SimpleBot Shield Kit
Ever wanted to build your own small robot? Maybe you're interested in NodeBots? The SimpleBot Shield is for you!The SimpleBot Shield kit is an Arduino-compatible shield that you can use to mount on a small wheeled robot. It features:
- Ultrasonic rangefinder sensor for obstacle avoidance.
- Light dependent resistor (LDR) wired for ambient light sensing, or to use lights for signalling.
- Four full colour RGB WS2812 "NeoPixel" LEDs, one for each corner of the robot.
- Servo headers, including two headers to attach "continuous rotation servos" to use as motors.
- On-board 6V power supply for optimal servo performance.
The SimpleBot Shield was produced in collaboration with Andrew Fisher, and inspired by his SimpleBot project to provide a simple DIY robot for use with NodeBots. However it can be used with many different kinds of robots. This example shows the SimpleBot Shield combined with a PiLeven, a Raspberry Pi, and some other parts to build a semi-autonomous robot running Linux with WiFi:
Building SimpleBot Shield
The SimpleBot Shield Kit is suitable for novice solderers, as all of the surface mount parts come pre-soldered. This provides a great learning experience for students or anyone interested in electronics and hobby robotics. It's also a great add-on if you've already got the Freetronics Arduino Experimenter's Kit.
In order to build a fully functional robot from your SimpleBot Shield, you'll also need some other parts:
- Arduino-compatible microcontroller board like the Freetronics Eleven that comes with the Freetronics Experimenter's Kit (for a simple robot) or a Freetronics PiLeven combined with a Raspberry Pi (to make a more fully-featured robot with WiFi support and other options)
- Two continuous rotation hobby servos to use as motors.
- Robot chassis. You can build a SimpleBot-style frame from cardboard, laser cut a chassis from the SimpleBot designs, or DIY your own design!
- Battery pack capable of at least 7.5V total output, for connecting to the DC In power on the Eleven. 6xAA or 8xAA battery packs are a good choice. Get a 2.1mm DC plug as well, for each connection to the Eleven.
See here for a complete step-by-step assembly guide.
- SimpleBot Shield Assembly Guide
- SimpleBot Software Getting Started Guide (Note: this guide was for the SD cards pre-configured specially for the Open Hardware Miniconf 2015 and not included with the kit, but the page also gives details of how the cards were prepared so you can make your own)
- Loading example SimpleBot sketches onto a PiLeven using a Raspberry Pi
- Andrew Fisher's SimpleBot GitHub repo (the inspiration for the SimpleBot Pi, lots of great information here)
- NodeBots home page
- Johnny Five supported platforms
- Example robot: SimpleBot Pi project from the Open Hardware Miniconf 2015
- Blog post about the SimpleBot Pi build session at the Open Hardware Miniconf 2015