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RedBot Mainboard: Arduino-based Robot Controller US$49.95

ROB-12097
RedBot Mainboard: Arduino-based Robot Controller


The RedBot Mainboard is a robotic development platform that works with the Arduino IDE. The RedBot is a motor driver and Arduino combination with various headers and connections, eliminating the need to stack multiple shields. By using the RedBot accessory boards and your own chassis, you can design a robot to suit your needs.

The RedBot Mainboard's ATmega328P microcontroller comes pre-programmed with the Optiboot (Arduino Uno) bootloader. By simply connecting a USB mini-B cable, you can program it in the Arduino IDE using the example code provided below, or using your own code. An FTDI FT232RL is used to facilitate the USB-to-Serial interface.

The size of the RedBot Mainboard is just under 5cm wide and under 10cm long.

Optional add-on sensors can attach to the main board via 6-pin headers or jumper cables to increase capabilities. You can add sensors to your order using the option selectors at the bottom of this page. There's also a socket for adding an XBee module.

See also the RedBot Kit which includes this mainboard, a chassis with motors and wheels, and some of the available sensors.

RedBot Mainboard Features

  • (1) Analog/Digital Headers These three headers provide I/O pins that can be used for analog input as well as digital input or output, plus 5V power and ground. In addition, the header with A4 and A5 can be used for connecting I2C devices, e.g. the RedBot Accelerometer.
  • (2) Analog Input Only Header This header provides an additional two analog input pins. These pins can't be used for digital signals, however.
  • (3) Analog Output/Digital I/O Headers These two headers provide four pins which can be used for either PWM output or regular digital I/O. Note that the power supply for these headers is connected directly to the battery, providing extra power for servo motors, but devices expecting 5V should not be connected directly to them!
  • (4) XBee Socket This allows you to plug in an XBee module, providing an easy wireless interface.
  • (5) XBee Mode Switch This switch allows you to select whether the XBee communicates via the standard serial I/O pins (0 and 1, accessible through the built-in Serial command set) or via pins 14 and 15 (A0 and A1), using the SoftwareSerial library. Using the software mode will consume two of your analog inputs, however.
  • (6) 5V/Gnd Headers These headers allow you to tap off the 5V and ground signals.
  • (7) Power Switch The power switch puts the board into a very low power consumption mode (microamps or less) allowing you to turn off the board without pulling the power connection.
  • (8) Motor Disable The motor disable switch allows you to turn off the TB6612FNG dual motor driver so you can make sure the robot won't drive away during programming.
  • (9) Motor Headers Through-hole headers are available to break out the motor outputs, as an alternative to the 90-degree female connectors on each side of this header.
  • (10) Power Input Header This through-hole header is provided to give you access to the input supply, either for purposes of driving additional circuitry or to allow more flexibility than the standard barrel jack does for power sources. Power input to the headers of the jack should be between 6V and 9V DC.
  • (11) Pin 13 User LED An LED is connected to pin 13 to allow basic sanity checks that code is loading and running on the board.
  • (12) Power LED This LED will remain lit whenever the power switch is active.

RedBot Arduino Library

Below, you can download the RedBot Arduino Library, which comes with examples for using the various available sensors.

The library includes a re-implementation of the SoftwareSerial library that comes with Arduino. This was necessary to integrate the other sensor functions with the interrupts that drive the SoftwareSerial library.

If possible, it's best to use the hardware serial port for communication with the XBee. However, there may be times where that is undesirable, so software serial support is provided.

For the most part, RedBotSoftwareSerial behaves just like normal SoftwareSerial, with a few exceptions:

  • You no longer have a choice of which pins to use; the library always uses A0 and A1, which are the pins connected to the XBee module footprint.
  • Incoming data reception is not reliable above 38400bps. Data transmission still works at higher speeds.
  • Since the incoming data reception shares an interrupt with the sensors on the board, incoming data may be missed if other inputs are in use. In particular, incoming serial data may interfere with bump sensor detection or encoder counts, and incoming encoder data and bump sensing may interfere with serial data reception.

The RedBot Arduino Library download includes detailed documentation for the RedBotMotor, RedBotSensor and RedBotAccel classes, as well as code examples.

RedBot Mainboard Resources

We have a wide selection of Female-Female Jumper Wires that you can use to connect sensors and servos to this board.


Optional Recommended Products for this Item
RedBot Sensor - Line Follower: QRE1113GR IR Reflectance Sensor+ US$2.95
RedBot Sensor - Accelerometer: MMA8452Q 3-Axis Sensor, 5V+ US$9.95
RedBot Sensor - Wheel Encoder Kit: 8-pole Magnets, Hall-Effect+ US$12.95
RedBot Sensor - Mechanical Bumper: Whisker Wire, Screws+ US$4.95
RedBot Buzzer: CCV-084B16 Magnetic Audio Transducer+ US$5.95

This product was added to our catalog on Monday 19 May, 2014.

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