How to build an Arduino Robot Arm placed on RC Car

Arduino Robot Arm

Arduino Robot Arm

Arduino robots are always funny and definitely more enjoyable when combined with robotic arm! And today, I will walk you through the making of a simple Arduino Robot Arm that’s made of cardboard and how you can attach it over your Arduino Bluetooth RC Car / Robot that you have made so far through this series.

Yes, this is another tutorial from the robotic series tutorials which sadly, ends with this blog by adding the last but most enjoyable feature to our robot, Arduino Robot Arm!

About the Robotic Series

I have started this robotics series with a simple Arduino Bluetooth RC Car from cardboard which allows you to control it with the 1Sheeld App within 3 different ways; Gamepad, Accelerometer, and Voice-recognition. Then, I made the second tutorial which is adding obstacle avoiding functionality to the car to make it an Arduino Obstacle Avoiding Robot. The third project was an Arduino Line Following Robot by using the phone’s camera to detect white/black lines.

 

How it works

Again, 1Sheeld has more to offer beyond what you can imagine deploying into your Arduino project and it presents the Orientation Shield which I used to simulate my hand gestures in the 3 spatial dimensions: x, y, z as (Up vs Down), (Right vs Left) and (Right Rotation vs Left Rotation). In addition, I used the Proximity Shield which enables you to simulate the hand open & close mechanism. Briefly, with these 2 shields, you will be managing to simulate all the robotic arm gestures.

Orientation Shield

 

Proximity Shield in Action

 

Note: the Orientation Sensor readings differ from phone to another and from iOS to Android. So, you need to monitor the Orientation Shield and change the values of each axes x, y, z according to the values you get by moving your hand around. You will edit in this code by trying and trying till you get the most accurate gesture simulation you want.

Moreover, you can jump to the other 2 modes, Autonomous & Line following, anytime. Thanks to the amazing GLCD Shield which enables you to create radio buttons on your phone’s screen via coding their names, places on the screen and triggering the selection of each so that your robot know when to go manually, autonomously or Line Following and even gives you the option turn the Arduino Robot Arm on or off so that you can move your hand freely without getting the arm moving all the time! .. Cool .. hah!

 

Let’s go ahead and see how you can build your own Arduino Robot Arm

Before you start …

If you are just getting your 1Sheeld out of the box then go ahead with this 1Sheeld getting started tutorial or simply check the 1Sheeld User’s Manual.

And if you didn’t experience the previous tutorials about making the RC Car with its obstacle avoiding & line following modes, then please check it here as you will need the car/robot body in this tutorial.

So, let’s make it and see what hardware components you will need…

Gather Components

 

Build the Arduino Robot Arm

You will need cardboard to make the arm of the robot with the gripper then you will fix it over the robot body. All making is explained in the video above.

To make it easy for you, I have designed all arm parts with the exact dimensions …

Here’s it:

Caution: these are the dimensions in cm so you need to draw them, not to print and stick it to the sheet! They are not in real size. it’s just a guide!

 

Hardware Connections

In addition to the connections you already have inside your car, connect the 4 servo motors as follows:

  • Signal pin of the vertical servo motor with                     >>       pin 8 of Arduino Mega
  • Signal pin of the Horizontal servo motor with               >>       pin 9 of Arduino Mega
  • Signal pin of the Rotational arm servo motor with       >>       pin 11 of Arduino Mega
  • Signal pin of the Gripper servo motor with                    >>       pin 12 of Arduino Mega
  • Vcc pin of all 4 servo motors with                                     >>       5v pin of the Regulator
  • GND pin of all 4 servo motors with                                  >>       GND of the circuit

 

Caution: It’s better to use another 5v regulator for the 4 servo motors voltage supply beside that one that’s already used in the first tutorial; Arduino Bluetooth RC Car. This is to ensure sufficient current to the bigger (hobby) servo motors as the 5v regulator has a limited current supply that it can output and it may be not enough for both the Arduino, 1Sheeld, sensors at one side and the 4 Servo motors on the other side.

Code

Here’s the full code you are going to upload to the Arduino Mega inside your Arduino Robot Arm:

 

 

Code uploading

  • Connect the Arduino Mega via your PC.
  • Then, switch the 1Sheeld power to operate on 5v (Not the 3.3v):
  • 1Sheeld has 2 modes: Uploading mode and Operating mode. You can switch between them using the switch close to the Digital pins and is called “SERIAL SWITCH”.

As you will use Serial pins RX3 & TX3, you don’t have to move the switch to the Uploading mode at any time! Yeah, just keep it on the Operating mode always during the code upload and while you are playing with the car.

Finally, upload the code …

Run the Arduino Obstacle Avoiding Robot …

After that, open the 1Sheeld App, select these 5 shields:

– Gamepad
– Accelerometer
– Voice Recognition
– GLCD
– Slider
– Buzzer
– Face detection
– Color detection
– Pushbutton
– proximity
– orientation

Then reset the Arduino Mega, cover your car and select the Auto mode from the GLCD Shield screen and release your monster Arduino Obstacle Avoiding Robot!

Note: if the Face Detection/Color Detection Shields didn’t open the preview then try to remove the App version you downloaded from the google play store and download & install it from the website here.

 

More …

So far, we have made 4 projects; Arduino Bluetooth RC CarArduino Obstacle Avoiding Robot, Arduino Line Following Robot and this Arduino Robot Arm project … So, yes .. we have reached the end of this robotic series and now I can say with all confidence that you can play with your robot FREELY. 😉😃

Finally, if have any questions please let me know in the comments below .. and stay tuned for the upcoming tutorials ^_^




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