Arduino Robotics Series, from a car to a robot arm

Arduino Robotics

Arduino Robotics

Arduino keeps standing out from the crowd of all-around development boards due too its ease of use and budget price.

As a result, this has enabled almost anyone to get his own idea into life no matter how crazy or even useless to the whole world it was, except for its maker!

Also, it has been noticeable that makers communities are reaching the stars of the recent era with an enormous bunch of DIY projects are around there with their tutorials.

Almost, anything that may come up to your mind and can be achieved with an Arduino board, you will find it already has been made with one or more makers! .. Okay, so am I innovative enough to come up with a whole new DIY Arduino project that no one has ever made before?

Well, I don’t claim that I am that smart but also, not that shy of not thinking that I can build something totally new with the help of commonly Arduino DIYs around me; Arduino robot projects!

And who doesn’t like to feel the excitement of seeing something he programmed moves like a baby!

Yes, I am falling in love with Arduino robotics projects and the new thing I have built here is a multi-function Arduino robot by making use of some already made Arduino robot projects to come up with my own Arduino Monster Robot.


What exactly this monster robot do

Basically, it’s a 4 wheels Arduino car made of cardboard/foam that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone as a traditional Arduino RC Car .. BUT, with some freaking awesome features all in the same car:

  • Can be controlled with 3 different ways using the phone; Gamepad, accelerometer gesture and voice commands.
  • Autonomous drive by avoiding both obstacles with ultrasonic sensors and humans faces with phone’s camera.
  • Line follower robot with no IR sensors at all .. just detecting line with the phone’s camera!
  • Robotic arm placed on the top of the car that is controlled with the phone’s orientation gestures with a hand gripper.

And guess what, all these things you can make with only one shield! It’s the 1Sheeld since it has all you need to achieve the 4 projects and more endless features you can discover here.

Next, I will mention a good description with all the shields I used for each project with the project tutorial page & video in the Arduino Robotics series section below.


Arduino Robotics series projects

1- Arduino Bluetooth RC Car


The first project in this Arduino Robotics Series is a basic 4 wheels robot that uses 4 DC motors with a driver and Arduino mega that can be controlled with a joystick/gamepad. But this wasn’t enough to me as I found that 1Sheeld can use phone’s accelerometer and MIC to enable control with the phone’s gesturing and voice commands, respectively.

How to use:

Once you open the App and get connected to the 1Sheeld, navigate to the Gamepad and play with your car.

Whenever you want to use the voice commands, just navigate to the Voice-Recognition and press on START to let the phone listen to your command whether it was “forward”, “backward”, “right” or “left”.

Finally, you can activate the Accelerometer control by navigating to the GLCD and check on Accelerometer

And .. yes ..  was about to forget that you can change the car bottom crazy RGB light between red, green and blue from the Gamepad buttons or even turn it all off “)

Shields used:

How to make:

Follow the steps in this video …


2- Arduino Obstacle Avoiding Robot


This is all about obstacles avoiding using the previous robot I built with 3 ultrasonic sensors and a servo motor. the robot avoids things and people at the same time! Thanks to the 1Sheeld’s Face Detection Shield which enables me to detect any human face ahead and move the robot away from.

How to use:

Just navigate to the GLCD and select the “Auto” option and watch your robot moving autonomously!

Almost, the error percentage is at its least value thanks to the well-designed & tested distribution of the sensors to avoid all obstacles ahead as possible as it can.


Also, the robot avoids humans once detects any face by using the Face Detection feature with the phone’s camera:

And guess what? You can, surely, back to the manual control whether with the Gamepad or Accelerometer:

Shields used:

How to make:

Follow the steps in this video …


3- Arduino Line Following Robot


The good thing about this project is that if you have already made the previous 2 projects, Arduino Bluetooth RC Car and Arduino Obstacle Avoiding Robot of this Arduino Robotics series, then you will need nothing to build, no components or tools, no materials .. just upload the line following project code and you are ready to go!

Briefly, the robot can track any color, not only white and black. Thanks to the Color Detection Shield of the 1Sheeld, now your phone’s camera will detect the line color and 1Sheeld will make your robot follows the line.

When detecting black on the left but middle and right are still white, that means the line is turning right.

When detecting black on the right but middle and left are still white, that means the line is turning left.

When detecting white on the left, middle and right, that means the line is going straight forward.

How to use:

All you need to do is to prepare the track:

And select the “Line following” option from the GLCD and release your robot over the track.

Again, you can back to other modes; “Manual” and “Auto” by selecting any one from the GLCD screen:

Shields used:

How to make:

Follow the steps in this video …


4- Arduino Robot Arm


Here comes the last but most enjoyable project of this Arduino Robotics series; a robotic arm with a gripper. It’s placed over the car/robot surface and can be controlled with your hand gestures.

How to use:

After all, I guess you are familiar now with the robot before even you start building it! Yes, select the “enable robotic arm” and control the arm and gripper with your hand gestures and close/open, respectively.

It’s noticeable here that the “enable robotic arm” is just a checkbox, not a radio option! This is to let you choose it with the manual mode so that you can drive the robot and grip things on its way .. just at the same time!

Shields used:

How to make:

Follow the steps in this video …


Cardboard vs Laser cut/3D printed DIY

Getting all this headache of drawing the robot faces over the cardboard/foam sheet ..

Then cut them all ..

And glue together ..

Furthermore, bake to make holes and customizations required for outer components like ultrasonics ..

Seems like you think I have chosen the hardiest way to make it but I think you missed up the enjoyable part of making it manually instead of CAD design and laser-cut parts!

Come on!! .. release the maker child inside you and get your hands a bit dirty here and feel the excitement of traditional design with a pencil and ruler.


Struggles & Tips along the way of this Arduino Robotics journey

Here are some points you need to pay attention for as I have experienced them myself while going through the making for all projects:

      • Be careful while using the glue gun with the foam material. Just use a little bit of it if you went for the foam board instead of cardboard as the first gets dirty easily with extra use of glue.
      • use this thinner cutter tool instead of the traditional big one for more accurate cutting.
      • Hold the robot over anything that has a proper thickness so that you don’t push a lot on the glue of the wheels.
      • Fix the Arduino Mega properly so that you can plug the programming USB cable easily. Don’t do it like this silly, like me!
      • Place the side ultrasonic sensors with angels so that they detect more extreme angels for right and left.
      • While testing the line follower code, decrease the robot speed as possible as you can so that the robot takes the time to process the camera capturing.
      • While working on the last project, the robot arm .. it’s better to fix all the servo axes with SCREWS, not GLUE. This was a big mistake of mine as the glue couldn’t handle the weight of the arms. Surely, foam/cardboard has no wight to mention but with the wires, glue everywhere and obviously the servo motors, it will cost a noticeable weight.
      • You know the 2 wires those pull/push the gripper to close/open it? The more Non-bendable they were, the more accurate and stronger closing/opening you will get and hence, the more catching strength your gripper will be.

Also, for the electronics and connections:

      • I realized that one 5v regulator wasn’t enough to supply the required current for both servo motors and the Arduino, 1Sheeld and Ultrasonic Sensors. So, I had to use another 5v regulator to supply the servo motors and that’s what you should better do from the beginning.
      • The robot uses 2 x 3.7v series batteries, the popular power bank 18650 batteries to get about 7.4v. But with all these DC motors and servo motors, the 2 batteries will run out so quickly and that’s why I have used another 2 x 3.7v series batteries and connected them with the other parallelly to get the same 7.4v but with the double of the current .. you got it now, yes .. for longer operation time.
      • It’s better to connect a push button to the Mega reset pin and glue it to the robot body to easily reset without opening the robot.
      • Never use Blue LED for indication the power like what I did! As its light is freaking strong and uses much current that others like Red or Green on does.


Finally, I hope I could have made this Arduino Robotics Projects Series as easy to make as possible and you find these 4 projects inspiring for more awesome and funny Arduino projects.

For the meantime, I will be happy if you shared with me in the comments below any question in mind 🙂

Stay tuned for more awesome Arduino projects Series with 1Sheeld ….

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