What Programmer should I buy or make


What software that is under $50 or that I can make myself would be good for a robot that moves using wheels. The Robot will be tested on how different wheels will affect the robot on different surfaces.

Please read my other post under the Category Resources. It is called: How to make a robot.

All help will be highly appreciated on 1 or both posts.

You could buy the Baby Orangutan B-328 + USB AVR Programmer Combo. This is significantly less than $50 and it would allow you to make an autonomous robot. The software that goes along with this is all free. The Baby Orangutan’s built-in motor driver can be used to run two motors as long as they don’t draw too much current.



Thank you very much. The info you gave me is a great place for me to start. Now I don’t have to worry about making a programmer by myself.

Thank you again,


If you are still looking you could make a DIY bitbanger real cheap. Like $10. They are also incredibly easy to make.


Can you please tell me how to make one? Or can you give me a site that tells me how to make it?

Thank you,

Since it sounds like you are entirely new to robotics, you are going to want to use the easiest components you can, especially with your very short deadline.

Requirements to be fully autonomous are rather context dependent. It sounds like you mostly need it to simply drive around. You need to decide on exactly what the robot has to do.

A DIY solution is not going to help you as much as ready to run board is, unless you happen to have already excellent soldering and circuit skills. David’s solution of a BabyO and programmer would work quite well, but you will need to be careful of low voltage.

I would personally suggest something that can be programmed with the free Arduino IDE. Very easy to get started with, and can control a robot fine. The BabyO can be programmed with Arduino, though the IDE needs modified slightly. I can provide a download link to the modified IDE if you choose that route.

Can you, or do you have someone available who can solder? You wont be able to do much with a BabyO without soldering.

I thought of another possibility that would have you up and running rather quickly. You could simply use a Micro Maestro and Continuous rotation servos. Pololu only sells one size of wheels, but that can be interchanged fairly easily if you have some modified pairs, and you can also get silicone tires for them.

You could hot glue the servos and the electronics to a piece of cardboard, plastic or whatever. For mud (not really the greatest thing for robots), you probably want four wheel drive, and as much clearance as you can get.

The Maestro can run simple scripts by itself. All you would need is something to drop the 7.2V battery voltage down to 4.8-6V with enough current for four servos. This BEC would do fine, but requires soldering.

My father will help me with any soldering I’ll need to do.

I change the surface mud to gravel. I am going to do a track on every surface that turns, goes straight, goes up a bit, and goes down a bit. Should I make a line following robot or should I input the coordinates into the robot to go straight for x ft. turn a x degree turn, etc?

Thank you,

Gravel is much better than mud.

I don’t see a simple way to do line following on a gravel surface. Inputting “coordinates” as you described is generally called dead-reckoning. That will work very poorly, especially since you are testing how the surface the robot is on changes how the robot can move.

I think a simpler solution would be to have the robot follow a wall around the track using a distance sensor. Google “wall following robot” to get an idea of what I mean.

Which distance sensor would be best? I think your idea is great. If I put a wooden or metal wall around the track, my robot should be able to know where to go, using the sensors?

Can you please write a list of parts I will need to make the robot? A couple of instructions also, please?
Please respond as soon as possible so I can get my experiment going.

Thank you very much to everyone who has helped or who has viewed this page. If you have any more advice, don’t forget to post it!


Figuring out the list of parts from my two posts is pretty easy…

Four continuous rotation servos, Mini Maestro, BEC, wheels, two distance sensors, your batteries. You’ll need something for a chassis. I’ve already given you links.

The Sharp IR distance sensors will probably work fine. Pololu sells them. I’d suggest this one: https://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1136, as it has a short minimum range.

You will probably need some wire and small electronic interconnects to complete the build.

I’m not going to spell out your whole project for your, as that would make it my project. If you have specific questions then you usually get answers. But rarely will someone else do your work for you.

Darth Maker,

Thank you so much for EVERYTHING. You have really helped. I have to start my tests as soon as possible. You have given me more than enough help. I think I will but the parts I need today.

Thank you so much Darth Maker. I’ll post my robot on the Share Your Project topic. I’ll tell everyone that you helped me a lot with this. I’m practically sure that I will ask you some questions along the way.

Thank you again,