Step 1: Introducing the breadboard
Step 2: Insert microcontroller into breadboard
Step 3: Distributing power around the circuit
The resistor added in this step is the 10kΩ one. For resistors with four coloured bands, like the one shown in the diagram, the first three bands of a 10kΩ resistor are normally brown, black, orange (in that order).
Step 4: Add transistors for switching the motors on and off
The resistors added in this step are both 1kΩ ones. For resistors with four coloured bands, like the ones shown in the diagram, the first three bands of a 1kΩ resistor are normally brown, black, red (in that order).
Step 5: Add the motors
Step 6: Connect the LaunchPad for programming the microcontroller
Step 7: Add an indicator LED
In this step, we’re adding a light emitting diode (LED) to the circuit. This is really just here to provide a little light that the microcontroller can switch on and off.
Step 8: Connect the colour sensor
In this step, we’re connecting a simple sensor to detect the colour of the ground underneath the robot as it moves around. This sensor shines out infrared light, which is the same kind of light emitted by a TV remote control (it’s not visible to the human eye, but you might be able to see it if you look at the sensor carefully using the camera on your mobile phone). The sensor detects how much of the infrared light is reflected back from the surface under the robot. Dark surfaces (e.g. black) absorb more light, while bright surfaces (e.g. white) reflect more light. The voltage on the sensor’s blue output wire increases when more infrared light is reflected onto the sensor.
Note that the colour sensor we’re using in today’s workshop looks slightly different to the one in the diagram, but the three wires that connect to the breadboard are the same (red, black and blue).
Step 9: Program the microcontroller
To get the motors turning, we need to program the microcontroller. Go to the programming page now to learn about programming the MSP430.