Tag Archives: Robot Kit

Seek N’ Sneak is the robotic pet you’ve always wanted

Need your room cleaned? This Arduino-powered robot can be programmed to find and move objects for you.  

Let’s face it, who wants to spend hours doing tedious chores when a robotic companion can do the work? Whether it’s tidying up the living room, setting the kitchen table or clearing off the desk, you may soon be able to kick back, relax and watch an Arduino-powered droid take care of it for you. That’s if it were left up to Maker Konstantin Stolpovsky, who has developed the latest DIY kit with hopes of spurring the mainstream adoption of our robotic counterparts. Seek N’ Sneak is a self-controlled device is not only capable of doing “robotty things,” but impressively can chase, locate and even move objects up to three pounds. In other words, we may actually be one step closer to having our own Jetsons-like Rosie or a pet like C.H.O.M.P.S.


Initially conceived as a way to motivate young Makers to clean their rooms, the robot can be assigned to carry out a wide range of mundane tasks. Built around the versatile Arduino Mega (ATmega2560), the open-source machine can be programmed to navigate, seek out or throw items grab with a little coding in the Arduino IDE.

The standard Seek N’ Sneak set is comprised of everything a Maker would possibly require to assemble their very own autonomous bot. This includes an Arduino for its brain, several laser-cut body parts, DC motors with encoders, dual-motor shield and wheels, arm powering servos, IR proximity sensors, and the standard nuts, bolts and wires. What’s more, when it comes to the robots’ arms and chassis, Makers can choose from either 5mm black acrylic glass, 3mm galvanized aluminum or 2mm milled carbon-fiber composite.


As for how it works, the robot is equipped with a pair of driving wheels that are powered by independently-controlled motors and equipped with 128 steps-per-revolution encoders to enable precise manuevering, velocity and acceleration. Meanwhile, two mounted IR proximity meters handle the rover’s 2D orientation, while a third sensor detects nearby objects. Both arms are run by a trio of robust servo motors, which provide enough speed and power to lift up about three pounds, throw object or lift another Seek N’ Sneak pal.

“Though Seek N’ Sneak was designed as a fully autonomous, upgradable robot. There is plenty of space inside the body of the robot to extend Arduino board with extra sensors, or with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth shields to establish communication with a computer or remote control,” Stolpovsky reveals.


Looking for a robotic companion to tidy up your room for you? Head over to its official Kickstarter page, where Stolpovsky is currently seeking $11,161. Delivery is slated for September 2015.

Robots for the people

As a child of the ’80s, I don’t think there was anything cooler than Transformers, MASK and few of the other TV series featuring some kind of robots. My problem, and I guess I wasn’t the only one, back then was access to robot kits. Yes, we had some building kits — of both plastic and metal with cogwheels, axles and rubber bands — but it didn’t quite get our creations to behave the way we hoped or imagined.

We at Trondheim Makers, an organization in Trondheim, Norway who works with the local Maker scene and Maker Faire Trondheim in August, have a little project that we are set to release — the super cheap and simple foam board Robot Kit.


Simply stated, it is a cheap, easy-to-build robot and easy-to-hack kit based on a four-legged, two-servo walking robot found in many variations on the Internet.


Given that our goal is to devise a simple and easy-to-build robot, there is no need for CNC machines, 3D printer or other soon-to-be household machines. Since the body is made out of foam board, it can simply be cut out with a carpet knife. The legs are made out of two pieces of steel wire, with a little drop of glue at the ends to provide better traction.

One micro servo for each pair of legs provides not the most elegant or gracious walking, but it certainly has some sort of interesting walking characteristics. An Atmel Xplained Mini Board with a super simple code controls all of this. We have installed the Arduino bootloader onto the boards, so it is even easier for those who would like to try out their own codes. A rangefinder enables the robot to move backward and make turns when approaching an obstacle — or a photo resistor so it starts walking when the lights are turned on (and totally freaks out your fiancée) — are easily added to both the board and code.


A 9V battery, through a 5V regulator, powers the robot since the servos are not that happy about 3.3V. Subsequently, there is both 3.3V through the onboard regulator on the Xplained and 5v through the external regulator.

Our other goal was to offer an affordable kit. With a total cost of +/- $20, it comes in at around the same price as a burger meal at a typical fast food restaurant here in Norway.


The R&D time spent on this project is neglectable. The robot, which works out-of-the-box when put together, walks forward and doesn’t stop or turn. We hope that as soon as we begin to give these kits away, people will start experimenting — try out other codes, bend the legs in different angles, add sensors and so forth.

By doing this, we hope to inspire and show children of all ages (including big boys and girls with daytime jobs), how simple it is to build a fun, homemade toy that you could experiment, hack and modify, all while hopefully learning a thing or two along the way.