MakeBlock mBot Wireless Robot Car Kit: Assembly - Part 1

Friday, November 25, 2016

I have been interested in robotics ever since I was a kid making computer games with Game Maker 5 so I really love tinkering with building programming kits!
If you like the idea of toying with circuit boards, motors and wheels but have little or no coding experience, check out the MakeBlock mBot wireless robot car! It's an Arduino, Scratch 2.0 and robotics all rolled into one straightforward solution!

MakeBlock's mBot uses the mBlock programming software which is based on Scratch programming 2.0 so it automatically converts the code to an Arduino sketch program, ready to be uploaded on the mBot. This is pretty cool since it makes it easy to see exactly what the graphical Scratch programming looks like in real text based code.
fully program speed, time, turns, lights, detect obstacles, etc.
The brain of the MakeBlock's mBot is the mCore microchip which is an arduino-like board that really packs a punch! You get many neat extra features such as RGB LEDs, sound buzzer, IR receiver/transmitter, light ambient sensor, push button, four RJ25 Ethernet ports and a slot to insert a Bluetooth adapter or 2.4G WiFi module. Programs are already pre-installed in the mBot. The coolest one is the Figure 8 racing track mode.

plastic casing that houses the mCore board protects it from the elements and accidental damage

The mBot programming software is very high level programming so it's really easy to use as you simply drag-and-drop blocks. With that out of the way, let's get into it! Here is what you get with the mBot kit 2.4G version:

aluminum chassis
 durable and lightweight
IR remote
Figure 8 racing track
motorshaft repair kit
instructional booklet
screw driver with hex wrench and torx
2x 6P6C RJ25 and USB cables
lithium battery holder
2x servo motors
line follower sensor
2.4gHz wireless adapter
mBot ultrasonic sensor
battery case

screws and posts

mCore board
 four RJ25 ports
 plastic enclosure

Here is how is all the parts look like nicely laid out:
you also get sticky adhesive for securing the battery case
Now let's get on to the fun part, assembling the mBot! First, we secure the servo motors with the long screws.
 Insert the rubber tires onto the plastic wheel frames and secure the tires into the servo motors with small screws.
 Attach the line follower sensor and front wheel to the chassis of the mBot using hex screws
 Attach the distance sensor to chassis using two hex screws
 Connect the RJ25 cables and run the motor cables through the square opening. Then, screw the long posts as shown in the picture.
 bird's eye view
 The line follower sensor connects to Port 2. The distance sensor connects to Port 3, while the left and right motors connect to M1 and M2 respectively.
 mBot winking and smiling
visual instructional manual 

Here is the fully assembled mBot rolling out of the assembly line, ready for a test ride!

well thought out product
On Part 2, I will be programming and taking the mBot wireless robot car for a ride. Stay tuned!

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