“We have built a combined balancing and 3 wheel robot for edcuational use in schools and after school educational programmes. The robot is based on an Arduino Uno, a custom shield (all construction details provided), a Li Ion battery pack (all construction details provided) or a 6xAA battery pack, a MPU 6050, a BLE bluetooth module, an ultrasonic module (optional) and a servo to move an arm. There are also extensive education material available ready for use in class rooms.
The attached document is the instructions given to kids to build the robot in a series of steps which provide educational learning at each step.
There are 7 exercises which can be done before the full balaning / 3 wheel robot sketch is uploaded. Each of the exercises focus on a particular aspect of the robot, e.g. the accerometer/gyroscope sensor, interacting with a smart phone app using bluetooth, the ultasonic sensor, the servo etc. The exercises are integrated into the physical construction of the robot, so when enough of the robot has been constructed to do an exercise, the sketch for the exercise can be uploaded and done. This helps to focus the fun of building the robot with educational learning.
It was decided to use an Arduino Uno becasue is it extremely common and used in many educational setings. We have also used, other than the shield, standard of-the-shelf modules which are readily available. The chassis is 3D printed and the design available on TinkerCAD.
We have also found that this robot helps to inspire and provide confidence in kids to think about building their own creations and that it is not difficult to do so.
All the sketches are well commented and more advanced students can modify or write their own sketches. The robot can form a general platform for learning about the Arduino and electronics.
The robot also works with the “LOFI blocks” app ( https://lofiblocks.com/en/ ), so kids can write there own code in a graphical environment similar to SCRATCH.
Note the video above shows the mark 1 model, the robot now uses the RemoteXY bluetooth app (which is available for both Andriod and Apple devices), the MPU 6050 is now located on the robot shield (not in the slider at the bottom of the robot - although you can still locate it there if you wish) and has an optional ultrasonic sensor which can be plugged into the shield.
(1) pitch angle and PID control is based on software by Brokking: http://www.brokking.net/yabr_main.html
(2) RemoteXY app: http://remotexy.com/en/help/
(3) LOFI Blocks and LOFI Robot app: https://lofiblocks.com/en/http://www.eng.lofirobot.com/
(4) arms based on jjrobots: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2306541/files
(5) all sketches are stored on Arduino Create: https://create.arduino.cc/
(6) 3D designs are stored on TinkerCAD: https://www.tinkercad.com/#/
Disclaimer: This material is provided as is, with no warranty of the correctness or otherwise of this material. Use of the 3rd party iPhone and Android apps named in this document is at the users own risk. The robot can use a Lithium Ion battery pack, use of the battery and power pack is at the users own risk. The authors assume no liability for losses suffered by any person or organisation using this material or from building or use of the robot.
To make the robot from scratch, there are many steps and it will take quite a lot of time and care. You will need a 3D printer, and be good at soldering and construction of electonic circuits.
The parts required to make the robot are:
(1) 3D print the chasis and caster wheel extension
(2) Arduino Uno
(3) Build the robot shield
(4) MPU 6050, AT9 BLE Bluetooth module, optional ultrasonic module (all plug into the shield)
(5) SG90 servo
(6) TT motors and wheels
(7) Build the power pack (either 6xAA battery pack or Li Ion battery pack)”