Today the work commences! I opened up the kit and began sorting out the pieces I would need, but promptly gave up and just got down to the creating. The base of the robot is simply a 4×7” cardboard slab, cut from the box that the kit arrived in. Useful things those! Then I cut out strips of double-sided tape to affix the servo motors to the base. I measured about 3 1/2” in from the end and affixed the servo to the base, centered around that. I actually had to replace the adhesive on one of the servos twice because it wasn’t holding the motor tight enough and it was sagging. I attached the provided wheels and I had a somewhat complete robot!
Next came the batteries and breadboard. I took some of the double-sided tape and tried to use it on the battery holder, but the tape wasn’t working right (mainly not sticking), so I used some single-serve 3M ones I had at home. The breadboard had adhesive already on the bottom of it, so I pealed that off and stuck it on. Here’s what the robot looked like after all of this:
(Note, I added the ball caster after completing the robot, to give it better movement. The cardboard slab I had on the back previously was dragging a lot.):
Let the real geekiness of this begin. Breadboard wiring awesomeness. First off I mounted the Ultrasonic sensor on the breadboard. I then wired 5V on the Arduino to the + (positive) strip on the breadboard and GND to the – (negative) strip. The negative/GND wire is actually brown in this project, simply because I didn’t have any black jumper wires that reached far enough! It still works the same, and
positive is still red. I then wired VCC to Positive (+ or 5V) and GND to Negative (- or GND). Please note that the wires actually are crossed, so don’t get them flipped. Please. You can really mess up electronics by flipping 5V and GND. Next, I wired up the TRIG and ECHO pins to pins 8 & 9 on the Arduino, respectively. This finalized the wiring for the Supersonic Sensor. Here’s a diagram for the previous wiring:
Next up was wiring the servos. This required a little more work, but nothing too hard (or so I thought. More on that later.) I had to break off a three-pin header for each of the servos from the strip provided in the kit. I then moved the plastic on the pin down to about halfway on the pins, and then plugged the servo header into them, so as to flip the female ending on the header to a male end. Then I plugged the servo header into the breadboard, one on each side.
Next up was wiring the control wires for the servos, the ones that tell the servos how fast to go and how far. I connected the right servo to pin 12 on the Arduino and the left servo to pin 13.
The next part was wiring the power and ground for the servos. This was simple enough, until I got to adding the power. I connected the power and ground wires to two of the terminals in the battery pack, but nothing was happening. I couldn’t figure it out. So, I went to the Internet and was saved by the Foxytronics forum. Turns out that I had flipped the power and ground wires, like I mentioned before not to do.