Make Your Own MSP430 Launchpad based Robot for Beginners

This tutorial serves as a short introduction to Robotics using MSP430 microcontroller and Launchpad development board from TI.Here we will build a small differential powered robot from scratch using MSP430G2553 controller and L293D motor control chip.

This tutorial follows a DIY ethic and can be assembled easily with things lying around in your garage, only exception is the Launchpad micro controller kit which you have to purchase from Texas instruments.

The Frame of the robot is constructed from cardboard and the circuit is assembled on a general purpose PCB using a mixture of through hole and SMD components (mostly resistors and capacitors) .

In case you are not comfortable with SMD you can use through hole components.

Features of the Robot

  • MSP430 based controller (MSP430G2553) for providing the intelligence to the robot.
  • Differential Drive configuration using two geared motors(12V),No caster wheel (robot slides on a cardboard notch at the back)
  • 6 bit external port for connecting line sensors, IR obstacle sensors, wheel encoders etc.
  • L293D based motor control for locomotion.
  • RS485 based serial communication.
  • Uses standard battery or a power cord tethered to a DC source(No rechargeable battery or charging circuit is provided to minimize cost and complexity)

In case you dont want to build the whole thing you can purchase the shield containing all the electronics parts ( except MSP430) which you can plug over your MSP430 Launchpad development board from TI.The Shield can be purchased from here.

Please find the Full Tutorial along with code  and Circuit Diagram here.