Minibot Challenges! After you have completed the Arduino Fundamentals track, talk to a lead about the following challenges. Everyone will begin with bumper cars. After that, you can do any number of them, time permitting, in any order, although they range in difficulty.

Materials, Supplies, Equipment

  • Arduino Uno


  • minibot chassis
  • wheels
  • batteries & battery cases


  • wheel encoders
  • infrared (IR) proximity sensors
  • infrared (IR) remotes & remote receivers
  • ultrasonic sensors
  • Wii Nunchuck (limited supply: only 1 currently available)


  • motors/motor controllers
  • LCD display screens

There is always a potential for us to obtain other sensors/actuators as well, so if you have an idea, ask!

First Steps

Before you can do anything, get a minibot kit from a mentor or lead, and first start building a base with wheel on which to mount your electronics.

Because the challenges vary in difficulty, the following is the recommended order to tackle the challenges:

  1. Line-Following Maze
    • there will be an efficiency competition--who can finish mazes the fastest
  2. Sumo Bots
    • there may be a competition bracket
  3. Teeter Totter
  4. 360 Degree Navigation

If you have questions, or need help, don't be afraid to ask a lead or mentor a question.

Line-Following Maze

Your goal is to make it from the start of the maze to the end of the maze by following the black lines on the ground. We will not tell you what the maze will look like. Note that you will need a way to sense the line (IR LEDs/Sensors or similar - discuss this with a lead or a mentor). For more information see here.

Sumo Bots!

If you haven't heard about this before, Sumo Bots are robots that play the ancient Japanese game of Sumo, where players must try to push their opponent out of the ring (without leaving the ring yourself). Use a remote control to customize your minibot for the game, and queue for matches!

The dimensions for the ring will be below once it's finished. The ring boundaries will be marked with black tape. A robot will be considered out of the ring if all of its points of contact with the ground (i.e. the wheels) are outside the black lines.

360 Mapping & Navigation

WARNING: This is a more difficult challenge.

Scan the environment surrounding your robot. Then, your robot must be able to autonomously navigate along the edges of its boundaries.

For a similar challenge, store and display the distances of points 360 degrees around the robot in a graphical map as a continuous boundary. (Processing, Java Swing, openGL, etc). Doing this first as a tool to be able to debug what your code is doing may help you with the first part of this problem.

See this video tutorial for some ideas.

Teeter Totter

Using an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), balance the bot on a teeter totter board. Once it is fully balanced it should stop and signal its success using an LED or LCD display screen.

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Oct 16, 2015, 11:54:52 PM