The DanceBot is a little robot that dances to the beat of your music. It’s a project that began in the summer of 2011 to introduce students to the basics of electronics. Students learn some of the basic components found in modern day electronic appliances while constructing a robot, which they can take home and continue to play and develop. The entire tutorial takes about 10 hours to complete and is tailored towards students ages 12 and above; it is divided into sections, which builds upon itself incrementally.

Need to have

  • DanceBot Kit – — If you don’t have a kit, ask someone that is experienced with electronics to help you.
  • DanceBot Editor
  • MP3-player (any portable device that plays MP3 files and has a headphone jack, e.g. iPod, smart phone, etc.)
  • Soldering Iron (35 Watts is recommended) and 1 meter length worth of solder
  • Hot glue gun
  • Multimeter
  • Side-cutters and pliers

Need to Know

You’ll also need to know a few things before you get started:

  • Soldering basics, see this tutorial.
  • Continuity test with your multimeter, see this tutorial.

Tutorial Outline

This tutorial is broken into 7 sections that should be followed in order:

  1. How Does it Work? A summary of how our robot works and how all the components fit together. Duration: up to 5 minutes.
  2. Electronic Road Map The basics of reading an electrical schematic. Duration: up to 15 minutes.
  3. Electrical Assembly Assemble the electronics. Duration: up to 4 hours.
  4. Mechanical Assembly Assemble all of the mechanical components. Duration: up to 30 minutes.
  5. Decorate Make the robot your own.
  6. Program Choreograph a dance to your favourite song. Duration: at least 15 minutes.
  7. Dance! Time to find out what it can do.

When you’re finished, you should have a fully functioning robot that is capable of dancing to the beat of your music.