Getting into DIY Arduino robotics can be intimidating if you’ve never programmed before. No matter how big your ideas are, if you can’t program your microcontroller, your robot won’t do much.
Luckily, there are ways to program an Arduino without writing a single line of code. Today, we’ll cover basic robotics using Xod, an Arduino-based open source IDU compatible with visual programming nodes.
Robot without code
Today’s project uses some standard robotics components to build a remote sensing robotic arm prototype. The combination of a servo motor and an ultrasonic distance sensor is common in hobby robotics and you will add an LCD screen.
The completed project will record the distance values on the LCD screen and move the servo arm in proportion to the distance detected by the range detector.
With a little imagination, it’s a robot arm that tries to grab you if you get too close. Frightening!
You will need :
- Arduino compatible board (this project uses Uno)
- LCD screen 16×2
- HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor
- hobby servo
- 10K potentiometer
- Resistor 220 ohm
- 5V power supply
- Breadboard and connecting wires
This project requires quite a few components, but any good Arduino starter kit should have everything you need. I found everything I needed in the Elegoo Uno R3 Starter Kit. Plus, every component listed above is super cheap and available at all good electronic hobby stores.
Adjusting the LCD screen
Add your LCD screen, 10k potentiometer and 220 ohm resistor to the breadboard according to the fritting diagram above.
Setting up an LCD can be quite intimidating the first time you do this, but keep referring to the diagram and you’ll get it! To keep it simple, I set up the LCD and Arduino pins exactly as in the official Arduino LCD tutorial, so refer to that if you get stuck.
Adding Servo and Ultrasonic Sensor
Now add your HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor to the breadboard. Connect pins VCC and GND to 5V and breadboard ground rails. Connect Contact trig to contact 7 Arduino, and contact echo to eight .
Then attach your servo. The color of the wiring here may vary, but as a rule, red connected to the 5 V pin, and brown or black — to the conclusion GND . The data line, which is usually yellow or orange color connects to contact 10 .
Finally, connect the ground rail on the breadboard to one of the pins grounding Arduino. This is it! You are all set.
Download Xod IDE
Go to Xod.io and download the free Xod IDE. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. There is also a browser version, but since you can’t use it to upload Arduino sketches, it won’t work for this project.
Download: Xod IDE for Windows, Mac and Linux
Flash with Xod
When you first open Xod, you’ll see a tutorial project; Alternatively, you can open it from the menu Reference . Expand a collection welcome-to-Xod in the project browser on the left and select 101-upload .