I now have a plan to build a robot for my cats to chase. So what next for Mousebot? A bit of shopping. Here’s what I’ve picked up to get started.
First, the Arduino board:
It’s an Arduino Duemilanove, so unlike older versions it can connect directly via USB. I bought mine from here, where they cost around £20 plus VAT. I got the “Starter Kit”, which includes a load of bits and bobs for a tenner or so more. Speaking of bits and bobs:
Here’s the stuff I’ve got for testing. Breadboard, jumpers, a few LEDs and switches, plus a few transistors, diodes and things – all from this kit. I also picked up some 1,000 ohm resistors (Maplin part M1K or in a big box of mixed resistors for a fiver) for use when testing with LEDs.
Also from Maplin, a 9V battery box (part L90AN) and 2.5/5mm DC plug (part L49AY):
Solder the red (positive) wire to the tip and black to the surrounding connector, as shown here, and this will power the Arduino when away from the PC. The box has a small on/off switch built in.
Buying motors turns out to be rather more difficult – there are loads. I figured I’d pick up just one and see if it does the job before buying a second for the other wheel, and settled on Maplin part WC68:
It takes 1.5 to 3v, and has a 100/1 gearbox built in. Hopefully it’ll work. And to power the motor:
That’s Maplin parts YR60 (box) and HF28 (the clip and wires). Plus two batteries, obviously. Next step: to get the Arduino working, and the motor under control. Tricky.