Projects With Ryan Slaugh: Hack-Bot

Robotics Technology
Projects With Ryan Slaugh: Hack-Bot

By Ryan Slaugh

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In this video I will show you the steps to building your own robot and talk a little about the programming it to move. I wanted to create a robotics platform that allowed me to modify things anytime I needed to.  I also wanted to build it with parts that I had around my shop already.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.01.57 PM
The Hack-Bot on the move. Yes, the wheels are tuna fish cans with rubber bands for traction.

Combining these two goals, I came up with the Hack-Bot. Once complete, you can mix, match, change, and experiment all you want with the platform.

Please check out the video and click here for two Arduino sketch files I created for the project. The schematic is below.

See the full series here.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.43.14 PM

14 thoughts on “Projects With Ryan Slaugh: Hack-Bot

  1. Manohar. M (@ManoharOfficial) says:

    Would Make Magazine ever get into the business of selling kits for these projects? Because When I see these type of projects all my head’s thinking is “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY” but in India there is no Radio Shack or Best Buy to keep me supplied. So please make it Make. Please

  2. John Horton says:

    These need to be continuous rotation servos, correct? Did you modify normal servos or purchase some set up that way already?

    The motors and PIR sensors were powered via the separate 9V battery and voltage regulator. Is this because you can’t get enough current through the Arduino? The ground to those components goes back to the negative battery terminal, correct? (not the Arduino ground)

    1. Ryan Slaugh says:

      Yes, they are continuous rotation servos. The only modification was to drill some of the mounting holes on the servo gear head to a larger size in order to get the screws to tap correctly.

      Yes, I powered the motors and sensors from a 9V battery because the Arduino cant supply enough current – especially for the servos. The Arduino actually has an onboard regulator that provides 5V for its power, derived from Vin. This could be used to power the PIRs, as they only take around 3-4mA each.

      All the grounds: negative terminal of battery, grounds of motors, grounds of sensors, AND Arduino ground are connected together.

      1. John Horton says:


  3. Dennis says:

    Is it a possibility to get a parts list? Also, would it be possible to give me a step by step for all of the wiring, and possibly some code to use as a launch pad?

    1. Ryan Slaugh says:

      The electronics parts list:
      2 continuous rotation servos from Parallax
      4 PIR sensors from Parallax
      1 Arduino Mega
      2 LM7805 voltage regulators
      Jumper wires
      9V battery connector
      9V battery
      Breadboard space

      The mechanical parts are shown in the video (foam core, tuna fish cans, etc) but can be modified to match what you have on hand.

      The schematic should show all the connections for wiring. Do you have any specific questions?

      The link for the code is in the description of the video.

      1. Dennis says:


  4. Heather Wilt says:

    Where is the range sensor in the schematic? Is it included in your programming since it is in the video?

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Ryan Slaugh is a hardware and software engineer with over 15 years of experience designing and building different systems. While he has a few college degrees, his best training came from growing up on a farm and working with his father who was also an electrician. Ryan works regularly with woodworking, metal work, electronics, and software. Ryan also has a love of tools and collects as many as he can.

View more articles by Ryan Slaugh


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