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Description: Welcome the RedBot Basic Kit, a robotic development platform capable of teaching two motor robotics and sensor integration! This kit comes with our RedBot Mainboard, the Shadow Chassis, a handful of sensors, and everything required to get it moving.

The RedBot Mainboard is a modular 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 to get desired functions all on one board. By simply connecting a USB mini-B cable, you can program it in the Arduino IDE using our example code, or your own.

The Shadow Chassis is an economical robot platform with a lot of versatility. It features two gearmotors with 65mm wheels and a caster. The chassis plates and mounts are cut from ABS plastic and utilize the Actobotics 0.77" and 1.50" hub patterns for sensors, controllers, power, etc. Simply snap each panel together and you’ll be able to attach everything in no time by simply snapping the parts together! The chassis does require some basic assembly but detailed instructions can be found in the Documents section below.

Rounding out the group are three Line Follower Sensors and one Accelerometer Sensor. The Line Follower sensor gives your robot the ability to detect lines or nearby objects using infrared light. The Accelerometer sensor provides bump and motion detection by measuring acceleration forces on the x, y, and z axes.

The RedBot Kit won’t be able to operate on Mars but it will definitely fuel your curiosity about robotics!

Note: This kit ships without batteries. You will need 4 AA batteries to get rollin'.

Note: The Experiment Guide in the Documents section below includes full example to code to get your RedBot functioning and moving as quickly as possible.

Kit Includes:


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Customer Comments

  • Weboide / last year / 2

    For those looking for a ball caster that would replace the horrible nub caster on this, look at this caster. This turns much smoother and without the horrible noise.

    • Weboide’s advice is very true. The plastic nub used for the third wheel in the kit causes a lot of problems, including a sound much like fingernails on a chalkboard. The caster wheel solves the problem for a few extra dollars and attaches well with superglue or hot glue.

  • This may be the wrong place to do this, but one comment mentioned they would love to see what ports on the chip are used for what (in order to write their own functions). Sparkfun includes a board schematic on this product page. It’s well organized, check it out and you can figure out what pins are used and what are free so you can create your own add-ins

    • The experiment guide actually has a section that mentions what each pin goes to for this reason. You are correct thought, you can also take a look at the schematic for a quick reference as that should have all the information as well.

    • Here are the correct pins – at least the ones that I think are relevant:

      TB6612FNG Dual H-Bridge DC Motor Driver

      • L_CTRL_1 – pin 2
      • L_CTRL_2 – pin 4
      • PWM_L – pin 5
      • R_CTRL_1 – pin 7
      • R_CTRL_2 – pin 8
      • PWM_R – pin 6

      XBee Port with HW/SW Serial Switch

      • SW_Serial TX – pin A0
      • SW_Serial RX – pin A1

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5

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5 of 6 found this helpful:

Cool kit, but...

The RedBot is a cool kit. It’s simplicity of use especially being able to readily upload the code makes the RedBot a powerful introduction to programming and robotics. One change I would like to see is the ability to write code instead of relying on the libraries. For example, rather than using the libraries it would be helpful to know what ports the motors and other sensors are linked to on the main board. Other than that, great kit. I will be purchasing them again.

Versus Previous Redbot: Some Pluses and Minuses

I have one of the red Redbots from a year or so ago. Today I did a class using the current Shadow ‘bots.

The assembly of the new version went really well. I’d allocated a number of hours to get it put together but the two students - 14 year olds - completed it in just a couple hours.

We then tested the units. The motors worked fine. I’m not happy with the IR line sensors. They are not firmly mounted so wiggle both vertically and horizontally. The vertical movement is enough to make a change in the analog input reading. More importantly, they are quite a bit higher than those on my other ‘bot. On a white surface my original 'bot gets readings of less than 100. The Shadow version gets white readings over 500 and sometimes over 600. Under the conditions we were running the 'bots that was sufficient since black readings were over 900. But under less ideal conditions this may be a problem.

I should mention that the red versions sensors are a bit low. I’ve seen them hang up on black tape that has a bump or bubble.

Also note the Shadow version is significantly wider than the red version. I had to adjust the test track so they wouldn’t run off the edge of the board.

The kids are satisfied and the units work fine. But be aware that the IR sensors may be sensitive to the running environment.

The Redbot is getting much better

I purchase these for our college mobile robotics course, the ones I got for last year were so fragile and broke when the students were handling them. This years version (BlackBot) is much better and easy to assemble and disassemble as needed. There is good hole support for servo and sensors, the servo hole is a nice size to fit pretty much any standard servo, we CNC’d our own servo adaptor plate for the mini servos. It would be nice if the motor speed encoders were included in the kit - These are also much better this year. Wire routing management could probably be improved to give the robot a better appearance.

Related Tutorials

Assembly Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

Assembly Guide for the RedBot Kit. This tutorial includes extra parts to follow to go along with the RedBot Inventor's Kit tutorial.

Experiment Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

This Experiment Guide offers nine experiments to get you started with the SparkFun RedBot. This guide is designed for those familiar with our SparkFun Inventors Kit and want to take their robotics knowledge to the next level.