The SparkFun RedBot Mainboard is a robotic development platform that works with the Arduino IDE. The RedBot is a motor driver and Ardiuno combination with various headers and connections, eliminating the need to stack multiple shields. By using the RedBot accessory boards and your own chassis, you can design a robot to suit your needs.
The RedBot comes pre-programmed with the Optiboot (Uno) bootloader. By simply connecting a USB mini-B cable, you can program it in the Arduino IDE using our example code, or your own. The optional add-on sensors attach to the main board via 6-pin headers or jumper cables to increase capabilities.
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If you see the below error code when uploading to the Redbot Mainboard you may want to double check your power switch.
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x98
This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will be required to know some basics about motors, basic motor drivers and how simple robotic motion can be accomplished.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Based on 5 ratings:
The SparkFun RedBot Mainboard is a wonderful blend of Arduino Clone and Motor Driver. The convenience of an onboard Dual Motor Driver makes development of small differential drive Robots simple and clean. I desperately like that the last two Analog pins from the ATmega328P are available for use along with an integrated user Button. Furthermore, 3-Pin Male Servo Style Headers are used at each IO. Building small Robots just got much easier!
With lots of resources specific for robots development the boad help us to save lot of time,
Out of nowhere and much to my shock and surprise, a brand new, FREE, not-even-requested board arrives to replace the one I had purchased a very long time ago. Any other company almost certainly would have said “That’s on you, buddy!”, much like I said. Actually, I literally said “this one’s on me” and was completely fine with it because I know SparkFun has quality stuff and I’ve always been satisfied and happy and know this was probably a one-off. I’m no expert (yet), but I’ve purchased other boards and project items from other places, and I’ve yet to find any other company that cares this much about quality and customer satisfaction.
Thanks guys, you rock!
Original Review: I bought this a very long time ago, then got side-tracked, and now after opening and viewing the board under the magnifier, one solder connection is broken and looks too small to try and solder. It’s the very small 5-pin chip near the bottom right of the x-bee socket near the “RIGHT MOTOR” label. I should have checked it upon arrival, thoroughly, as the defect can only be seen up close, and now over a year or more later I see it will have issues, so this one is on me. I give it three stars BC it looks solid otherwise.
The board does it’s job well if you’re looking to build a small wireless robot. As a bonus it seems to run fine on 5V from a USB battery pack. 4 stars because there are minor issues with the silk screen labelling and associated Arduino library.