Step #1: Gather Your Parts
- You can either gather the parts yourself or buy the Jameco CoasterBot parts bundle that we put together with them for our CoasterBot build project. It comes with all of the major parts you need (including the Ardweeny, the Breadboard Regulator, the servos, wheels, battery connector and battery snap, wire, etc.). See the Jameco page above for complete parts list.
- If you'd like to buy just the Ardweeny and Power Regulator, you can get the Ardweeny here and the Power Regulator here.
- These instructions assume that you've already assembled the Ardweeny and the Solarbotics Power Regulator based on the instructions that came with them.
- You also need to hack your servomotors for continuous rotation. One of the CoasterBot contestants created this handy how-to.
Step #3: The Breadboard Power Supply
- We’ll use a 9V battery to power the Solarbotics Breadboard Power Regulator. To hook it up, solder the positive (red) wire to the metal tab on the back of the power jack (as shown above), and the negative (black) wire to the metal tab on the side.
- Plug in the 9V battery, and flip the switch on the Breadboard Power Regulator to the ‘on’ position. If you’ve got it right, the red LED on the board should light up. Flip the switch back off for now.
Step #4: Breadboarding the Core Components
- Plug the basic components (power regulator, Ardweeny, and L293 motor driver) into the breadboard.
- It can be hard to tell exactly where to plug in everything by looking at the photo, so if you get confused, check out the layout diagram in Step 2.
Step #7: Adding the Battery Power Pack
The last thing to hook up is the AAA battery box, which will power the motors. This plugs directly into ground and Pin 8 pin on the L293D motor controller.
Step #8: Downloading the Sample Code
- All right! That’s all the wiring you need to do to build a control system brain for your robot! The final step is to try downloading a program to the Ardweeny, and see if you can make the robot work!
- Make sure you have the Arduino software set up on your computer, then grab this sketch, and upload it to your bot. If everything is set up correctly, the motors should start to spin in a pattern!
Step #9: Assembling the Chassis
Having a working control system is fun, but it’s way cooler when it is actually attached to a chassis, so that it can start to move! To get you going as quickly as possible, we present our patented method for making a quick robot: double-sided tape! For this simple chassis, we’ll skip the screws and glue, and use double-sided foam tape to patch everything together. It should work great for prototyping; however you will probably want to think of a more permanent solution. Once you do, just pull the components off of this temporary body and use them in your next chassis!