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Autonomous Robot with Arduino, a Single Board Computer, and More :: Student Project

Charles, you built what?! An autonomous robot that responds to voice commands and reacts to its environment? With Arduino, single board computers, and a metric ton of sensors?


Charles, a computer technician from New Zealand, is an electronics and programming enthusiast who brought modern technologies to bear (like voice recognition) to his personal Arduino project.

We asked Charles some questions about this project and this is what he had to say:

Charles, why the heck did you build an Autonomous Robot?

“I wanted to see if I could make a robot that would react to the environment it is in (including interacting with the cat.)”

EA: That’s pretty ambitious!

How does this robot work?

“I have “tons” of sensors that are read by discrete boards, these boards are on an I2C bus. Each board has predefined thresholds that will make data available to the bus. These thresholds can be varied by a request from another board if a specific need for information is required.

The priority for the data transfer between the boards is undertaken by the “master”.  So in effect this is a priority driven network with predefined tables for actions.”

Now that is a robot!

What was your biggest struggle as you worked through this project?

“Working through the priority process to date has been interesting to say the least.”

Looking back on this project, what can you say you have learned about programming and/or electronics through the creation process?
“Patience is a good thing, both with technology coming available and with one’s self in learning something new.”

Charles also says “[I] listened to my mum when she asked a question…Mum’s can be useful in building robots.”

PEA: Wise words!

What type of Arduino board, Arduino clone, or Arduino compatible board does your project use?

Mixture of clone uno’s and mega boards, pcduino, tinkerboard

What Arduino shields did you use?

gps, gsm, breakout, movi (

PEA: Whoa! That movi shield is sweet! Can’t wait to try some voice recognition / voice synthesizer stuff too. Thanks for expanding my horizons Charles.

How do you power your project?

Batteries, Wall Power

Was the training at Programming Electronics Academy able to help you build your skill?

“Yes, indeed it has.”

PEA: Thanks, Charles!

More about Charles:

Charles makes his living as a computer technician in beautiful New Zealand. He’s an electronics and programming enthusiast and has been tinkering on electronics for over 50 years, and has done programming for 10 years on and off.  Charles has been a member of Programming Electronics Academy since November of 2017.

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