Every Littlebot Arduino Robotics Kit uses the same arduino robot control board. This is that board.
When LittleBots was first started with the LittleArm Original we used a standard Arduino Uno Board combined with a breadboard to do all of the wiring. While this was a good resource for teaching kids how to us breadboards and work with electronics it didn't make the arm easy to use. And for teachers that was a big factor. These kits had to be assembled and disassembled pretty easily in order to be useful in the classroom. So we worked on designing our new robots with an entirely new board.
We went looking for an arduino shield that could control servos and have a sensor input. There are a couple of them out there. But none are really plug-and-play. But then we ran across the Meped and SpierceTech.
They had created the Meped arduino robotics board and it was an ideal solution for arduino robotics kits. And we have used it as the brain for Littlebots ever since for its functionality and expandability.
The Meped arduino board uses an Arduino Nano as its main computing core. This allows you to control up to 8 servos with PWM signals. This means we can control complex robots like the LittleArm Big with just this board.
Power into the board is 6-9 V. And it has the amperage capabilities to power larger servos.
But you only have a robot if you have sensors. The Meped has a dedicated ultrasonic sensor port and digital IR input bus. These allow bots like the LittleBot budget to quickly be assembled with the ability to navigate via sensors.
The Meped arduino robot board also has a direct bluetooth port so the HC-05 or 06 arduino bluetooth modules can be directly plugged in with no hassle at all. This makes it possible for all of the Littlebots to be controlled by the LittleBots app or other android arduino apps.
Lastly the Meped board has several analog input pins that can be used with a breadboard to add even more sensors.
Overall the Meped arduino robotics board is a great foundation to build a robot on. Its range of servo control and sensor inputs ensures that you get going quickly. That is why we use it in all of our robots.
The LittleBot Budget is one of the simpliest and most expandable arduino robotics kits for STEM and hobbyists. With the launch and growth of this new robot we are working hard to create new content for projects and learning that can be done with the LittleBot Budget.
This post will outline the key steps, resources, and troubleshooting to get your Littlebot Budget Arduino Robot up and running.
Assembling the Littlebot Budget Arduino Robotics Kit
Assembly if of the Littlebot is very simple, practically intuitive. But you may need up on wiring, uploading the code, and connecting the app. As always there is the Tutorials page for other resources.
Here is the primary written tutorial for assembling the LittleBot Budget. Or you can simply follow the video below. Wiring diagrams are included.
Uploading code the LittleBot Budget Arduino Robot
The code for the LittleBot Budet is the same as that of the Original LittleBot. All the resources that apply to it can be used for the Budget. So in this case the primary sketch for the LittleBot is the latest version of the Walter_OS Sketch from the Downloads page
The Arduino Sketch must be uploaded to the arduino nano. Make sure that you select the correct variant of the Arduino Nano as the board in the IDE Menu when uploading. More details are in the tutorial.
Connecting the Littlebot Bluetooth App
The LittleBot Budget is a programming kit and build kit. Students are supposed to program it to perform all kinds of different functions. The app is a demonstration and not meant to be used often with the LittleBot Budget.
The App can be downloaded here. Make sure that you have uploaded the Walter_OS sketch to the Littlebots budget beforehand. Also follow the steps detailed in the video below when connecting the app. Not doing so will cause the app to fail because it is not properly connected.
Thats all. Your LittleBot is ready to use. There are all kinds of application. Sample codes are posted on this page. These include things like following the hand and fire detection. See more below.
Just some quick updates. We have been going through the site and revamping it. The tutorials pages have been updates and we are working to make it easier to find resources for each of our arduino robotics kits.
The youtube channel is also growing. We just passed 1000 subscribers. Lesson plans and tutorials are coming as we have time to film and create good content.
For all of those looking for more resources for the LittleBot Budget do check out the tutorials page. Videos and Instructables are up.
Let us know if there is any content that you need or questions that you have.
Thank you everyone.