Quick View of the ArdBot

Arduino Robotics. shows the prototype ArdBot, made of 6 mm (about 1/4”) expanded PVC. In the next installment, I’ll provide detailed construction plans, but here’s the robot in a nutshell:
  • Two 7” “decks” provide generous room for motors, batteries, Arduino, and mini solderless breadboard, as well as future expansion. The top deck is secured by four machine screws to a set of 1-3/4” long aluminum hex standoffs. 
  • Two standard size continuous rotation servos drive the robot using the differential steering technique where the speed and direction of each motor determines where the robot travels. 
  • Half-inch wide tires provide traction indoors and out. The wheels measure 2-1/2” in diameter, and directly connect to the servo shafts. 
  • To keep costs down the ArdBot doesn’t use wheel casters or ball transfers. Instead is uses two height-adjustable skids fore and aft which keep the robot level. The skids have rounded bottoms and act just like small rollers. 
The bottom deck is used for mounting the servos and battery packs. The deck is large enough for several four- or five-cell AA battery holders, plus a nine volt cell or custom battery packs. There’s room in the corners of the deck for mounting infrared, bump switch, or other sensors. 

The top deck provides open access to the Arduino and solderless breadboard, both of which you can place anywhere you want. This way, you can program and reconfigure the board without any disassembly of the robot. There’s room for servo turrets, accelerometers, GPS receivers, sensor modules, and more. In the event you need even more room for your experiments, you can add a third deck for an additional 35 square inches of space. 

The ArdBot is a universal design with components you can get from a variety of suppliers. See the Sources box for a list of online retailers that sell the Arduino and other parts. You can build the ArdBot platform yourself, or if you don’t like mechanical construction,  as a convenience to SERVO readers, you can get the two body decks and all mounting hardware from my Internet company, Budget Robotics. So much for the basics. See you next time for detailed constructions plans of the ArdBot and more. 

Prototype ArdBot

FIGURE 6. Prototype ArdBot, a double-decker desktop robot using the Arduino Duo or similar controller board. It’s designed for easy expansion and experimentation. Construction will be covered in Part 2.