Let's Make Robots!

MBB - Micro Beetle Bot

Navigates around and follows a line via IR

Hello LMRians,

First of all, I don't know if Micro Beetle Bot is really the correct name for this robot. It isn't that small to be included into the lists of micro-level robots that I have been fascinated to see here on LMR, however, it isn't that big as well. Well, it does use the Beetle as the micro-controller and it also is a bot, so those count in! I don't have concrete information on the dimensions of a robot to be classified as micros or minis or macros. But logically, anything tiny is a micro robot !

So the closet behind it's name is that I had built it for the Micro-bot challenge. And guess what, I nearly entered my first challenge on LMR! :P But I missed out because I am having several issues with this robot at the moment, and have not got a working video of it.

Therefore, you can expect to see some updates in the near future.

Beginning the intro-part, this is Micro Beetle Bot, powered using the Beetle from DFRobot as the microcontroller, and the good old L293D motor driver for powering up the motors. I am still learning to solder, so there is use of a lot of jumper wires in this robot as well.

Enough said, let the pictures roll!

I used a pair of Pololu Micro-metal gear motors. I did not find motors smaller than these in my place!


For wheels, I found a pair of old tyres from a toy car. Decided to use them as they neatly mounted onto the motors.


This is how it looks when fitted on to the motors. It was a tight fit. ( Only one happened to fit tightly )


A close-up view.


Wrapped my motors just like Santa wraps his presents! This is pretty much everything mashed into one thing, so could not entirely depend upon the soldered terminals. Nice and tight!


Some Blue-Tack to hold the motors.






And some more tape! 



Beetle Strikes! I used the Beetle for the brains but in a haste, soldered it quickly onto the beetle shield and forgot about the additional 4 digital pins on the underside of the board. Thinking of using the desoldering pump maybe for additional connections!



But as you can see, these were old toy tyres, and one of them was pretty much done and dusted. The motors always went loose.



So I stuck with the pololu tyres. That's how it got bigger and bigger I guess :-D



And an IR distance sensor. MBB uses them to search for intruders around him!



I also decided to add line following capabilities to MBB. I used the Pololu QTR-3RC Reflactance Sensor Array.



Here is how he looks with the line sensors on.



MBB strikes another pose!




I would say at least 10 cm long



8 cm wide



and 8 cm tall




Right now, he's just limited to pictures. The outlook is not fixed as well. As you may have noticed, MBB has zero balance, and rests on a dangling L293D module, and the line sensor also looks a bit too near to the surface. I am working on all of it, and am trying to bring it to life as well. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, he will start racing through lines and detecting objects.

Stay tuned for other updates and working videos, and thanks for reading!


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Hello Enigmerald

Could you share the code for the line following.

I'm strugling with mine and wondered if you could share yours.

Best Regards

That's a nice little robot with the Beetle controller. Desoldering the Beetle should not be that hard, I have doe it and succeeded. The holes are big enough for easy sucking off the tin with a pump.

I am still waiting for a video but it seems you used the Beetle for the insect bot now...so waiting for your upgrade to the Arduino Nano :-)

That encourages me to try deslodering it, Lumi! The beetle is really small, and a smaller robot with more capabilities looms around the horizon if I succeed in accessing the other digital pins.

If I do that, it's a NO to the NANO :P



Ok, show us what you gonna build :-)))

I really like this guy so far. Not only is he tiny and cute with the sharp eyes, but he will be able to trek outdoors with those treads. I think offset wheels add character. Nice work.

Thank you Yahmez!

I guess the pictures do show some character, I hope the soon-to-come videos do the same!

Indeed, these Pololu tyres are nice and tough, and with a caster wheel or some balancing stuff, this one might just qualify to earn the title  "Micro-Rover" :-D


I will be interested to see how you continue on this bot.

Thank you birdmun. It's always a pleasure to receive your compliments!

The first thing I plan on is throwing the make-up onto this guy. I don't know how long the blu-tack can hold the line sensor or how long the foam tape can hold on to the IR distance sensor. 

The next thing is that I plan on replacing the Beetle with an Arduino Nano. More pins, more sensors. I don't think it's a good idea trying to roughly desolder the beetle off the beetle shield just to access the 4 digital pins. Moreover, I haven't used a Nano and can't wait to use one on this robot.


Thank you Maxhirez! The wires and sensors tend to come off, so really, I can't wait to try some hot glue in the days to come!


Nice! I was a little concerned abou the Blu-tak given the controversy that hot glue causes here on LMR, but. Looks like you pulled it off!