Let's Make Robots!

Mr. "Red" Adair - Firefighting robot

Navigate around via ultrasound. Detects fire and fight against it.

This is my competitor for the LMR DAGU contest. It is named Mr. "Red" Adair, named after the well known firefighter Paul "Red" Adair. An Atmel ATmega328 controller acts as brain together with a Pololu LVDSMC as motor controller. For the blower motor (robbed from a defect hair dryer) a simple logic level N-FET (IRL540N) has been used. The chassis is from a cheap RC car illumninated with red, white and blue LEDs. As power supply 3 AA cells for the drive motors are used. A 9V battery block has been used for the blower motor and the 5V regulated controller supply.


Update 05.07.2009:


Late, but hopefully not two late. The 2. Video shows Mr. Red Adair at his work. Not perfect, but I have no time to make it better. Thanks for all your votes. It was a great pleasure to take part of these contest.  




Arduino compatible controller





The Wii IR camera works fine for detecting a candle light, but not for all distances. Unfortunately when the robot stands directly (5..10cm) before a tea light he is blind and didn't detect the flame. I hope this will be fixed soon.


  • 2 Mr. Basic standard motors for differntial drive
  • 1 DC Motor from a defect hair dryer as Blower motor. Controlled by a logic level N-FET.

The Pololu motor controller needs some extra external components. Without some filter capacitors (100nF and 100µF) and  a pullup resistor on the RESET line the motor controller hangs up when I try to strat the otors turning.



 ToDo List:


  • Improvement of fire detection
  • additional collision detectors


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Hi Gareth,

I am using a very simple 3V power supply for the Wiimote. Just 2 1N4148 Diode in series, as you can see in the schematic. The I2C bus pullup resistors are also conected to this 3V VCC (I measured something about 3.6V under load). The sensor works so far without any problems. 



Thanks for infoRobotFreak --- i will cook up the circuit and tryout

Did you have any issue with the 3.3V levels in/out of the Wii camera?

I ask because it looks like a need to unhook a wii camera and hook it into my new arduino project .

(i am still hoping to link with bluetooth ie 2way - i have a way but it may be easier to hack the camera out)

I have digged around and a lot of sources suggest a  Voltage converter circuit is nessasary ........

Pretty cool, I like the progression of the video.
comp rating
Thank you for voting. I enjoy your video for the oddbot video contest so much. 2nd Video has beeb added now, maybe too late, showing Mr. Red Adair at work.

Hi RobotFreak, Great work on the Robot.

Top marks, 5 star personal rating from me, however i'm grading my votes for the comp entry to be fair.

I would love to have seen footage of it hunting for burning candles and putting them out! 

well done though. 

Ok, this is my second favorite because of the hacked Wii camera. Hacking always rates highly with me.

Thank you guys for your comments and votes. After the deadline of the contest have been moved to the end of the week, it seems that I have another chance to finish this project. At least some more fotos and description will follow, hopefully another video.



Really nice design RobotFreak!! The racing car give it a very cool touch  ;)

Oh and I specially like the way your pcb's look like. Very well organized  :-)