Building your Stepper motor ChickBot
Please read all the instructions before starting, just in case there is something you do early in the build that has an impact on a later step.
Clear a space on a table and get yourself a chair so you working at the right height.
Unpack the parts, don’t upend the bag, there are small parts that may go astray
Lay the parts out, putting the chassis in the centre:
You’ll need a pair of scissors
First we will attach the motor holders.
Take a plastic motor holder and a cable tie:
Position the holder at the edge of the chassis so that the holes line up:
Thread a cable tie through the hole in the chassis and the holder:
Thread the flat end of the cable tie through the clip at the end of the tie:
And pull the cable tie tight
Now thread a cable tie through the other hole on the chassis & holder:
Thread the flat end through the clip and pull tight
Trim the cable ties and, if required, rotate the head of the cable tie inside the chassis:
Now do this for the other side of the chassis so that you have two holders positioned:
Sticking the caster in place
Use two sticky pads to secure the ping pong ball half on to the square
Now use the other two sticky pads it to the end of the chassis
Now we will mount the controller board.
Locate the circuit mounts – we call them sticky feet!
Push the pointy end through the holes on the controller board:
Peel off the tape that covers the adhesive pads on the feet:
Position over the motor end of the chassis with the cable connector in the middle, as shown:
And press in to place. This shows a Pi Zero with the cable going over the top of the battery box. It is possible to mount the battery box between the motors.
Putting rubber on the wheels – optional.
On carpet, the ribbing on the wheels will grip nicely. On a smooth surface like polished floorboards, a table top, glass or plastic, you’ll need some rubber to grip, which is what the balloon is for.
Cut the piece of balloon into three pieces:
Turn a piece of balloon inside out and stretch it over the wheel edge:
This can be a bit fiddly, take your time! You may need a helper and you may need to use some match or cocktail sticks.
And do it for the other wheel:
Mounting the motors.
The motors just slip in to the holders:
Mounting the wheels.
Take the third piece of balloon and cut it in to two small squares like this:
Taking a square, balance it on the motor shaft:
Press a wheel on to it:
Do this for the other motor too.
Wiring up the battery clip
Take the battery clip:
And wire the two leads in to the Batt+ and 0V connections like this:
Wiring up the motors
The ChickBot is pre-programmed with an example program. It will only work if the leads for the motors are wired up correctly. The motors have coils inside that have to be activated in the right sequence for them to work so please don’t be tempted to get creative with the wiring.
At a later date you can experiment, but for now, please follow the directions.
The right hand motor wires go in to terminals 2 – 5, the left hand motor into 6 – 9, plus the red wire goes into +. The order of wires from left to right is: Right motor: Red, Orange, Yellow, Pink & Blue and then Left motor: Orange, Yellow, Pink, Blue & Red:
Fill the battery pack
You’ll need four AA batteries, take care to put them in the right way round:
Stick a piece of velcro to the battery box. Put the other piece of velcro on to the first piece, peel off the plastic and then press the battery pack in to place.
Attach the battery pack to the clip:
Use a small piece of the BluTack to hold the battery holder in place.
Locate the on-off jumper
We choose this so that a loop can be attached to it – when your ChickBot is misbehaving, you can tug the loop to turn it off!
We’ve included some stiff nylon cord for you to put a loop on the jumper.
Get ready to fire up your ChickBot for the first time!
Here’s what the finished result should look like:
Put the jumper across the two pins and the small LED on the board will illuminate.
Well done! Don’t forget to give your ChickBot a name!