this is to switch one motor’s black wire to the SIG pin, and
the red wire to the GND pin on one proto module.
Based on this motor polarity knowledge, there are four
modes of operation that you can test with ActoBits:
clockwise head bot spin; counterclockwise head bot spin;
pull forward drive; and push forward drive. Remember,
each operational mode is set by altering the way the
ActoBitty motors are plugged into the proto modules.
Now that the motors are wired up, it’s time to turn on
the power switch and see what happens. Depending on
your selected motor mode of operation, the ActoBits robot
will start moving or spinning. You can add some control to
this movement by adjusting the light sensor module (i13).
There are two controls on the light sensor: light mode
and sensitivity. The light mode has two settings: light and
dark. Using the light setting makes the sensor increase its
signal output as light intensity increases. The dark setting is
a little harder to understand. The sensor signal increases as
light intensity decreases.
You can further fine-tune this signal response by
adjusting the light sensor sensitivity. Alter the sensor light
mode settings to dramatically change ActoBits’ behavior.
Likewise, use the sensitivity control for fine-tuning the
robot’s movement during its quest for light.
Final Bits to Trick Out ActoBits
Follow the diagram in Figure 3 for laying out the
littleBits modules for easy placement in the ActoBits robot.
The 9V battery is stowed inside the aluminum channel.
There are two Actobotics battery mounts included with the
kit that will hold the battery in place.
When the battery is in place, route the 9V battery
power plug through the frontmost hole on the top side of
the channel. This installation will not only help hold the
entire littleBits control system in place on the channel, but it
also minimizes visible wiring
which can get snagged on
furniture as ActoBits runs
around on the floor.
One optional bit that can
be added to the completed
ActoBits build is the light wire
module (o16). This module is
included in the littleBits
Deluxe Kit. Consisting of
almost four feet of
wiring and inverter circuitry,
the light wire module
produces a soft blue glow
along its entire length. Even
better, you can wrap it, bend
it, and even tie knots in it
without destroying its soft EL
Therefore, you can use
the light wire module to
strap down the littleBits control system to the aluminum
channel, as well as add a “cool” glow to the completed
project as shown in Figure 4. Just make sure the EL wiring
doesn’t interfere with the light sensor module’s controls.
Want more? Like increased processing power,
connectivity, or multimedia?
Lacking a microprocessor isn’t a big deterrent to
ActoBits. If you need greater “brain power,” the littleBits
universe can provide you with a magnetically-connected
Arduino module (w6) or an Internet-connected magnetic
cloud bit module (w20), or even an MP3 player module
(i25) — everything you need for getting smarter, online,
and singing your own praise.
So, who said magnets can’t be used with aluminum?
SERVO 06.2015 53
Figure 3. A layout diagram
for the littleBits control
Figure 4. Adding the optional light wire module (o16) to
the robot produces a great ground effect lighting system.
Plus, the light wire is robust enough to act as a skid
when driving around.