Tag Archives: robot

Follow your cat with FPV camera and Arduino Leonardo

via Arduino Blog


After the Bike Tachometer we posted back in September, Nikus  shared with us a new Instructable to show you how to build remote-controlled tank using a first person view (FPV) camera and Arduino Leonardo:

At the beginning I build only RC tank without FPV camera but when I was driving it in the house I have not seen where it is. So I came up with that I will add to it the camera mounted on a 2 servos. The range is about 100m, you can also ride with it at home. With this tank you can see what your cat is doing when you’re not looking. You can see it on a video :D

Watch it in action and follow the tutorial:


Control a robot through hand gestures with Arduino Uno and Xbee

via Arduino Blog


Robin Andersson shared with us the link to his Instructable to create a robot controlled by (gloved) hand gestures and running on a couple of Arduino Unos and Xbee.

You can make it yourself following the 8 steps of the tutorial and then customize the gestures as you like.

Enjoy the video below:

Defcon Side Trip: Pololu And Robots

via Hackaday » » hardware

PololuDuring our trip out to Vegas for Defcon, we were lucky enough to catch up with a few of the companies that should be of interest to Hackaday readers. One of the companies based out of the area is Pololu, makers and purveyors of fine electronics and robots. In an incredible bit of lucky scheduling, LV Bots, the Las Vegas area robot builders club, was having an event the same weekend we were there. A maze challenge, no less, where builders would compete to build the best robot and write the best code to get a pile of motors and electronics through a line-following maze in the fastest amount of time.

The Bots

The LV Bots events are held in the same building as Pololu, and unsurprisingly there were quite a few Pololu employees making a go at taking the stuff they developed and getting it to run through a maze. At least one bot was based on the Zumo kit, and a few based on the 3pi platform. Interestingly, the Raspberry Pi Model B+ was the brains of quite a few robots; not extremely surprising, but evidence that the LV Bots people take their line-following mazes seriously and are constantly improving their builds.

Each robot and builder ‘team’ was given three runs. For each team, the first run is basically dedicated to mapping the entire maze. A carefully programmed algorithm tries to send the robot around the entire maze, storing all the intersections in memory. For the second and third runs, the bot should – ideally – make it to the end in a very short amount of time. This is the ideal situation and was only representative of one team for that weekend’s event.

The worst case scenario is a bot that doesn’t quite have the proper mapping algorithm down. For example:

If, however, a robot can figure out all the nodes in the line following map, the second and third runs can go by pretty quick:


Although I did arrive a bit after normal working hours, [Ryan] and [Kevin] were kind enough to take me around their shop for a small tour of the joint. It’s more or less what you would expect: one giant room with pick and place machines, giant ovens, solder paste dispensers, enough equipment for all the testing and rework, and a giant wall of filled with all their products. One of the more interesting pieces of equipment was a soldering robot. Yes, as in a robot with a soldering iron. Here are the pics:

Solderbot3 Solderbot2 Solderbot1

Being after hours, the machines were not running. [Kevin] did send me a video of the manufacturing process of their A-Star 32U4 Micro, shown below:

In addition to their huge manufacturing room, the guys took me up to their dev lab where they come up with the design of all their products. Lego abound, surprisingly in already built configuration. I’ll let the picture galleries speak for themselves, shown below.

The Bots

DSC_0009 The maze DSC_0008 DSC_0007 Setting up for a run DSC_0004 DSC_0003 Blinky again PacBot DSC_0030 LV Bots RaspiBotsB DSC_0005 DSC_0023 Blinky


DSC_0056 "The" Pololu Truly, important stuff happens in the design lab Shop floor Thousands of dollars in pogo pins The 'wall of samples' DSC_0041 DSC_0053 Hundreds of steppers DSC_0055 DSC_0054
Filed under: hardware, Interviews

Freefall camera: an autonomous skydiving robot

via Arduino Blog


A group of skydivers and engineers, combined their passions to create the world’s first autonomous skydiving robot, equipped by a camera and controlled by Arduino Mega.

ArduinoMega Freefallcamera

The Freefall Camera is a student project at the University of Nottingham, its team is composed by David Alatorre, Tom Dryden, Tom Shorten and Peter Storey who received the third prize at the Student Venture Challenge from the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Their robot freefall camera is already in testing phase and the team features in a number of videos created by the University’s Nottingham Science YouTube channel.

Take a look at the video below explaining how they used Arduino Mega and enjoy the whole playlist at this link.

A garment transporter made with Arduino Robot

via Arduino Blog


Last March  RS Components, in collaboration with RobotChallenge, launched the Hack the Arduino Robot competition.

Jacob Glueck submitted a great hack for the Arduino Robot:

“A couple of years ago, I built an Arduino-powered shirt-folding machine which folds clothes. Using the Arduino robot from the RobotChallenge, I will build a device to remove folded clothes from the machine and to stack them. My idea is special because it will involve two Arduinos (the Arduino Uno in the shirt folder, and the Arduino Robot) which will have to communicate, and because it will be very useful. The robot will solve the real life problem of laundry folding by making the task easier and faster and by doing so nicely; the robot will use a custom-designed gripper to transport garments while keeping them perfectly folded.”

On his blog you can look at the pictures of the construction  phase , and below watch the video of the final project:

Four guys met at Arduino Day and now they are finalists at NASA Challenge

via Arduino Blog

Open Curiosity

Last March, during Arduino Day in Zaragoza, four guys met for the first time and  then decided to participate to the Nasa Challenge collaborating to the project made by Carlos Sicilia Til in the previews months:

OpenCuriosity is an open source, exomars rover (1:5 scale) with Arduino as main controller, based on the NASA Curiosity Rover. It contains a set of Arduino boards and sensors. The general public will be allowed to use these Arduinos and sensors for their own creative purposes while they are in space. All the people will be allowed to integrate their project in the robot, and the data gathered will be available on the internet in order to share this information with the general public for educational, science or other purposes. We want to provide affordable space exploration for everyone!

The robot designed by the Aragonese team is now among the finalists of the NASA contest!

Read the details of the story on El Pais.

Introducing Mirobot, a DIY WiFi Robot for Children

via Hackaday» hardware



We’re quite sure that fathers parents people reading Hackaday wonder how to introduce their children acquaintances to the wonderful world of electronics. The Mirobot (Kickstarter link) might just be a good way to do so. As you may see in the picture above the Mirobot is a small WiFirobotics kit that children can build themselves to learn about technology, engineering and programming.

The laser cut chassis is assembled by snapping it together. All the electronics are left exposed to the outside so children may try to figure out which component does what. The robot is configured over your home WiFi via a Scratch-like visual programming tool. Everything (PCB, Arduino code, user interface) is open source.

The platform is based around the Arduino compatible ATMega328, two stepper motors, a Wifi module that can behave as a client or access point and 5 AA batteries. The campaign stretch goals include a collision detection sensor, line following functionality and finally a sound add-on.

Thanks [nickjohnson] for the tip.

Filed under: Crowd Funding, hardware

Hack the Arduino Robot: the results are impressive! (And you can vote them)

via Arduino Blog


During the last months we’ve been involved with RS components in launching the “Hack the Arduino Robot” competition. It has been a bit of a special competition where people would participate by posting their ideas and a committee of experts would choose which could be the most interesting challenges for the Arduino Robot to perform.

I was part of the committee and I am pleased to say that I am not disappointed. The level of the projects is in general pretty impressive, specially considering the amount of time they had to put into making something innovative. I am really thrilled about getting to know which team will be the one voted as the final winner of the challenge, I have my favorites, but I will not say publicly.

I think everyone should look at the videos just to see that robots can be so much more than whatever it is we conceptualized them for.


Now it’s time to express your vote too: the likes of the videos on the playlist will be counted until 23rd of March 2014. The project with the most likes wins the community award!

The donation robot

via Arduino Blog


Holger from Fablab Düsseldorf writes in about a small robot they prototyped with Arduino Uno, helping them  raise some funds for their local space:

We created the idea in our non-commerical FabLab in Düsseldorf, Germany to create a small robot, who makes our vistors and guests aware of placing a small money donation. This robot was required to be transportable, robust and to draw as much attention as possible.
Thus, we included LED-Stripes, servos, sensors and sound to the project. Packed in a very old german vacuum cleaner. The work took about 1 year to construct, print and integrate all 3D-printed parts, wiring and software development with the Arduino Uno. But software development was the minor part, although parallel processing on the Arduino in order to run every component simultaneously required a small trick.

These are the components in action:

  • Controller: Arduino Uno R3
  • Software: Standard Processing and standard libraries
  • Audio: VLSI VS1000 Audio Module incl. our own firmware that lets the Arduino control the board
  • Distancesensor: HC-SR04 embedded in a modelled nose of FIMO
  • 4 LED stripes (2 RGB on the backside)
  • 6 power-LEDs for the top
  • 1 servo for moving the top
  • 1 Servo for moving the bill-mouth
  • 3 distance sensors for bill and coin detection
  • 1 switch for muting the audio module and 1 reset button

Take a look at the video below, learn the details on their blog and visit them during the Arduino Day (yes, they are organising an event in their space)!

Time to “Hack the Arduino Robot” – second phase

via Arduino Blog


Arduino Robot

RobotChallenge staff updated us with some numbers regarding the “Hack the Arduino Robot” competition launched at the end of January and sponsored by RS Components. They received 58 submissions from 20 different countries of the world! 10 projects were then selected by an international Jury composed by David Cuartielles (Arduino), David Tarrant (RS Components, Design Spark), Karim Jafarmadar (INNOC) and Pavel Petrovic (Robotika.sk).

Now it’s time for the second phase. They are going to receive an Arduino Robot each, implement  the project they submitted and  publish the results (including a short video) by the 23rd of February.

The 10 projects selected are the following:

  •  OFF RObot / John Rees

“I plan to design and 3D-print different legs for the robot, so that it can be placed in a dock and the rotation of the wheels can enable it to ‘walk’. The primary goal would be to design and print a spider-legs (octopod) or beetle-legs (hexapod) attachment, enabling the robot able to travel on uneven surfaces such as grass. After this has been tested and is functional I would like to add sensors to the legs to enable me to design optimal walking attachments with maximal efficiency, as well as explore the use sensors on the feet to measure things such as such as moisture/temperature/rigidity of the surface and potentially adjust the walk cycle to suit the conditions.”

  •  An under floor doctor / Naoki Fujihara

“My proposal is using an Arduino robot as an extermination of harmful insects machine for house. In Japan, there are white ants or rats under floor of houses . These under floor sometimes unsanitary but workers have to into there and exterminate them. I want to solve this real life problem. My idea is mounting on some items on an Arduino robot as follows: a camera for catching situation in real-time and a function to put pest poison or traps on a appropriate place. And some sensors that can measure humidity whether the under floor condition is a room for improvement. With an Arduino robot’s smallness and mobility, this idea can be a good solution.”

  •  EnergyBot / Alex Shaw

“The Energy saver robot will travel round its location detecting the number of lights that are on and windows that are open and rooms that are unused, temperature, drafts, cold spots, carbon monoxide, co2 or other hazardous substances. Energybot will tweets/message to the owner to remind them to be more energy efficient and of any impending dangers. It also records data to allow the user to find out how efficient and safe each area is over time. Energybot helps to keep running costs low and automates the experience of chasing my family to shut the window!. Energybot keeps an eye on heating efficiency, average temperature, energy consumption by room and helps me to maximise the usage of my energy.”

  •  RoboPet / Roberto Riggio

“Pets often feel alone at home when their guardians are out for work. RoboPet is a robot companion for pets. It is able to play sounds either pre-recorder or directly streamed from the guardian smartphone. The guardian can control the robot remotely using a simple web browser or a smartphone. RoboPet is also equipped with a camera and a laser pointer to interact with the pet.”

  •  AWBB – ArduWellBeingBot / Florent Brodziak

“This small autonomous robot, free to move itself in a place is able to measure surrounding environment quality. It can track humidity, temperature, ambient noise and light, Air quality in the way to map and classify this place as a pleasant or nasty for humans. All the data can be consulted via internet on a map indicating the place location and a note. This robot could be used for example in public places (Mall, Railway Station , Airport, Park…) where people needs or want to stay for a moment. It will allow people to find the best place for them, for their health and it will imply more place’s responsible to improve the environment quality.”

  •  Eyeduino / Eduard Petrenko

“Let your Arduino robot see the world! An idea is to capture low-resolution image (estimation is 32×32 black&white) from analog camera using some kind of video sync separator like Texas Instruments LM1881 and some comparator schema. We plan to use prototype regions on the robot’s control plate to mount the schema. Modern technical vision approach requires more powerful CPU and much more memory for image processing, but for some tasks low resolution seems to be enough. We plan to demonstrate this by exercises like dotted line following and “cockroach hunting” – following some little movement changing target. We expect this approach to be an effective introduction step into technical vision in robotics.”

  • Nemo / Rajan Ayyappan

“I would build a Hide and Seek Robot: We create a set of hiding places, draw lines and feed the location data into the robot. At the start of the game, you close your eyes and count up to 20. The robot will go and hide somewhere. You will start a timer on the robot as you finish 20. You have to find the robot and stop the timer within a certain period to win that round. The game makes robots look more human. It will be a teaching aid and we could add sensory experience to influence the robot in selection of hiding place. This data could be analyzed for insight into decision making process.”

  • PendelBot / Dieter Schön

“The PendelBot has oversized wheels (diameter ~30-40cm), so that the Robot in between them acts as a pendulum. A battery pack underneath the motor board ensures that the center of weight is extentric. When the motors accelerate the wheels, the torque turns the chassis in the opposite direction. An acceleration sensor will limit the angle of the chassis to 90°. The robot can be remotely controlled via bluetooth by an app on an android device. This app uses yaw and pitch angles of the device to control the robots speed and direction. This setup can work as pendulum or inverted pendulum (thus posing as a mini segway(c)).”

  • Battery robot / Sebastian Groza

“Arduino robot will be used as a core for a used battery collector system (robot). Robot can be mount on top of a usual battery collector container and will have a receptacle for used batteries. Arduino robot is used to sort the batteries by size, AA, AAA and others. AA and AAA batteries will be harvested for remaining power with a step-up converter. Recovered energy is used for charging a backup accumulator, power a LED banner or even charging the robot. After complete depletion, batteries are dumped in collector container along with other battery types.”

  • Garment Transporter / Jacob Glueck

“A couple of years ago, I built an Arduino-powered shirt-folding machine which folds clothes. Using the Arduino robot from the RobotChallenge, I will build a device to remove folded clothes from the machine and to stack them. My idea is special because it will involve two Arduinos (the Arduino Uno in the shirt folder, and the Arduino robot) which will have to communicate, and because it will be very useful. The robot will solve the real life problem of laundry folding by making the task easier and faster and by doing so nicely; the robot will use a custom-designed gripper to transport garments while keeping them perfectly folded.”

Two projects will receive an award donated by RS Components:

- Best project & documentation Award
- Community Award.

Check this PDF to discover the details and the cool prizes are visible in the pic below!

ISO-TECH Benchshot


“Hack the Arduino Robot”: join the competition!

via Arduino Blog



RobotChallenge is an international championship for self-made, autonomous, and mobile robots taking place in Vienna (Austria) since 2004. Each year robots compete in different competitions – Robot Sumo, Line Follower, Air Race, Humanoid Sprint, Puck Collect and Freestyle . This year RobotChallenge in cooperation with Arduino and RS Components presents a new open source competition called:  ”Hack the Arduino Robot!”.

If you like robot and feel like you could hack the Arduino Robot in a great way, submit a short description of your project idea (up to 120 words) before the 26th of January responding to the following questions:

  • What would you do with an Arduino Robot?
  • What makes your idea special?
  • What real life problem does your robot solve?

An international jury will select the 10 best project ideas based on feasibility, creativity and innovation.

The selected teams will receive a brand new Arduino Robot for free to implement their project ideas and are invited to present their robots at RobotChallenge 2014 on 29th and 30th of March.

Open source is all about sharing with the community: Therefore each team has to document their project online and submit a short video (3 – 5 minutes) by the 23rd of February.

What about the Prizes? They are donated by RS Components which will  award the winners in two categories:

  • Best project & documentation Award
  • Community Award.

Read the details in PDF

Rex, the ARM-Powered Robot board

via Hack a Day» hardware


There are a million tutorials out there for building a robot with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, but they all suffer from the same problem: neither the ‘duino nor the Raspi are fully integrated solutions that put all the hardware – battery connectors, I/O ports, and everything else on the same board. That’s the problem Rex, an ARM-powered robot controller, solves.

The specs for Rex include a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 with a Video SoC and DSP core, 512 MB of RAM, USB host port, support for a camera module, and 3.5mm jacks for stereo in and out. On top of that, there’s I2C expansion ports for a servo adapter and an input and output for a 6-12 V battery. Basically, the Rex is something akin to the Beaglebone Black with the hardware optimized for a robotic control system.

Because shipping an ARM board without any software would be rather dull, the guys behind Rex came up with Alphalem OS, a Linux distro that includes scripts, sample programs, and an API for interaction with I2C devices. Of course Rex will also run other robotics operating systems and the usual Debian/Ubuntu/Whathaveu distros.

It’s an impressive bit of hardware, capable of speech recognition, and machine vision tasks with OpenCV. Combine this with a whole bunch of servos, and Rex can easily become the brains of a nightmarish hexapod robot that responds to your voice and follows you around the room.

You can pick up a Rex over on the Kickstarter with delivery due sometime this summer.

Filed under: Crowd Funding, hardware, robots hacks

Enjoy images and sound on your Arduino Robot – video tutorial

via Arduino Blog

Arduino Robot

Some days ago RS Components published the 5th and last video in a series of 5 video tutorials about Arduino Robot. After learning how to get started, to remotely control the robot, avoid obstacles and follow lines, you can now learn how to use the TFT screen to deal with images and how to make music and listen to it with the Robot.

In the video below David  and Xun show examples and give your tips on how to navigate through these features:


Click and read more about Arduino Robot.

Following lines, going to the rescue with Arduino Robot – Video Tutorial

via Arduino Blog



Once again Xun and David in this fourth video tutorial on the Arduino Robot released by RS Components, are exploring one of the most used techniques in Robotics: following a line, just like factory robots do to get an orientation when they carry objects from one place to another without human intervention.

Watching the video you’ll learn how to create a racing track drawing a black line over a white surface and understand how the different sensors read data that will be used to feed a PD algorithm:

PD stands for Predictive-Derivative and it is used to make a decision on how centred the robot is on top of the line. Ideally, for the robot to follow a line, the central IR sensor needs to be straight on top of the track and the algorithm needs to be “clever” enough to steer the motors towards it.

Check it out:



Click and watch more video tutorials about the Arduino Robot.

Avoid obstacles, create strategies with Arduino Robot – video tutorial

via Arduino Blog


In this third video released by RS Components, Xun and David are going to show you how to deal with ultrasonic range finders, infrared range finders and a trick using ultrabright white LEDs and LDR sensors and in general how to use different technologies to detect obstacles in the way of the Arduino Robot.

In some way ultrasound and infrared operate in the same way: a signal is sent, it bounces on objects and the received echo is used to estimate the distance. With ultrasound, the speed of sound and the time difference between the sent signal and the received one is used, while infrared is more direct as it gives a stronger or weaker reflection depending on how far the signal travels. The estimation of the distance is done via software.

In the video below you’ll see a couple of examples on how to deal with them but you’ll also learn how simple it can be to build your own reflective sensors using a very strong source of light and an LDR sensor.

Click and read more about Arduino Robot.