By Kris Magri


Photograph by Sam Murphy


I’ve made some fun robots, but I never liked the way they look, with their parts stacked up, and black tape and visible wires running everywhere. I decided to build a bot that combined tried-and-true workings with some Hollywood bling. I sketched some ideas, and this is the one that spoke to me.

Makey is an autonomous robot that I’ve programmed to follow objects around. It uses tank steering, aka differential drive, where separate DC motors power each of the 2 drive wheels. A servomotor moves its head, which carries a single ultrasonic rangefinder. Control comes from an Arduino ...

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