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Chapter 2. Building the Electronics

This chapter guides you through the electronic systems that will control your robot. Both the two wheeled and four wheeled platforms use the same modules, a pre-built Arduino board (Arduino Uno or Leonardo), and a motor controller kit. The motor controller featured in this book is the AFMotor shield from Adafruit Industries. Although other motor controllers can be used (see Appendix B) the AFMotor shield provides convenient connections for the signals and power to all the sensors and devices covered in this book. It is also capable of driving four motors, which is required for the four wheel drive chassis.

Although the attachment of the boards to the robot differs somewhat depending on the chassis, the building of the AFMotor circuit board kit is the same for both. If you don't have much experience with soldering, you should practice soldering on some wires before tackling the circuit board (you can find soldering tutorials here: http://www.ladyada.net/learn/soldering/thm.html).

Hardware Required

See http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920028024.do for a detailed parts list.

  • Tools listed in Tools

  • AFMotor shield kit

  • Three 6 way 0.1" female headers

  • Three QTR-1A reflectance sensors

  • Stripboard, three 3 way 0.1" headers for line sensor mount

  • Ribbon Cable, 11-way or wider, cut with a sharp knife as follows:

    • One 10 inch length of 5 conductor ribbon cable for line sensors

    • Two 10 inch lengths of 3 conductor ribbon cable for edge sensors

  • Optional: 3 way 0.1" female ...

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