Our BBC micro:bit controlled Line Following Buggy uses two LDRs (light dependant resistors) as sensors to control a line following board on the bottom of the chassis to 'follow' black lines.
Two LEDs shine light from underneath the buggy down onto the floor and a pair of LDRs measure how much light is reflected. When the sensor is moved over a black line the level of reflected light decreases and the sensor sends a signal to the BBC micro:bit through the motor driver board. The BBC micro:bit then uses that information to steer back toward the line. It does this by switching off either the left motor to turn left or the right motor to turn right.
Code for the line following function is available below. The buggy can easily be customised and to help you get started we have also supplied code for Bump 'n' Spin functionality uding the BBC micro:bit's on-board accelerometer. Save the code to your account and get customising!
This kit requires assembly. BBC micro:bit NOT included. If you also require a BBC micro:bit, you can order one here.
- Simple to build buggy.
- BBC micro:bit controlled.
- Automatic line following.
- 2 x Right Angle Hobby Geared Motor.
- 2 x Wheel for Hobby Motor.
- 1 x Motor Driver Board V2 for the BBC micro:bit.
- 1 x Buggy Chassis.
- 2 x M3 30mm Pozi Pan Machine Screw.
- 8 x M3 6mm Machine Screw.
- 2 x M3 Full Width Nut.
- 4 x M3 20mm Plastic Spacer.
- 1 x 8mm x 12mm x 25mm Foam Pad.
- 1 x 15cm Length Black Wire.
- 1 x 15cm Length White Wire.
- 1 x 15cm Length Green Wire.
- 1 x 15cm Length Blue Wire.
- 1 x Metal Ball Caster.
- 1 x 4xAA Battery Box with Switch.
- 1 x Line Following Board Kit.
- 4 x AA Batteries.
- A small flat head screwdriver.
- Wire strippers.
- A soldering iron and some solder.
- A pair of pliers.
- A Phillips screwdriver.
- A computer with a spare USB port and internet access.
- 1 x BBC micro:bit.
- A USB to micro USB cable.
- Black insulation tape.
This fun learning resource has been put together to provide teachers with an all in one design and technology challenge that you can set for your students over the course of a term or a year. The resource includes a number of different design and technology aspects; electronics, mechanical assembly, 2D and 3D design, using a laser cutter, using a 3D printer and coding and testing. There are also alternative production methods highlighted in the individual resources.
Martin Woolley explains how he wrote the Robot Buggy code using the Microsoft PXT Editor for the BBC micro:bit. Includes a link to the completed code. Martin not only wrote the code that we use for the remote controlled buggies, he also designed the Bluetooth profile for the BBC micro:bit and wrote and released the micro:bit Blue App, which we used to control the buggys.
The last part of our physical design challenge was to design a flag for a capture the flag style game. As with most of the design challenges that this project presented, we had some ideas and discarded the difficult and impractical until we were left with a simple but effective solution.
When designing the 3D printed add-ons we had two main aims; that they maintained our Robot Wars theme and that they could be printed easily. Our additional goals were to create two team colour schemes and that each buggy had it's own personality.
We looked at a few different ways of achieving our Robot Wars inspired buggy but quickly settled on keeping the buggy completely intact and cutting a top plate from a perspex sheet. We wanted it to be functional, aesthetically pleasing and also easy to produce. We had six buggies to design and build and only a few days to get them done.
Bluetooth is the technology that makes the remote control aspect of this project possible, fortunately, the BBC micro:bit comes with Bluetooth functionality as standard. Martin Woolley explains how to pair your Android device with the BBC micro:bit and how to use is micro:bit Blue App to control the Robot Buggy.
The line following buggy for the BBC micro:bit is a great kit for students to build as it combines several elements of design and technology; electronics, mechanical assembly and coding and it is this buggy that the Robot Buggies are built upon. The kit has relatively few parts and is simple to build, making it a suitable option as a classroom activity.
Take the BBC micro:bit to the next level with Bluetooth Low Energy. The BBC micro:bit uses Bluetooth Low Energy, a power friendly version of Bluetooth technology that allows for wireless communication between devices such as PCs, smartphones and tablets allowing for seamless connection to the Internet of things. Every smartphone and tablet platform available comes with Bluetooth Low Energy API's. Android, iOs, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and even Tizen. We explore some of the Bluetooth Low Energy functionality of the BBC micro:bit and the possibilities that it opens up.
This is a step by step guide to building the BBC micro:bit Line Following Buggy. The buggy uses two light dependant resistors to control a line following board on the bottom of the chassis to 'follow' black lines.
After you've created your first program you'll need to compile it and transfer it to the BBC micro:bit. This process is very simple, and if you follow our guide you'll be up and running in no time.
The Touch Develop Editor centres around a code keyboard, making it perfect for writing code on a touch screen device or by using your mouse.
The Microsoft Block Editor is a drag and drop editor that provides a simple introduction to programming. Blocks snap together to build programs and are grouped by the type of function they do. When a group is selected, the commands in the whole group are highlighted and can be selected. It's a great introduction to programming for those with little or no experience.
Just placed an order for a couple of these even though they are currently out of stock. Looking to use with my Code Club after half-term so can you give me an estimate of when these will be back in stock?
Posted byon Thursday, 9 February 2017
Hi Andy, Currently we are awaiting a part used within the buggy to be received from our supplier, we current expect this to received early next week. As such dispatch should take place early to mid-next week.
I saw this was FINALLY back in stock after Christmas and emailed my finance team last Monday to determine my remaining budget - I would like to buy between 10 and 15 units. They said I'd hear back by Friday, as they're doing the same for all faculties. Low and behold, you're out out stock yet AGAIN! So how long will it until you MIGHT get some again? 3 months, 6 months? Sorry for the negative tone, but the consistency of stock for this item is VERY poor.
Posted byon Thursday, 12 January 2017
Hi Richard, We are currently in the process of building another 250 buggy kits. We are hopeful that all the components will be with us by w/c 23/1 and then we would begin kitting them together, so hopefully either late this month or very early next month from current predictions. We are aware that the buggy has been out of stock on and off, and we are constantly increasing the size/frequency of builds to try and reduce this issue. As with all items if you order will it is out of stock it will reserves the new stock against your order and will guarantee you get stock before it is placed on the shelf.
Can the buggy be dismantled and rebuilt?
Posted byon Friday, 6 January 2017
Hi Rosie, The mechanical parts of the buggy could be dismantled and rebuilt. However it wouldn’t be recommended to keep desoldering and resolding the line following PCB as eventually the PCB might become damaged. As such this item isn’t designed to be built multiple times.
Will the Line Following Buggy be back in stock before Christmas
Posted byon Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Hi Al, We are currently in the process of building just over 120 buggy kits, we expect to have these back in stock in either later this week or early next week. We will also be starting another build of over 200 kits to provide more stock. We will always supply back order’s before putting stock on the shelf, as such to reserve stock it is advised that you place your order for the items.
Do you still sell an assembled version of the buggy? Also, when do you expect it to be back in stock? Thanks
Posted byon Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Hi Richard, We haven’t sold a built version of the buggy, the only version we stock is un-built. We are currently awaiting a couple of components to arrive from our supplier to begin our next build. We would hopefully expect the buggies to be back in stock in around 1-2 weeks but this isn’t confirmed.
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