Features & specification

The ChickBot has a multi-purpose controller board and a number of motor options.

ChickBot assembled controller

ChickBot Arduino board with Nano

The controller board allows the Arduino Nano, Raspberry Pi or micro:bit to be plugged in but still available for a USB programming cable to be plugged in and the on-board reset button. The controller board for Arduino & Pi has:

  • Screw terminal blocks for either two stepper motors or two standard motors.
  • Screw terminal blocks for 7 inputs, on the Arduino, 5 of which can also be configured as outputs. These inputs can read a range of values for the infra-red proximity sensors, light/dark sensor and more.
  • A push button – so you can tell your ChickBot when to start or program it for other commands.
  • An on/off connector that you can customise as a dead mans switch for when your ChickBot needs to be turned off quickly (heading for certain doom, terrorising a pet).
  • A piezo buzzer so you can make sounds or play tunes.

Motor options include:

  • The 28BYJ-48 5V Stepper Motor – 4096 steps per rotation allows for accurate positioning & control
  • Standard robot motor & gearbox – a good power to price ratio
  • Brushless power motor with metal gearbox – a little more power hungry, costs three times the price of the standard motors but makes ChickBot go like Road Runner

The typical size is 12cm long, 8cm wide and maxes out at 8cm high.

It’s powered by standard AA batteries which will last at least 2-3 hours of continuous motor use.

ChickBot base stepper kit parts

Some of the kit parts

The standard ChickBot kit comes with:

  • Custom ChickBot controller board
  • Chassis ready for three sorts of motors
  • Two stepper motors
  • Two wheels & rubber tyres
  • Two motor mounts + cable ties to attach them to the chassis
  • Back caster kit – half a ping pong ball, half a polystyrene ball, polystyrene spacer
  • Battery pack – batteries are not included
  • Small screwdriver, sticky fixer pads
  • USB cable
  • The Arduino kit comes with a pre-programmed Arduino Nano

You will need a pair of scissors to trim the cable ties & cut the tyres and four AA batteries (ChickBot loves rechargeable batteries).

Everything is hackable and all the details are available for anyone to make modifications.