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Instructions for YourDuino Basic Robot Kit, Version 2
Released: November 14, 2014.
Please Note: These instructions and software are NOT compatible with the earlier Version 1 kit. If you need the earlier kit instructions
This kit has many small parts and detailed electrical connections. The builder needs good fine-motor hand skills. This is not appropriate for most small children. We suggest 10-12 years old, and some hands-on help from an older person is very valuable.
We have done much research and had many discussions with suppliers to offer a Robot kit with this many parts and capabilities at the $45 price. We have also improved some things that were problems with the earlier version, such as including a small screwdriver for the terminal strips and screws, and a sturdy bracket for the Ultrasonic Sensor. The YourDuino Basic Robot Kit Version 2 adds these new features:
Your Robot is Controlled by the YourDuino RoboRED Microcomputer board, compatible with Arduino UNO with added features:
ALL I/O pins are brought to 3-pin (Ground-Voltage-Signal) connectors
Advanced Switch-mode power supply provides up to 2 Amps at 5V
Very direct wiring with supplied ribbon cables, easier motor wiring.
Sturdy Ultrasonic Sensor Bracket.
Improved thicker plastic baseplate.
A high quality screwdriver that fits screws and terminal blocks.
The YourDuino Robot Kit Version 2 is available from YourDuino.com HERE:
PLEASE email questions, updates, comments to
How-To Document in PDF is now available (Updated 2/5/2015):
Educational Resources for integrating Robotics into the regular curriculum are available
How to Build the YourDuino Basic Robot Kit (RP-042002)
you build the Robot, you will need to have the Arduino "IDE" software development system installed on your computer and working. We have a detailed page on how to do this if you have not used Arduino before.
See it here:
You also need to download Robot specific software. It includes the following capabilities: (It is available:
Arduino Software Test Sketches to test each part of the robot separately
Collision-Avoidance Software, which runs all the robot parts together
We also provide example software you can use to program the robot yourself (After you have tested the different parts), with commands like Forward, Reverse, Turn, Spin etc.
(It is available HERE:)
When you open the box and before you start to build your Robot, become familiar with all the parts and what they are called. Check that you have all these components in the kit:
YourDuino RoboRED Upgraded Arduino
Uno-compatible Microcomputer with built-in 3-pin I/O connectors, higher current 5.0V and 3.3V supply. With ATMEGA328 Processor.
Robot Chassis with 2 DC motors and 2 wheels
(Not pictured: caster wheel and small package containing: screws, nuts, standoffs for caster wheel, motor mounting brackets, optional power switch and optional encoder wheels.)
Battery Pack for 6 AA batteries (We suggest using rechargeable NiMH batteries)
Motor Driver Board (Controls motors' speed and direction)
The board has metal "stand-offs" attached at the 4 corners. The motor driver board you receive may have the stand-offs already attached or you may need to screw them in place.
The motor driver board uses a LM298N chip and heat-sink to control power from the battery pack to the 2 DC motors. Signals from the RoboRED can control the direction and speed of each motor.
Ultrasonic Distance Sensor (Looks for things in the way)
This sensor sends out ultrasonic beeps that cannot be heard by humans. Then it listens for an echo to return and calculates the distance to objects in front of it.
Extensive educational materials on Ultrasonic sensors are available:
Plastic Bracket to hold Ultrasonic Sensor on top of Servo
ServoMotor (Points the Ultrasonic Sensor in different directions)
The servo positions its shaft over a range of about 180 degrees. The position is controlled by a signal from the RoboRED. In our software, the servo points the ultrasonic sensor to "look" left, then center, then right.
40-wire Rainbow Cable (Connect the parts)
The 40 wires in this cable will be separated into strips to connect different parts of the robot. Colors will be selected to make connections clear.
Pin Strips (Connect the parts)
In cases where the rainbow cable needs to connect to female sockets, these pins can be used to make the connection.
This cable plugs into the silver connector on the edge of the RoboRED.
It is used to upload software sketches to the RoboRED and to receive test information from the test sketches that individually test the parts of the robot.
Blue #22 Wire to mount the Servo and the Ultrasonic Sensor
You can cut pieces of this wire to attach parts to the robot chassis.
You can plug the metal piece into the handle in 2 ways. You can use either the flat blade and/or the Phillips X-shaped blade.
Robot Base Chassis Hardware
This swivels around to allow robot movement in any direction. When you assemble this later make sure you use the 4 screws with large heads to attach it to the robot chassis.
: 10mm long brass metal (4). These are threaded inside so screws can be used to hold the Caster Wheel in place at the right level.
Not Used in this kit.
These can be used with more complex software to measure the wheel rotation.
Long machine screws: 30mm
(4) use to attach motors and brackets.
(optional): This may be difficult to push into place in the rectangular cutout in the chassis. Wiring details are not available at this time.
attach the motors to the chassis.
achine Screws and Nuts
. Use 10mm to attach RoboRED, 8mm for Motor Driver.
Double-ended - both flat and "Phillips" ends.
(See Photo ->)
ROBOT CHASSIS, WHEELS and DC MOTORS
: Laser-cut clear plastic. This has a stick-on paper covering, and this is a good time to remove it if you want the clear plastic to be shown. This is why we have fingernails :-) When you remove the paper mark the Top side of the chassis for later reference.
(2). The wheels have a hole in the center with two flat sections. Make sure you line this up with the motor shafts later when you attach them.
DC Gear Reduction Motors
(2). These have 2 wires attached. Later, when you assemble them to the chassis, make sure the wires go towards the center of the robot.
Assembling the Robot Base Chassis and Attaching the Parts
First, you will attach these parts to the robot chassis and then connect them electrically:
Motor Driver Board
Ultrasonic Distance Sensor
Notes on Optional Power Switch
We do not show how to wire the optional power switch; it would require soldering which the kit avoids. If you plan to use the power switch later, line it up with the rectangular hole in the center of the chassis and PUSH it down into position. This may take a strong person with strong fingers, or you may have to file the switch case to make it fit! Many people simply plug and unplug the battery connector to turn the robot on and off. The switch may have a red dot showing the ON position. We suggest you point it toward the front (wide end) of the robot.
If you need to drill the holes in the chassis yourself, a .JPG file that will give you an accurate layout if you print it 300DPI is available
MOTOR DRIVER BOARD:
Before Attaching the Motor Driver Board to the chassis, check to make sure that the stand-offs are attached to the board. If they are not, first insert the
"stand offs" provided with the motor driver board to the bottom side of the board and screw the nuts on the top of the stand offs to hold them in place. Then attach the motor driver board to the robot chassis using 4 of the 8mm long machine screws. Orient the black heat-sink toward the front of the robot chassis.
(See photo ->)
Attach the RoboRED to the chassis using 2 of the 10mm machine screws and nuts.
(See photo ->)
Find the small silver colored switch near the USB connector, labeled 3V3 and 5V. Make sure this switch is pushed to the 5V position.
MOTORS (Photos Corrected! 2/14/15)
Locate the 4 Motor Mounts. Use 2 at a time to attach each motor to the chassis.
On the underside of the Robot Chassis, place the motors with their wires facing towards the center of the chassis and close to the edge of the RoboRED.
(<- See Photo)
1 bracket is inserted up through a center slot and the 2nd bracket goes in a slot on the outer edge of the chassis.
Turn the chassis over and insert the long machine screws through the outer brackets, through the holes in the motor, and through the inner bracket.
(See Photo Below)
Attach two nuts and tighten just snug but not too tight. The plastic is not real strong. Hold the lower nut in position as shown and then start and tighten the screw. (Right)
Install the second motor on the other side.
Route the wires up through the two larger round holes closest to the rectangular cutout in the center of the chassis.
At the back of the chassis, check out the position of the holes by placing the caster wheel on the bottom of the chassis, to see which 4 holes line up with the holes on the caster wheel.
Now, attach the 4 metal 'standoffs' by putting 4, 6mm long machine screws from the top of the chassis, through the 4 holes and into one end of the standoffs. Hold the standoffs and tighten the screws with the small Phillips screwdriver.
Line the caster wheel holes up with the 4 standoffs and attach it with the 4 small screws that have large flat heads.
Here is the Robot Chassis with the parts attached and the motor wires routed through the holes. We suggest you wait until later to attach the wheels. It's easier to test the wiring and software when the robot can't try to escape :-)
Connecting the wires from the RoboRED to the components
Motor Driver Board
The Motor Driver board looks like this:
The motor wires will connect to the blue terminal blocks on the left and right. The RoboRED control wires will connect to the small black terminal strip in the lower center, and the motor power will connect to the bottom blue terminal strip at "VCC" and "GND".
Important note: As received, there are two jumper blocks on the motor driver connected to the ENA and ENB Pins which must be removed. You can pull them straight up off the pins using tweezers or your finger nails
(<- See Photo on right)
Now you are going to use wires from the Rainbow cable to connect the RoboRed pins to the corresponding pins on the Motor Driver Board. The connections and corresponding wire colors are shown in the following table. We are using different colored wires to make the wiring easier to understand. This may seem complicated, but if you follow the steps below, it will all come together!
1. Strip off a section from your "Rainbow" flat cable with 6 wires, with colors Green through Black. Push one end of this cable onto the RoboRED pins (Longer Yellow strip) 5-6-7-8-9-10 as shown in the photo. (These numbers are not printed on the board.) They must be on the Yellow (signal) pins, not the Red (Voltage) or Blue (Ground) pins.
2. Connect the other end of the cable you made to the Motor Driver, with each colored wire connecting to the corresponding pin on the motor driver board, as shown in the table above.
(See photos ->)
3. Now, attach the Red and Black wires from the motors to the Motor Driver Board. Looking at the 2 smaller blue terminal blocks on the Motor Driver Board, the Black wire is attached on the left and the Red wire is attached on the right.
(See photo ->)
Use the flat end of the screwdriver to loosen the tiny screws in the terminal block, up to the level of the top of the blue plastic. (They may fall out if you go any higher.) You may want to insert a toothpick or other small round object into the terminal strip to enlarge the space a bit to allow the wire to go into place easily. Then tighten the screws moderately. Pull on the wires a little to be sure they are secure. Now turn the chassis around and attach the wires on the other side!
4. Now you will wire power from the RoboRED "Vin" and "Gnd" pins to the motor driver. (This will connect the battery pack to the motor driver board later when you plug it in). Strip off a section from your ribbon cable with just 2 wires: Red and Brown wires. You will need to remove the black plastic coverings that are over the metal terminals on one end of your cable. Remove the plastic parts as shown in the photos below.
Look closely at the wire ends. There is a very small plastic "latch" that you can pry up with a pushpin or other small sharp object. When the latch is bent up, the plastic end can be pulled off leaving the metal connector exposed. Loosen the screws on the Motor Driver Board "VCC" and "GND" terminal strip locations, (on the 3 terminal strip), up to the top of the blue plastic. Again, you may want to insert a toothpick or other small round object into the terminal strip to enlarge the space a bit to allow the wire to go into place easily.
Insert the metal ends of your cable: Red to VCC, and Brown to GND. You may have to push a bit to get them in place. Then tighten the screws. Pull on the wires a little to be sure they are secure.
(See photo below.)
5. For the other end of the cable, find the "Pin Strip" and break off a small section of 3 or 4 pins wide. Plug that into the Yellow terminal strip on the RoboRED that is closest to the caster wheel. Notice the pins labelled "Vin" and "GND".You need to plug the Red wire into the "Vin" pin (on the end of the yellow strip), and the Brown wire to the "GND" pin which is the next one over. Use the pin strips to make the cable end connect to the yellow strip sockets.
Later when you connect the Battery pack with 6 AA batteries to the Yourduino RoboRED external power connector, that power will connect to the VIN and GND to power the motors.
Open the small bag with servo arms and screws. Attach the long white arm to the top of the servo as shown in the photo. Orient the servo with the wire to the right.
Lightly push the white servo arm onto the servo shaft
Carefully turn the arm counter-clockwise until it stops
Remove the arm and reposition it so that it is oriented at right angles (as shown). It is now pointing "Left".
Push the arm firmly in place. Align the blue bracket for the Ultrasonic Sensor on top of the servo arm, the front of the bracket should be parallel to the white servo arm . Use one of the 2 longer small screws in the package to secure the bracket, the white arm and the servo shaft. Tighten the screw just enough that the bracket stays aligned with the white arm.
Attach 4 wires from the rainbow cable, (use Red, Orange, Yellow and Green) to the base of the ultrasonic sensor
(As shown in the closeup photo of the back of the Ultrasonic Sensor at left <-)
. Place the Ultrasonic Sensor into the blue bracket from the back, and secure it with two pieces of the blue wire. Use another piece of wire to secure the cable to the bracket through the two vertical cutouts.
Connect the cable from the Ultrasonic Sensor to the RoboRED as shown at right. Use the 3-pin connector for pin 2. Numbers start at D0, D1 D2. Green to pin 2 GND (blue row), Red to Pin 2 Voltage (red row), Orange to Pin 2 Signal (yellow row), and finally Yellow to pin 3 Signal (yellow row). This connects the sensor Ground, Voltage, Trigger and Echo wires.
Attach the servo and Ultrasonic Sensor to the robot chassis with wire as shown above right. Make sure the servo wire is pointing towards the right side of the robot chassis. Now connect the servo to the RoboRED. The servo connector simply plugs onto the RoboRED 3-pin connector labeled D11 (in very small print), as shown in the photo below, the 3rd group of pins from the left. (Brown wire connects to blue pin, red to red pin, yellow to yellow pin)
Insert 6 AA batteries into the battery case. Be careful about the orientation of each battery. Make sure each battery's
end is pushed towards the
contact. You will want to use the small flat screwdriver to push the individual AA cells toward the
connection to make sure. (There is a lot of friction in a new battery case and they might not make contact).
Use velcro, blue wire, a rubber band or other means to attach the Battery Pack to the back of the robot chassis over the caster wheel. We like using a rubber band or velcro so the battery pack can be easily taken off and then put back on when the batteries are replaced!
We recommend rechargeable NiMH type batteries. You will also find the small flat screwdriver good to help get batteries OUT of the battery case. They are very tight and secure, but difficult to get in and out.
Do not plug the battery case in at this time.
Check your wiring connections:
Check that you have the wires connected properly to the RoboRED (See above for cable colors and location). These connections must be correct for the robot to function properly.
Green, Blue, Violet, Gray,
2 DC Motors
PINS Used on the RoboRED:
Later you might want to connect other things to the RoboRED on your robot, like maybe an IR remote control. Arduino UNO and RoboRED have 13 Digital I/O Pins and 6 Analog/Digital I/O pins. Here's what the robot uses them for, and what's still available:
What the robot uses it for
Upload Software Sketches
Upload Software Sketches
LED/Beeper "Object was Sensed"
NOTE: The A0 to A5 pins may be used just like pins 0..13 as Digital Inputs and Outputs, as well as for measuring Analog voltages from 0..5.0 Volts
Carefully push the wheels onto the motor axles. Hold the motor securely with one hand and push against the far end of the white axle as you push the wheel in place. Here's the way your complete robot will look!
Arduino and Robot Software:
Next we are going to program the RoboRED to test some different parts of the robot. Later we will install the more complex software which uses all the parts to run the robot around and avoid obstacles.
First you need to have the Arduino "IDE" software development system installed on your computer and working. We have a detailed page on doing this if you have not used Arduino before.
See it here:
You should have the Arduino IDE installed, the YourDuino RoboRED on your robot connected to your computer with the USB cable and the "Blink" Program successfully uploaded and run.
Uploading Test and Collision Avoidance software
The Arduino software for this kit is on a separate page
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"