I have recently bought the makeblock starter kit that promised to be a solid robotics kit where you could get started programming the arduino based micro controller without spending too much time on assembling the robot.


After playing with the out-of-the-box standard version for a while I decided to add some extra parts to it:

Improved Makeblock Starter Kit Rear The “robot” now comes with a mini gripper for grabing small and lightweight objects and a gyro sensor that is used to improve to the automatic obstacle avoidance mode by constantly checking whether the robot is still moving in the desired direction. If no significant movement is detected over a certain time frame the robot automatically tries to break free. One of the major setback of the original wall avoidance mode was that the robot would get stuck on an uneven surface or at a corner without any chance of freeing itself. This is now longer the case with the improved wall avoidance mode.


I also attached a smartphone mount to it. This is a great way to add a camera to the kit without having to buy any extra modules. I am using Droid Cam to connect my smartphone to my laptop and get the live camera feed. The last thing I added was a standard movement sensor (with a voltage, ground and data pin) that is connected to the micro controller via the RJ25 Adapter. This could be used for a number of features, e.g. a “follow me” mode, that I want to add in the future.

Find the source code here