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Description: 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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  • 5V Logic
  • 6-9V Input Voltage via Barrel Jack or 2-Pin Header
  • ATmega328P (pre-programmed)
  • TB6612FNG Dual DC Motor Driver
  • USB Programmable via FTDI
  • XBee Port with HW/SW Serial Switch
  • 2x 3-Pin Female Motor Port
  • 2x 6-Pin Male Optional Servo Header
  • 4x 6-Pin Male Optional Sensor Header


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Customer Comments

  • Great bot. Though I must have missed the part where the USB will not power the motors. You need to have the power on the battery pack plugged in for this to work. Also Spark fun I will miss you I am moving to the Netherlands :(. I love the tech support, always helpful, quick delivery time and the most important thing you make any problem right with zero hassle.

  • Is there any way to send serial commands to this board? For example, if I were to add a second, more powerful (or at least more I/O-equipped) processor to this board, could I use that to handle higher level control and command this board serially?

    • Yep! The XBee header on there can be used to route serial data either to the hardware serial port or to a software serial port on pins 2 and 3. You can, of course, make a software serial port on any of the header pins on the board, but if you want hardware serial you’ll have to go through the XBee header.

  • What is the deal with the Xbee hardware/software serial port on this board? I seem to be able to use an Xbee in software mode ok, but when switched to hardware( as the doc. says is the best mode) it does nothing. The board cannot be programmed either in this mode, so I assume the USB serial is diasabled?

    • When you flip the switch over to HW mode, the XBee and the FTDI chip are contending for the pins. If you’ve got the board plugged in over USB, that’s likely to cause problems, and it will definitely make programming impossible.

      The Atmega328P on this board only has one hardware serial port, and that gets used for programming, so you have to share, and sharing is not always nice in the Arduino environment.

    • That’s actually why we have the switch, it changes the XBee connection from the hardware serial line to D2/D3 for software serial. The ATMega328 can only do one thing at a time on the hardware line, either talk to the XBee, or talk to the computer for programming so if you have an XBee installed you must flip the switch to disconnect the XBee from the hardware line to upload code. You can use the XBee in hardware mode, just flip the switch when programming and then switch back to run (and make sure your code is using the hardware serial lines and not software serial).

      • Thanks for the info … I’ve just left the Xbee in software serial and its fine. Programming seems ok( if its not connected to hardware serial as you state) I’ve also discovered that the ‘power’ switch does not seem to completely isolate the power in. Thats not good.

  • I would like to know where i can find the fritzing files for the redbot mainboard and the sensors, I already checked the fritzing app and the github page

  • D12 button problems: I used the “button” sketch from the Arduino examples and changed the input pin to 12 for Digital pin 12. I uploaded the sketch with no results. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong?

  • My redbot is old. If button D12 can be added, could someone please explain where/how to connect D12. rgds

  • What has changed in this version.

    • Not much; some of the labels, and the addition of a button on D12. Also, at some point since the first version, I fixed the power switching circuitry that disconnects power from the I/O headers labeled “Servo”. I’m not saying that was changed in this version, just that it has changed.

  • I can’t find a pinout anywhere for the mainboard. I’m trying to figure out which way my xbee should mount into the socket

    • xtopher / last year * / 1

      If you look at your board from the top you’ll see the silkscreen outlining the direction the XBee is supposed to go. :)

  • Could you tell me the diameter (or radius) of the standoff/mounting holes in the four corners? I can see in the EAGLE board file that they’re positioned at X = 0.10" and 3.60" and Y = 0.10" and 1.85"; and it looks like their radius is 0.04"; but it’d be nice to confirm that before laser-cutting my own chassis (because I think I’d rather use different wheels than those that come with the Magician chassis).

    • No, 0.08" diameter is implausibly small. I think the holes must be based on the Dimension layer (20) rather than the Holes layer (45), which makes them about 0.065" radius, or about the right size for a #5 machine screw.

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