Building your own Arduino robot at home is a fun and educational project that doesn't have to break the bank. With just a few common components, I was able to build a simple robot for well under $50. Here is a step-by-step guide on how I did it.

What You'll Need

To build your own budget Arduino robot, you'll need the following components:

Arduino Uno Board

The Arduino Uno is the brains of the robot. This microcontroller board allows you to program behaviors, move motors, and read sensors. You can pick one up for around $20.

Motor Shield

A motor shield attaches on top of the Arduino and allows you to control DC motors. TheAdafruit Motor Shield V2 is a good option for around $15.


Motors are what enable the robot to move. For a simple 2-wheeled robot, you'll need 2 small DC motors. These can be found very cheaply, usually around $2 each.


To attach the motors to the chassis, you'll need 2 wheels or tires. Plastic wheels meant for robots work great and cost just a few dollars.


The chassis provides the frame of the robot. For a simple project, a small plastic platform works well and costs around $5.

Battery Pack

An portable external battery pack provides power for the motors and Arduino. A pack with 6 AA batteries works well.


Jumpers are needed to connect components together. Get a variety pack of both male-male and male-female.


A breadboard allows you to prototype circuits before soldering. These are just a few dollars.

Assembly Instructions

Once you have all the components, it's time to start assembling your Arduino robot. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Mount the Motors

Use small screws to mount the motors to the chassis, either on the sides or back. Be sure to attach wheels to the motor shafts.

Step 2: Attach the Shield to the Arduino

Carefully align the pins and headers, then press the motor shield firmly onto the Arduino board.

Step 3: Connect the Motors to the Shield

Use jumpers to connect each motor to the output pins on the shield. This allows control of the motors.

Step 4: Connect the Battery Pack

The battery pack connects to the power pins on the Arduino to deliver 6V for the motors.

Step 5: Upload Code to the Arduino

Use the Arduino IDE to write code and upload it to the board. This powers the robot's functionality.

Step 6: Add Features!

Once the basic assembly is complete, you can add more cool features like sensors, Bluetooth control, or even a robot arm! Let your imagination run wild.

Programming the Robot

The Arduino board allows you to custom program your robot to perform different functions and behaviors. Here are some key aspects of Arduino programming:

Start with simple examples and build up to more complex programs. The Arduino reference covers all available functions.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Building an Arduino robot is an exciting project but can also lead to a few technical headaches. Here are some common issues and how to solve them:

Final Thoughts

Building your own Arduino robot at home is challenging but doable. With some basic components, free software, patience, and creativity, you can have an intelligent robot sidekick for under $50. As you improve your skills, you can add features and abilities to create an impressive custom machine. Every great robot starts with simple beginnings!