Chapter 1. Building the Chassis

Before programming anything, we’ll build the chassis for the robot. Basically it’s a traditional rover robot structure with two servo motors in the front and one caster in the back. To make it suitable for mind-controlling needs, we’ll add a line detector and RGB LED on the top. We use a solderless breadboard and the ScrewShield for the Arduino, to make adding components and wires easy. Figure 1-1 shows the design of the chassis.

Here’s how all the major components will work together to create a working robot:

This is the brains of the project. It is essentially a small embedded computer with a brain (a microcontroller), as well as header pins that can connect to inputs (sensors) and outputs (actuators).
This holds everything together. It’s essentially the platform for the robot.
Servo Motors
These are motors that can be connected directly to the Arduino without the need for any additional hardware (such as a motorshield). The Arduino communicates with them by sending pulses to control speed and direction.
Caster wheel
Because we’ll be turning the robot by varying the speed and direction of the servos, which are fixed in place, we need one wheel that pivots nicely. A furniture caster is perfect for this, and the robot ends up being able to rotate in place.
This component changes color and tells you what is happening in the code, so you don’t have to divide your attention between the serial monitor and the robot. It ...

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