Over the past five weeks, you’ve been following along with the Beginner Bots series where we walked through the process of building, wiring, and programming our robots to move, follow lines, and avoid objects. If you’ve enjoyed these tutorials, my fee to keep them free is simple: click the 5-STAR REVIEW button at the bottom of the article. Then share the article with your friends! The more people I can help with this blog, the more people will be equipped with the skills for an automated future. Thanks for your support!
Now let’s jump into the bulk of today’s Beginner Bots Lesson. Rather than create an article around a very specific subject, I want to give you a chance to drive your learning.
In case you missed an article, here they are! Go check them out before starting this lesson!
- Lesson 1: Select your robot kit & configure your computer
- Lesson 2: How to build a robot & basics of sensors
- Lesson 3: Let’s get our robots moving with autonomous commands
- Lesson 4: Follow & Avoid Lines with Infrared Sensors
- Lesson 5: Avoid objects using Ultrasonic Sensors
A lot of my students finish up these tutorials and then ask, “what’s next?” In this article, I’m going to outline some intermediate-level projects that you can do with your Arduino Robot.Think of this as an elective lesson, where you can pick and choose projects that interest YOU.
Ready to get started?
Intermediate Arduino Robot Projects
Each of these projects have been covered in-depth on the blog, but I wanted to provide you an overview of each, so that you can select projects that interest you most.
These are my picks for next-steps in modding out your Elegoo Smart Robot Car. You’ll notice a lot of these tutorials use this robot (because it’s quite a comprehensive kit for the price), but you could just as well use any Arduino controlled robot.
Create a Light-Following Robot using Photoresistors
This project shows you how to create a light sensor using an array of three photoresistors wired into the Arduino. You can read the values from the photoresistors and then determine whether or not it’s “bright” or “dark”.
Once you have the readings from the sensors, write code to command the robot to move toward or away from the light source. I recommend checking this tutorial out right after you’ve finished with tutorial #5 from the Beginner Bots series. Read the full article and tutorial here.
Program an IR remote to control your robot
Back by popular demand, we’re going to learn how to drive our robot around with a TV remote. Essentially, we’re going to take any TV remote that has an IR transmitter (there’s one included in the Elegoo Robot Kit), and program the buttons to drive our robot around.
How to control your robot using a bluetooth keyboard
Once you’ve mastered tele-op control using the IR remote, I recommend moving on to controlling your robot using bluetooth. You’ll need to have a bluetooth keyboard and bluetooth module to complete this project.
We will program our robot similarly to the bluetooth remote because we’re using keyed values to make decisions on how we want our robot to move. Rather than sending in a remote code, we’ll be sending in a letter or number through our serial monitor and using that value command the robot. Read the full step-by-step tutorial here.
Create a Wifi Controlled Robot using the WeMos D1 Mini
This project may be a little more on the advanced side of intermediate, but I wanted to include it as a challenge for those of you who are fascinated by Wifi devices and connectivity. Again, we’re taking control of our robot using an HTML webpage on our computer or smartphone and using that input to command our robot to move. This project requires a Wifi-enabled chip like the ESP-01or an Arduino Wifi Shield, or a Wifi-enabled Arduino board like the ESP8266 or the WeMos D1 Mini (which is what we used in this tutorial).
If you’re looking for a really cool project that allows you to drive your robot around with your iPhone (or from any browser), then this is a great starting point. Get the full details on how to configure this in the tutorial article, here.
How to power your robot using batteries
And last, but certainly not least, this isn’t a full-blown tutorial on how to create functionality. But, it is a tutorial that’s often over-looked when it comes to robotics: power. We spend majority of the time in development either tethered to our computers or connected to a power supply, then when it comes time to test our robots on the ground, it doesn’t work. Why?
It all comes down to your batteries. This article explores a simple way to configure your mobile robot with a battery pack so that you can cut the cord, and enjoy testing your robot on the ground. Read more here.
Master the small skills then move to the more detailed projects
It’s important to remember that robotics builds and expands on a multitude of skillsets. Therefore it’s critical that you master the small skills then move to the more detailed projects. If you don’t understand the basics, it’ll be hard for you to follow along with the vocabulary and concepts of more detailed topics.
My intent with the Beginner Bots course is to provide a fundamental platform in robotics that you can leverage to get into bigger and better robotics projects. Everyone wants to be able to do the really cool robotics projects; however, the basics in robotics are 100% necessary and very critical for success in this subject.
As always, I’m here to help you along the way. If you have questions or want to see more tutorials on a particular topic, feel free to drop a comment below!