help on robot project

hi guys i know this question is gonna sound stupid but i really need an ans to it asap. as research for a digital 3D design project i’m building some robots as my project will tackle evolution in robots if they where to build them selves. so i started by building beam bots that look for light but i want something that looks a little smarter and i found out that i will need a microcontroller and i found out about PIC which has a huge price tag, then i heard about Arduino which has loads of tutorials which is great for someone like me who has no idea about microcontrollers and electronics. so here’s the question

what chips can I program with Arduino? and where would I get them from?
after the chip is programmed can i remove it and solder it to something else?
and what board would i need. I looked at the Italian site and i think the Arduino Diecimila or the Arduino Micro is what would apply.

what i want to do is program chips and stick them into as Robots keeping them as small as passable.
Thanks Kris

The Arduino Diecemilla board uses the Atmega 168 processor, the older boards uses the Atmega 8 processor. These are currently the only processors you can use with Arduino.

It is possible to program the processor and then remove it and run it “stand alone”, you will need a few supporting components, the 16Mhz crystal for clocking the processor, and a couple of capacitors if i remember correct. And of course a power supply of some kind.

One Atmega168 processor comes with the arduino board, it has the bootloader already burnt in it. More can be bought many places. You have two choises either to buy additional processors with the bootloader already burnt (about 5$ a piece) or to buy them raw and burn the bootloader yourself, which requires additional hardware.

You could also buy some of the Arduino compatible small footprint boards, like the Really Bare Bones Board from or the Boarduino from Both sites also sell lots of other Arduino related stuff including processors with the bootloader.

The small footprint boards needs a special cable because they do not ghave the FTDI (USB to serial) chip on the board. But if you need a few boards / processers this might be a good deal since you only need one cable to program any number of these boards that are cheaper tha the “full” Arduino board.

Hope this helps a little


yep that was helpful man thanks a lot. i decided to go with the Arduino Starter Pack for now.

Know any electrical engineers who make their own circuit boards?
Then you can make it really small with SMD chips. :slight_smile:
The mini uses the SMD 168 chip.

Atmel chips are cheap and common which is exactly what your looking for.

All the chips in the line are fairly similar so with a little work you can program basically any of them.
The 168 should be able to handle nearly anything you want to do though.
I dont think anyone has posted their code for other processors yet.

Look at the schematic for the Arduino to see how to implant the chips elsewhere.
As MikMo said its pretty simple.