Duinobot V1.2 Childproof Arduino Brain
The Duinobot V1.2 is a childproof Arduino Brain made by Multiplo.org. The Duinobot is 100% Arduino compatible, 100% open source, 100% Fab Lab compatible and is designed specifically to help kids learn to build Robots. The Duinobot differs from most arduino boards because it has been ruggedized. The Duinobot V1.2 is designed to take the inevitable tumbles that most robot must endure.
What I like the most about the Duinobot is the case. Since this controller is designed to be used with children it’s wrapped inside a plexiglass case to protect it from spills, drops and rough handling. This makes the Duinobot feel more like a module than just a circuit board.
The header pins are directly compatible with Arduino Uno boards and shields. In addition, there is an On/off switch, a run switch and a reset switch. There is also a USB connector, a direct battery plug-in, sockets to plug in for six sensors directly into the board instead of using the header pins, an internal speaker as well as a dual bridge electric motor controller which will control two dc motors.
The Duinobot comes with an installation CD which contains the IDE and the development software called Minibloq. The CD also contains many examples of programs which can be run on the Duinobot and other Arduino boards. If you want to install the Minibloq software, you unzip the files into a directory on your hard drive. Then you run the driver installation program and install the Minibloq software. Connect the control board to your computer with a USB drive cable. When you plug in USB cable for computer will recognize the board. Open the Minibloq program, set the port number, and you’re ready to program.
It is not necessary to program the Duinobot before use. Because it comes with firmware loaded on the board. The included control unit allows kids to run several functions right away without coding. I also like the pre-made, color coded cables and sockets. Kids don’t have to worry about learning to solder, they simply plug in modules to make things work. If they need a sonar sensor they just plug one in. When kids start thinking about modules right from the start they have a real advantage. Children can develop the sense that any problem can be broken down into manageable parts to complete the whole.
The brain of the DruinoBot is specifically designed to control mobile robots. Multiplo built in a high efficiency power supply with voltage boosters (from 3.6V to 12V for the motors, with an efficiency near to 90%, easy to use connectors, integrated DC motor control (H-bridges) and many other things. The MCU we selected is the ATMega32U4, which is the same used in the relatively new Arduino Leonardo.
- Easy to use colored sensor and motor connectors.
- Dual DC Motor control outputs (thanks to its built in motor controller).
- Dual voltage booster (from 3.6V to 12V and to 5V). This allows the usage of common 12V DC motors and 5V standard sensors, with just 3 AA rechargable NiMH batteries, or a LiPo cell.
- Improved user interface: Integrated buzzer, user button, power switch (no need to unplug the power supply to switch it off).
- Extra serial port plus standard Arduino(R) shield connectors.
- Plastic case
- the board does not need any driver installation at all. Not even a .inf file!
The Duinobot V1.2 is a well thought out addition to the Arduino world. I expect it to become very popular with kids and teachers. the ability to quickly plug in cables and sensors and get a robot up and running without programming is a huge leap forward.