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Wii Nunchuck controlled robot

A few years ago there was a regular magazine that built a robot up over a number of weeks/months. It actually built 2. The first being called Cybot, the second was called Tom. However we only got part way through Tom so were left with a part functioning robot. However, the chassis included 2 motors, gearboxes, rubber wheels, battery holders for 6 AAA batteries, rubber bumper and importantly a basic motor control board. The socket used to connect other boards was labeled up to identify each of the inputs plus power pins. After a quick test, shorting any of the 4 data pins to the 5v pin turned one of the motors either forwards or reverse.
After wiring up a quick cable and connecting it to an Arduino board I was then able to control the robot. As a further test I then used a Wii nunchuck to control the direction, either forward, reverse, rotate left or rotate right.

Tom Robot chassis


Motor control board
Tom robot chassis Underneath Motor control board

Component side

Arduino ready for transplant

Arduino installed
Component side Arduino ready for transplant Arduino installed

Input from Arduino

Motor controll connector

All together
Input from Arduino Motor control connector All together

This is a pretty quick hack together and there are a number of areas for improvement and further development:

  • The Arduino is powered from the regulated 5V from the motor control board. It could have been powered by the 9V supply and fed into the external power socket.
  • The back end is too light, it needs more weight to balance it more.
  • Control via the Wii nunchuck is OK, but its tethered so you need to follow it around. It needs to be a wireless connection.
  • The Arduino board isnt fastened down and has fallen out a couple of times.
  • It doesn’t do much else. No sensors, yet, however the Tom robot did have a scanning ultrasonic sensor.

This was just a quick evening hacking this together. so look out for more developments.

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1 comment to Wii Nunchuck controlled robot

  • langerik

    i’m learning my new arduino and I’ve got a tom. could you mind giving me the source code so i can edit it and use it for learning? i would be very grateful.