Jun 11, 2015 | By Simon

When it comes to various 3D printing projects that cover multiple ‘Maker’ bases, it’s hard to disagree that robots certainly rank high up on that list.  Between the programming aspect to make the robot do whatever you want it to do to the actual physical design that is 3D printed, completing a robot-based project can be one of the more accomplishing DIY projects of them all - especially for young Makers who are getting started in STEM skills.  

While there are a myriad of robot projects out there though, some are more organized than others and are easier to pick up for first-timers.  Among others is the open source IoBot project.  

The IoBot is a simple Arduino-based robot that can be controlled by both mobile and computer applications via LAN or USB cable.  The IoBot application is capable of running on Android, Windows and Mac OS while the Arduino ‘brain’ is written in Python/Kivy.  The creators state that knowledge of programming languages isn’t necessarily required however any prior foundation in programming will certainly help in further modifying the code in the case that you may want to customize a particular robot command.  

As for the hardware components, other than approximately $70 worth of electronic parts that can be reused in other projects, all of the other parts are 3D printed.  For those that don’t have access to a 3D printer, the parts can be 3D printed using 3D Hubs with prices starting at approximately $30.

Aside from a 3D printer or access to a 3D printer, there are a few other tools needed to successfully complete the project. These include:

  • 1x Philips Screwdriver PH1
  • 1x Slotted Screwdriver Size 2 up to 3mm
  • 1x Spanner Size 4mm
  • 1x Allen Key Size 1.5mm
  • 1x Wire Stripper
  • 1x Wire Cutter
  • 1x Lighter

To ensure that the prints are created as intended for the project, a medium print resolution such as .25 mm will work best for the project while also cutting down on print time.  According the creators, some parts will need a small amount of support but everything is contained within the pre-existing STL files so there is relatively little that anybody has to do other than print the downloaded file as-is.  

The 3D printed parts consist of one right arm, one left arm, one head, one upper back body, one bottom back body, one front body, one IoBot base and finally, one base for Arduino with Breadboard.  

In addition to the 3D printed parts, the additional parts needed for this project include:

Electronic Parts:

  • 1x Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller Board
  • 1x Ethernet Shield WIZnet w5100 for Arduino
  • 4x TowerPro SG90 Micro Servo
  • 2x 5mm Round LED Light Emitting Diode
  • 2x 220ohm Resistor 0.25W

Other parts:

  • 4x AA Batteries
  • 1x Battery Pack 4x AA
  • 1x 6F22 9V Battery
  • 1x 6F22 Battery Snap with 2.5mm Power Plug
  • 1x Half-Size Solderless Breadboard
  • 14x Dupont Jumper Wire Male Connector 10cm Length
  • 7x Dupont Jumper Wire Male Connector 20cm Length
  • 4x Dupont Jumper Wire Male Connector 30cm Length
  • 2x 1/0.6mm Solid Wire 20cm Length
  • 4x 3mm Heat Shrink Cable Sleeve 2cm Length
  • 12x M2 Allen Bolt 10mm Length
  • 4x No 2 Self Taping Pozi Screw 6mm Length
  • 12x M2 Nut
  • 12x Stainless Stell M2 Washer
  • 4x Nylon M2 Washer
  • 1x USB A to B Cable
  • 1x Ethernet RJ45 Cable

Once the parts have been sourced, the project - like many other Arduino-based projects - is relatively straight-forwards and  focuses on installing the necessary code to the Arduino before assembling the wiring and 3D printed parts into the final and functional robot design.  

For those who are interested in the build, all of the necessary code, parts and in-depth build instructions can be located by navigating over to the IoBot website.  



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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