Make: Projects

Hack the Snap Circuits Rover

Build a motion activated programmable robot out of Snap Circuits

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  • Difficulty: Moderate
Hack the Snap Circuits Rover

Snap Circuits is an educational toy that teaches electronics with solderless snap-together electronic components. Each component has the schematic symbol and a label printed on its plastic case that is color coded for easy identification. They snap together with ordinary clothing snaps. The components also snap onto a 10 X 7 plastic base grid analogous to a solderless breadboard. There are several Snap Circuits kits that range from a few simple circuits to the largest kit that includes 750 electronic projects.

All the kits include manuals printed in color with easy to follow diagrams to assemble the projects. The illustrations for each project look almost exactly like what the components will look on the base grid when finished. Because the electronic symbol is printed on each electronic component, once the project is completed, it will look almost exactly like a printed electronic schematic.

Elenco does not currently have a Snap Circuits programmable robot product. I find this surprising since Elenco has developed the Snap Circuits Rover, which is a remote controlled rover, and the Snap Circuits Micro that teaches you how program the PICAXE microcontroller and how to build circuits for the PICAXE, but Elenco has yet to develop a product that combines the PICAXE with the Snap Circuits Rover.



Step #1:

Hack the Snap Circuits Rover
  • In this article you will learn how to hack the Snap Circuits Rover by adding a PICAXE micro controller and building a Snap Circuits programmable robot.
  • First, you will learn how to install the PICAXE Programming Editor (the PICAXE is the microcontroller, or computer brain for your programmable Snap Circuits robot).
  • Next, you will learn what a simple PICAXE program looks like and what it does.
  • Then you will learn about the various parts and electronic components used to build robot.
  • You will then assemble robot.
  • Finally you will learn how to program and test the robot.
  • For the complete set of instructions go to: