their design onto paper and then pasting that onto cardboard or thin plastic. They then drill all their holes and assemble their board. Printing the pattern, apart from keeping it neat also helps make sure they wire it correctly if they print the schematic or PCB layaout.

To me, "freeform" means no PCB. Two things to consider then.

  1. Neatness, you want people to go "Cool!" not "What is it supposed to be?"
  2. Useability, you want it to be strong enough that you can handle it and plug jumper wires in without breaking it or shorting it.

You can just try to solder all the parts together in a big clump but it will be ugly.

You could melt candle wax and mold it into the shape of a PCB. This would provide support while you mount and solder your parts and then when it's all working you can melt the wax to leave just the wires for an "invisible" PCB look. but it wont hold it's shape very well when your trying to plug things in.

Another aproach is to build your Arduino into something.

For example, assuming you want to use shield at a later date. Buy a toy or a model of a flatbed truck where the flat bed is big enough for a standard Arduino to fit. Mounts and solder all your part into the flatbed. To keep it neat and strong, drill 1mm holes in the bed and keep all the wires hidden inside the toy / model. With luck, your model can also hide the batteries.

Last but not least, use more descriptive names for your post. One word names will get you a lot of abuse.





continuing the truck idea, add some motors/use an RC truck. Bam, robot chassis.

Thanks Jerz for the tips, I know LMR and been using it since last year. Yes I will be using a ftdi chip. Socket is a good idea. 

Greetings Acer, and welcome to LMR.

Tips? The little "Search page" link on the right has hundreds of them :)

Here's a couple of mine:

1. Click the rules link at the top of the page and read it first. Folks around here love it when new members RTFM as it were :P

2. As far as the arduino goes, do you have a way of uploading sketches to it? Usually a spare UNO or an external programmer is used. (unless your "free-form arduino" is getting an FTDI chip)

3. If you aren't very experienced at soldering, you might consider using a heat sink clip on the atmega chip, so you don't cook it. Or solder a socket to the free-form circuit and plug the chip into that.

4. Other than that double check pinouts before putting power to anything.

5. Just have fun with it, they are tough chips, you almost have to try to kill an atmega.