There are not many arduino robot kits available. Especially ones that can roll around and easily be reprogrammed. But here are a few kits that are easy and fun to build and can take a student from novice all the way to expert.
The Mbot STEM Robot Kit is a simple programming robotics toy. The kit can be assembled in about an hour and then programmed with the mBot graphical coding tools. The Mbot is also expandable using new sensors. But the kit is a bit difficult to change physically. Mounting new components can be difficult with the steel frame.
mBot costs 39-95 dollars.
The LittleBot Budget is a simple Arduino programming robot kit. It can be 3D printed from scratch or built from a kit. Once it is assembled the kit can be programmed with Arduino or Scratch Tools.
As the students' skills grow the LittleBot Budget can have accessories added that can add new skills and programming challenges for kids to try. The arduino kit is also supported with a number of tutorials for assembly as well as the various expansions for the kit.
The LittleBot Budget costs 35-79 dollars
The Zumo 32U4 Robot Kit is a highly integrated, user-programmable and customizable tracked robot. It is a metal framed robot and can be programmed with the Arduino Environment with little difficulty.
The robot is small and packed with power. Designed to be used in robot sumo competitions this little arduino robot can pack a punch.
The Cost of the Zumoe is $140
So many arduino robot kits have hundreds of screws, that get lost in a classroom, and no resources at all when it comes to tutorials for building the kit or programming it. When they do they are just a large bill for the school. The Littlebot Budget is an arduino robot kit that was made to be easy. Easy to build, easy to program, easy to pay for.
The LittleBot Budget is a basic arduino robot kit. It is designed to have the minimum needed to teach kids the basics of robotics. An arduino brain, some basic eyes, and a means of locomotion. From that basis kids can learn basic programming skills, and even go up into more advanced projects
While the bare minimum LittleBot Budget is an arduino board with eyes and wheels, more can be added. The kit has been designed to to take on new attachments and sensors. And we are working hard to put together the tutorials and resources needed to make it easy to add those expansions.
Currently we have a number of Arduino Code Samples we are building out the circuit diagrams and will be posting videos of these demos as time passes.
If you would like to learn more you can visit the LittleBot Budget Main Page.
The LittleArm 2C is a 3D Printed Arduino Robotics Kit. We have just released a new video tutoriorial about how to build the robot arm. Check it out below.
Just a quick announcement. We have posted an updated version of the LittleArm 2C Sketch/firmware. It changes the startup mode so that the arm does not jump to such an odd position.
The new LittleArm 2C arduino code can be downloaded below. (Make sure you upload this code before attempting to use any of the 2C apps.)
So a few changes are coming to LittleBots and the LittleBots Store. We are going to be adding 3rd party robots that we approve. There are so many good 3D printed Kits out in the world right now that we wanted to be sure that we are helping all of these good ideas grow and prosper.
The first 3rd party kit we're adding is the Otto DIY+ and Otto Humanoid 3D Printing files and kits.
Otto DIY is an open-source walking Arduino Biped robotics kit created by Acrobotics. All of the primary parts can be downloaded and 3D printed and the electronics and servos can be purchased individually from our parts store or as a kit.
The Otto is a more advanced robotics kit, requiring some soldering and certainly knowledge of using the Arduino IDE. But there are numerous software examples, and basic tutorials for assembly, as well as its own Bluetooth app.
We will be building out and publishing tutorials and resources for Otto over the next several months so that it can be turned from a robotics kit into a true STEM tool. Stay tuned for that great new content. Until then visit the Otto DIY+ Wiki for other resources and to contribute to the project.
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.
First off, let us say thank you. We have a tremendous community of people who buy our products, offer feedback, and are patient with us when we make mistakes. You guys are what make the wheels go round. Thank you so much.
LittleBots is a project that has been going for 2 years. We have created 7 different bots in total from the LittleArm to the Waterbot. But the time has come for change. Big change.
At LittleBots our goal has been "To get kids excited about technology and what they can do with it." We first targeted this goal by making kits that simply did not exist anywhere else. Products that were unique and could hold the interest of a student. But there are two parts to a STEM education kit. The Kit, and the content around it. The instructions, applications, tutorials, and possibilities. We have made some great kits. But our content has been lacking.
We have fought with this problem for a long time and have been searching for a solution to fix it. And that solution is video. It has to be video. Robots are changing all the time and they are fundamentally machines that can be so complex that a paragraph cannot describe what a 3 second video can. So we are going to start pushing harder to build online content in video format.
This new content push will include news, demonstrations, and full classes on components of robotics and engineering. And we will be using the LittleBots as the platform for this new content.
With this new direction, our product methodology will change. We will be eliminating some products and bringing on new ones. The LittleArm and the LittleBot Budget will be core of the curriculum to begin with. But as we grow we are going to display the creation of products as it occurs. Kickstarter will still be a big part of what we do. But the Kickstarters will change from a launch to a single flashsale. Bots that appear there may never appear again.
Now what bots are we thinking of? Well one big part of it will be revamping parts of the old bots. The LittleArm is due for an upgrade in software and design. And the Budget is going to be tweaked to be ideal for Classrooms. But we are also working on some ideas for all-terrain and some personal desktop bots. But all of this will begin to drop on youtube.
We want to be sure that our bots are not just toys. They were never meant to be toys. They are tools for teaching engineering and to get kids excited about it. If we stray from that mission then we are not adding anything to the world.
Thanks again everyone. Please subscribe on Youtube and let us know what you think.
-The Team at Slant
Boston Dynamics is one of the most influential robotics companies in operation today. They have created robots such as the Atlas Bipedal Robot, that can perform all kind of flips and tricks, to the Big Dog quadruped robot, that is know for being kicked a lot. But how long has Boston Dynamics existed? Who started it? And what else have the worked on?
In this Video we go over the history of Boston Dynamics and every robot that they have worked on. From the humble beginnings at the MIT Leg Lab up through RHex and, of course, Atlas and Spot.