DaddyOh's Blog

Making, Cooking, Living

Self Balancing Robot Part 1 - Platform

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This is the first of several posts about my experiencing building a self balancing robot.

Robot Platform

My immediate goal is to build a self balancing robot using off-the-shelf components as a learning exercise. Once I get the robot working I will make a lot of improvements including switching the embedded microprocessor platform from Arduino to mbed. Eventaully I will design my own components as an exercise in skill improvement.

Note that the platform described here is not yet a working robot. Once I get the robot balancing I will write another post about that code and will update this post as well.

If you have questions about any of this please post comments and I will do the best I can to answer them.

Controller Components

Motors, wheels and brackets

Smart car Robot Self-balancing Kit Wheel+ 12V Motor+Motor bracket+Connector – Motors are ASLONG DC Motor JGA25-370-12V-122RPM


  • No. 8 threaded rod, 12 inches long (Qty 4)
  • No. 8 hex nuts
  • DPDT switch (using only one throw) so you can use a DPST switch if you can find one
  • Various bolts, nuts and stand-offs to attach components to the platforms
  • Baltic Birch Plywood 3mm-1/8” x 12” x 12”
  • USB cable for programming the UNO
  • Several LEDs and resistors for indicator lights
  • Wires, shrink wrap plastic and more


Two of the AA battery cases are wired in series to provide 12 volts for the motor shield to power the motors. One AA battery case is used to power the Arduino UNO and 9DOF board.

I wired the battery cases up to the DPDT switch and added the barrel jack plug (Male) to the output of the single case for plugging into the Arduino.

Platform Levels


Top of Robot

  • on off switch
  • 2 Battery cases for motor power
  • Indicator LEDs


Bottom of Robot

  • 9 DOF board for Gyro and Accelormeter sensing
  • Battery case to power the Arduino UNO


Underneath the Robot

  • Motor Shield stacked on Arduino UNO
  • Motors, wheels, brackets

Platform Dimensions are about 3 inches x 5.5 inches x ⅛ inch


Oh I have so many things I will do different next time. But until I get the robot running it is premature to decide on improving the platform.