RoughBot Lesson 1 (of 5)

Components used in this lesson: electronic breadboard; USB cable (standard to mini); Arduino Nano.

Last week a began a series of RoughBot lessons with Mazenod College.

Completed RoughBot

The purpose of RoughBot is to build a programmable robot with off-the-shelf components, and to keep the price as cheap as possible. At this stage, a single RoughBot can be built for between AU$80 to $100.

The purpose of the lessons are to introduce students to the programmable interface of the Arduino chip (the brain of the RoughBot), and to examine how to then connect this chip to other components (such as wheels.)

Arduino Nano, the brain of RoughBot

Lesson The First gave the students an introduction to the robot they will be building. We then examined our Arduinos for defects and bent pins, before inserting them into a breadboard. Most students had not encountered electronic breadboards before, and we spent a little time discussing how they worked.

Interfacing with the RoughBot’s brain

As the RoughBot will be constructed around the Arduino brain, we spent time making sure they connected without problem to the students’ computers. This way we could be sure that we had a complete set of working components before moving onto the next lesson.

Making sure the Arduino pins are straight

As the lesson occurred at lunchtime, we lost time at the start and the end. As such, the actual lesson and construction needed to be compressed to around thirty minutes. The next four lessons have been structured to take this time limitation into account.

Next lesson: My First Arduino Program.

(If you would like more information about the RoughBot lesson, drop me a line from my contact page.)