RedBot Mainboard

Replacement:ROB-11954. We fixed an issue with the RX and TX being switched, go check out the fixed rev! This page is for reference only.

The 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.

Check out the entire RedBot family of products!

  • 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

RedBot Mainboard Product Help and Resources

Wireless RC Robot with Arduino and XBees

March 12, 2019

In this tutorial, we will expand on the SIK for RedBot to control the robot wirelessly with XBee radios! We'll explore a different microcontroller and wirelessly control the RedBot at a distance.

Actobotics Basic Differential Platform

December 22, 2014

Get started with Actobotics with this simple vehicle. Then expand and customize it for your own evil robot empire.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #381075 / about 11 years ago / 1

    My RedBot board doesn't work on my Mac (OSX 10.8.5). No USB serial port option pops up (only bluetooth). I selected the Uno as the board, but no serial port lets me access it. It's not the IDE as my regular Arduino Uno works just fine and I don't think its the board as I can get the board working from my Linux laptop (Ubuntu). Anyone out there on a Mac got the RedBot board working?

    • urbanatwork / about 10 years ago / 1

      Yes, you'll need the FTDI drivers: This one worked for my 10.8.4 machine:

      For other versions:

    • M-Short / about 11 years ago / 1

      It should work fine, if the serial port isn't showing up make sure you have the FTDI drivers installed as this does use different drivers than the Uno.

  • Member #134226 / about 11 years ago / 1

    While talking about revisions, I was hoping to see breakouts for the A/D pins on the XBee. That would make a nice remote joystick controller if the joystick can wire to the remote XBee and pass the signals to the robot XBee for things like PWM output to a servo or something.

    • M-Short / about 11 years ago / 1

      Than can be a bit tricky with XBees as only Series 1 can do the I/O passthrough. Its probably easier to just add a microcontroller to the joystick side to read the I/O pins and send serial commands to the bot.

  • DrPhibes / about 11 years ago / 1

    What components limit the input voltage to 9V?

    • The TB6612FNG motor driver can handle up to 15V. The 3.3V and 5V regulators on the schematic are the MIC5219. They can handle up to 12V inputs but don't have much heatsinking so they'll probably thermally shutdown at 12V in some operating situations. The motors are the real limiter; they don't want much more than 5-9V.

  • giatro / about 11 years ago / 1

    It's safe to connect serial pins (DIN and DOUT) of the XBee (3.3V) to serial/digital pins of ATmega328P that works at 5V?

    • SFUptownMaker / about 11 years ago / 1

      Yes, for certain values of "safe". You'll note the presence of a current limiting resistor in the input line to the XBee; that will keep the current from reaching a damaging level.

      XBee modules are very robust, and this is a scheme we've used many, many times before.

  • giatro / about 11 years ago / 1

    Are you sure about D3 and D5 (FT232 RX and TX) connection to ground? According to datasheet, RXLED#/TXLED# pulses low when receiving/transmitting data via USB.

  • DrPhibes / about 11 years ago / 1

    Can a 12V input be used?

    • dsffasdfdsafadsfasdfadsf / about 11 years ago / 1

      "6-9V Input Voltage"... unless I i have lost my ability to count I don't believe that 12v is in-between 6 & 9!

      • DrPhibes / about 11 years ago * / 1

        6-9V is a standard battery input 4 AA, 6 AA, or 9V, I get that. What components limit me to a 9v input?

        • SFUptownMaker / about 11 years ago / 1

          It's not so much that a component has a limit to 9V, it's that when you start to increase the voltage, you'll see currents on e.g. the motor go up, and the dissipated power of some components starts to get a little iffy.

          The schematic is there, and if you're comfortable checking out the datasheets for the various components and calculating less conservative input voltages based on your actual current consumption, be my guest. If, however, you just want a value that I, the designer, feel comfortable telling everyone to use, keep it between 6V and 9V.

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