New to Arduino - and basically the robotics world

Hey guys, jdmkid here. Guess ill make this into a sort of intro. So im 16 years old (17 in a month) and i like building things - mainly electronics. I plan on going for electronics engineering after highschool and once i get my BEng, go for my masters in control panels. My dad used to be an electronics engineer so i learn from him. I usually dont play video games so i need something to do at home. I was thinking of building a spider using arduino. Something like the one in the video below. So im starting to make a parts list, which obviously my dads helping me make. But other than servo's and resistors and whatnot, what other main parts would i need? id like to order everything in one order so my shipping costs arent that much. I could but my motors and stuff locally, but servos are cheaper online.

Video:

So any help is appreciated! thanks! :slight_smile:

FYI, there is a robotics section on this forum that deals with this matter in particular.

All in all, that's a very sophisticated walker to build for your first robot. 3-DOF legs, and
rotational coordinate system. The software for controlling the leg movements will be
rather complex. IE, it's easier to have the 6 hip servos in a straight line, rather than
around a circle.

For a first robot, people usually byte off a smaller chunk, like one of the following -
3-servo hexapod or 12-servo hexapod. It pays to start simple and learn as you go. You
can always reuse the parts for the next one.

http://users.frii.com/dlc/robotics/robots.htm - Bugbot [note - Dennis writes the Ask
Mr Roboto column in Servo magazine].

http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~mperkows/CLASS_ROBOTICS/photos-2.html

the arduino can only power maybe two servos with the input it uses so you will have to wire the servos up like this:

(source: Arduino Forum)

Arduino UNO boards can "control" up to 12 servos, but the power for the servos must come
from a separate source, not from the Arduino Vin or 5V header pins. Also, 2 AA-cells,
either alkaline or Nicad or NiMH, will not have enough voltage for servo power. You would
need at least 4 AA-cells in series.

the picture is just showing him how he would need to wiring them up. needed current will depend on how many servos and what the specs are for each one.

the picture is just showing him how he would need to wiring them up.

But the picture is incorrect - two AAs would not provide enough voltage for even a single servo.

If you want to start with a hexapod, you might consider purchasing a kit where you know the parts will work together. Or maybe start out with a simpler project to get the feel of things.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=hexapod+kit&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=

oric_dan(333):
FYI, there is a robotics section on this forum that deals with this matter in particular.

All in all, that's a very sophisticated walker to build for your first robot. 3-DOF legs, and
rotational coordinate system. The software for controlling the leg movements will be
rather complex. IE, it's easier to have the 6 hip servos in a straight line, rather than
around a circle.

For a first robot, people usually byte off a smaller chunk, like one of the following -
3-servo hexapod or 12-servo hexapod. It pays to start simple and learn as you go. You
can always reuse the parts for the next one.

http://users.frii.com/dlc/robotics/robots.htm - Bugbot [note - Dennis writes the Ask
Mr Roboto column in Servo magazine].

Robert's Gadgets & Gizmos Mini SSC II Project Photo Gallery

Hexapod | RobotShop Community

Mini Hexapod Body Kit , from Lynxmotion for €27.82

SOME INTERESTING ROBOTS

Thanks! Im going to take your advice and do the bugbot first since its a simple walker and itll help me get into doing bigger walkers. Only thing is that I dont really understand the tutorial lol. I might be a bit slow on this stuff. I guess ill go to the electronics store tomorrow and buy the servos and other things and start making this.

EDIT: On the bugbot one, there isnt really a tutorial on it.. So im a bit confused

zoomkat:
If you want to start with a hexapod, you might consider purchasing a kit where you know the parts will work together. Or maybe start out with a simpler project to get the feel of things.

hexapod kit - Google Search

You have a s2000? Im actually saving up for a ap2 or ap1 now!

AWOL:
two AAs would not provide enough voltage for even a single servo.

Could if it was an HXT900 micro which supposedly runs off 3V…

When I use Fritzing’s battery packs in pix, I usually don’t worry about using the correct pic (they have 3 and 4.8V AA and 9V PP3 iirc). I stick a yellow note on the battery with the required voltage typed in, rather than rely on the battery pic to be a literal indication of the voltage.

6V.JPG

So I still feel really lost after reading the links the were posted above. I need like a really dumbed out basic introduction to programming, controllers, and making these robots. Dont know how you guys do it.

jdmkid:
So I still feel really lost after reading the links the were posted above. I need like a really dumbed out basic introduction to programming, controllers, and making these robots. Dont know how you guys do it.

Get three servos (~$5 each) and make a single hexapod leg and do some testing. Get five servos and make a robotic arm out of craft sticks and hot glue. Get some lower level experience before attempting a complex DIY hexapod.

I’d suggest that you get a couple of cheap servos and a some potentimeters or better yet an XY joystick which is 2 pots and drive them with using this tutorial. You’ll see that you need to double up some of the code in there to run two servos from 2 pots.

(That joystick has a push button too, so you could use that to turn something off and on.)

The Fritzing pic shows how my daughter (also 16) has hers hooked up. She mounted the two servos in a pan and tilt bracket with a laser mounted on top

Cool im gonna make the thing with the Arduino Board. i can use any Arduino Board right? My local (well downtown) store has the "Arduino Fio" for like 25 bucks. And also, after this little project, is there anything a bit more advanced to make? like a step or 2 ahead? it would be easier for me to pick up parts for those projects at the same time too since weather is bad here and id rather not go to downtown twice to pick up parts i could have gotten all in one time. thank you guys!

Sorry but I can’t answer the question about the Fio, only Arduino we used so far is the Uno.

I think it would be an idea to get some kind of starter pack along with the Arduino- you’ll need a bunch of LEDs, resistors, transistors and so on. Look at sites like Sparkfun and Adafruit.

Pic below is the two servos in their pan / tilt bracket with the laser stuck on top with a cable tie. It’s a bit top-heavy so she rigged up a bracket with Meccano and attached it into a small wooden box to stop it falling over. (Apologies for cr@p pic…)

Edit… Oh, and a breadboard and a box of jumper wires. And a soldering iron. An a multimeter… There’s goes your Christmas money!! 8)

looks to be a smaller version of the uno.

might not be the best option for beginning. don't they have the uno there? or i would try ebay, but if you want it right away i think you are going to have to pay more and go to radioshack if you have one locally.

Uno's a good choice.... as someone pointed out on the Forum yesterday, lots of shields are made to fit it. I just wish it had a micro USB connector, but wth, can't have everything.

@jdmkid, fyi "shields" are extra boards that go on top of the main Uno to provide extra functionality... Have a look here where you can see the Arduino-branded boards and shields, as well as their starter kit. Bear in mind Arduino is open source, so there are loads of Arduino-like but not Arduino-branded boards and shields.

Thanks for the picture! And no worries, my dads got a multimeter and a fairly good soldering iron. Just need to get the jumper cables, the Adruino Board and resistors, etc. and im sure my dad wont mind getting me those :grin: Also, im guessing no, but theres no code for this? On the linked tutorial theres a code on the bottom, but on this is seems its just you and the joystick controlling the servos right?

edit: and i just googled “arduino boards in toronto” and got this store in downtown that had them, but they dont have the uno. might have to just order it online. I just didnt want to wait since its my winter holidays :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep the code drives one servo from one potentiometer. But elsewhere in the tutorials there's one for reading a button and acting on it, so basically you just splice that code into the other code and then you have a program (or a sketch, in Arduino-speak) which drives a servo and acts on a button. Then double up the parts which handle the one pot / servo to handle the second one, taking care to rename pins etc.

What you'll probably want to do, once you've got yourself some kit, is work through the tutorials one at a time, and then kindof bolt bits of code together to do more interetsing stuff. More tutorials here at Adafruit btw..... there is no shortage of info and help for this stuff.

Alrighty cool thanks! ill read through some of this tonight and tomorrow. and just asking, arduino is used for many large projects also right? like the spider robot i posted - arduino can be used successfully for that kind of project right?

edit: they have this starter kit for about 50 bucks