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Topic: New to Robotics - getting started? (Read 2 times) previous topic - next topic


Students from a local university recently visited my C++ class and taught us the basics of programming Arduinos. They then held a line-following competition and my group of three all won Arduino Unos. I'm very excited to pick up this hobby but I'm completely new to robotics and I have no idea where to start! I just want to begin with programming a wheeled robot to complete basic tasks and overcome simple obstacles, so I need LEDs, some sort of body, motors, and wheels. How do I decide which parts to choose? I don't want to buy the wrong parts by accident, as I'm on a tight budget. Keep in mind we ONLY won the Arduino Uno board and the USB cable for interfacing with the computer.



If you can find an old RC electric car anywhere (yard sale or thrift store) you can probably connect the Arduino in place of the RC receiver and re-use the motor drivers, motors, wheels, etc.  I've found that RC cars often sell for $4 at thrift stores like Savers.

If you want commercial parts you can get the chassis, motors, and wheels for $30 from http://www.robotshop.com/dagu-mr-basic-mobile-robotic-platform-2.html  You will need a motor driver shield to drive the motors.  For $36 you can get a plastic chassis with four separate motors: http://sumaoutlet.com/1pcs-4wd-robot-smart-car-chassis-kits-arduino-car-with-speed-enc-p-3709.html  Many other choices if you look around the RobotShop site.
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May 06, 2012, 12:09 am Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 12:21 am by JakeTH Reason: 1
Sorry, perhaps I should explain my original post a little more clearly. I was just planning to buy parts from any of the sites, probably Spark Fun, listed on this site, but I just don't know which specific parts to buy. I need to know how to choose sensors, chassis, shield, motors, wheels, etc. and then how to put them all together. Can you recommend any tutorials? Eventually I want my robot to be able to drive around, avoid obstacles, manipulate small objects, switch from an AI to a remote control mode, etc.

So, basically, I don't need to know where to buy parts, I need to know how to choose them and how to put them together.

EDIT: Actually, the Robot Shop link was very useful, thank you! (But I'm still looking for a tutorial on choosing and building.)


May 06, 2012, 12:27 am Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 12:40 am by Graynomad Reason: 1
I would try asking on these forums


The SoR mob have tutorials I think.

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com


Thanks for the links, I've written similar posts on those sites and am eagerly awaiting my replies.

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