Assembling the Tinker Pi Robot for Microbit #tt13

Tinkerer: Lory Livezey

The Tinker Pi Robot is a modular learning platform that can be configured to run on any of the open source micro-controllers, such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and as we'll be doing in this tutorial, the Micro:bit.

Previous Step

  Sending Accelerometer Readings Between Two Microbits Using Radio #tt9

What you will need

Materials List

Step 1 - Attach the Castor to the Black Base

The castor, or third wheel, is attached to the bottom, using the screws in the bag marked castor. The screws should be inserted in the colored piece, and run through and first hand-tighten the nut on the castor. Use a screw driver to tighten.

Image showing attach castor

Step 2 - Attach the Motors

Place the colored bottom on the black bottom. Next, we'll attach the motors.

The two pieces that are the same snap onto the two notches on the outside edge. One of the two inner pieces has an "L" shape, the other is straight.

The bracket with the "L" shape should be inserted on the left side, pushed down through the colored piece.

Attaching the L Shaped Bracket

Flip the base over, and snap the side bracket in the notch on the side:

L-Bracket Underneath

Slide the motor in between the black brackets. Slide the screw through. Hold the nut with your finger and tighten the screw with a screwdriver:

Screw Motor onto Brackets

The straight bracket will slide down through the right side.

Right Bracket

Slide the screw through the motor and the two brackets, then tighten with a screwdriver.

Screw the right motor

Feed the wires up through the bottom layer:

Image showing feeding the wires through bottom layer

Step 3 - Attach Bridges to Base

The bridges hold the top layer to the bottom layer. Snap the bridges into the base layer, then use the screws in the bag labeled bridges-- four screws are inserted from the base of the bridge, through the bottom layer, then a nut is first hand-tightened, then tightened with a screwdriver. You should have two screws left over for the next step.

Image showing attach bridges to base

Step 4 - Attach Top Layer to Bridges

Place the colored top against the black top and use the two remaining screws to attach the top layer to the bridges, using the center holes. Insert the screws through the top and hand-tighten the nuts underneath. Use your screw driver to tighten.

Image showing attach top layer to bridges

Step 5 - Assemble the Wheels

Snap the black tires onto the colored wheels. It works best if you start at the bottom and work your way up.

Snap Tires Onto Wheels

Insert the hubs into the wheels through the outside of the wheel. The inside of the wheel is flat, the outside has the design. Screw the wheels into the motors.

Insert hubs into wheels

Next, insert the wheels onto the motors:

Fit Wheel onto Motor

Screw them on:

Fit Wheel onto Motor

Step 6 - Assemble the Motor Board Snapee

The motor board snapee will allow you to snap the motor board into the robot. Insert the screw through the side with the snaps. Slide the nut on next. It has threads and won't "screw", but the nut is just there as a spacer to allow some air for the circuit board.

Assembling the motor board snapee

Snap the motor board onto the top layer of the robot.

Snap motor board onto top

Step 6 - Assemble the Micro:bit Case

Place the Micro:bit onto the back piece.

Assemble Microbit

Then snap the face onto the back:

Assemble Microbit

Plug the Micro:bit into the Motor Board.

Step 7 - Attach the Breadboard to the Breadboard Snapee

Peel the adhesive off of the breadboard and apply it to the snap. Make sure you line this up accurately, or the other pieces may not fit right.

Attach breadboard to snapee

Plug the breadboard power supply into the breadboard:

Plug In breadboard power supply

Plug Red Wire (+) and Black Wire (-) into the breadboard's (+) and (-) row:

Plug Power Wires into Breadboard

Plug in the 9V Battery:

Plug in 9V Battery

The breadboard power supply can supply either 5V or 3.3V to either side of the breadboard. We will need 5V to power the Motor Board, so whichever side you plug the power wires into should be set to 5V:

Set Jumper to 5V

Step 8 - Wire up the Motor Board

The breadboard snap will fit into the bottom level of the robot -- there are 2 slots sticking up that hold the 9v Battery in place:

Plug in the Breadboard Snap 1

Plug in the Breadboard Snap 2

Next, plug the red and black wires from the breadboard into the + and - on the Motor Board:

Power the Motor Board

Plug the motors into the Motor Board as shown below -- red, black, black red. If you get these mixed up, you won't hurt anything. Your wheels may turn the opposite way that you would expect.

Plug Motors into Motor Board

Step 9 - Ready to Program!

Finished Robot

You have successfully assembled the Tinker Pi Robot for the Micro:bit. The next step will be to program it, or if you can do that without instructions, you can download the two hex files here.

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Next Up

Programming the Tinker Pi Robot with Microbit #tt18

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