Project showcase
LittleBot Budget: Affordable Arduino Robotics Kit

LittleBot Budget: Affordable Arduino Robotics Kit © CC BY-NC-ND

A simple Arduino robotics kits for STEM education and groups.

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Components and supplies

Necessary tools and machines

3drag
3D Printer (generic)

Apps and online services

About this project

About

The LittleBot Budget Parts and Kits can be Purchased on the Littlebots Website.

With the LittleBot Budget we wanted to make it as easy as possible for kids to get started with robots. So we boiled a robot down to its very essence. A way to move, a way to think, and a way to see. Once those are in place you have a robot that you can do a surprisingly large amount with. And it is affordable enough that any classroom, group, or individual and get and build a whole mess of the them, really opening up robotics to anyone who is interested.

But we went a step further. Once we had the basic robot created. We designed a way to easily expand it. So the robot can grow as the student's knowledge and skill grows.

Research Us

Expandable

We wanted a robotics kit that a student or maker can add to easily. But we wanted to be sure that there was a baseline set. So we went ahead and made a dozen detachable expansions that can all be 3D printed and downloaded for free on Thingiverse

You can also design and 3D print your own expansions to customize your LittleBot and get use out of the 3D printer that has been sitting in the corner of the Classroom for so long.

Many of these expansions have or allow for adding circuits and sensors. But these only work with code. On the LittleBot Budget Build page code examplesare ready to go for every demo you saw on the Video.

  • Control with Android App
  • Android Bluetooth Application
  • Autonomous Wander
  • Line Following
  • Wall following
  • Fire Sensing
  • Light Follow
  • Light Avoid
  • Sing Happy Birthday
  • Speak to the Troops
  • Sound Sensing

Since the LittleBot is Arduino-Based it can be reprogrammed with any arduino tool. This includes the Arduino IDE, Blockly, and other graphical programming tools, making it much easier for more levels of students to enjoy it and learn programming from it.

As we add more content around the LittleBot

Simple.

The Basic LittleBot Budget is a basic arduino programming platform. It has a brain, sensors, and locomotion. The three things that make any robot. From this foundation a child can learn whether they are interested in robotics and coding and use it to add more sensors as their skills improve.

Electronics

The LittleBot Budget revolves around the exact same electronics board used by all of the other LittleBots. The Meped board was designed by SpierceTech and is a remarkably expandable platform for arduino.

Primary Expansions

  • 8 Servo Slots
  • Digital IR Input
  • Ultrasonic Input
  • Bluetooth
  • ESP8266 Wifi
  • 8 Analog Pins

All of the LittleBots also use the Arduino Nano We love the Arduino because it lets students and makers tap into the huge global community built around Adafruit. We don't want to hinder the creation and hacking of this thing.

We have also created a BreadBoard Backpack and Sensor Skirt, so it is easy to add your own new circuits to the LittleBots.

Mechanical Design.

Simple

2 screws, 3 plastic parts, 5 electronic components. 15 parts total.

  • Assembles in Minutes
  • Just need one screwdriver to assemble
  • Can be disassembled and reused for later classes.

When we started making the LittleBot Budget the goal was to make a kit that revolved around a single monolithic piece. We shot for no fasteners, and we wanted to be able to have anyone build a bot in 10 minutes so that they could be used in 1 hour introduction courses on robotics and arduino.

We hit all of those. The LittleBot budget is the simplest robot in existence. Most equivalent kits begin with at least 50 parts, composed of endless screws to lose, laser-cut parts, and complicated wiring leads to get confused.

That is all gone. The LittleBot Budget can be assembled at a show booth, in a classroom, or at an event quickly and by anyone. There is nothing on it that does not have to be there.

Schematics

LittleBot Wiring Chart
Littlebot budget wiring locations r6zqqlke1h

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