This robotics platform is specially designed by 4tronix for Arduino. Ready-built main chassis and no soldering required
For Raspberry Pi - please see this page

1. Check all parts are present

 Basic Hardware Pack
  • 1 x Ready-built chassis with motors, gearboxes, battery holder, speed sensors
  • 1 x Top plate (injection-moulded ABS)
  • 4 x Moulded wheels with "Supergrip" tyres
  • 1 x Pack of screws
  • 1 x Pack of ABS mounting parts

Screws Pack

  • See Step 2 below

Optional Boards

  • 1 x Arduino UNO, Leonardo, Mega2560 or compatible
  • 1 x L298N module
  • 1 x Arduino Sensor Shield v4 (versions 4 onwards are all suitable). Using this is a tidier method than using a mini-breadboard for connections
 2. Screws Pack
  • (A) 2x for mounting IR obstacle sensors
  • (B) 4x for mounting mini Pan/Tilt assembly
  • (C) 4x for use with small 8mm spacers
  • (D) 8x for mounting top plate with long pillars
  • (E) 10x for mounting Arduino and L298N modules
  • (F) 40x for long pillars and offset stand-offs

3. Attach long pillars for top plate
  • Identify the 4 long pillars with the flat ends as shown inset
  • Using the screws (D), fit a pillar into each corner of the main chassis
  • Make sure that the pillars are seated well and screwed in firmly, but not too tight
4. Fit the L298N Motor Driver Board (if required)
  • Use 4 screws (E) to fit the L298N board
  • Connect the left motor Red/Black wires to L1 (Red) and L2 (Black)
  • Connect the right motor Red/Black wires to L3 (Black) and L4 (Red)
  • Connect the Red/Black wires from the power supply PCB to VCC (Red) and GND (Black)
  • Push the female end of the 4-way Dupont wire onto the IN1..IN4 terminals
5. Assemble Top Plate and connect Arduino
  • The Arduino is mounted at the Back of the initio
  • Use 4 screws (D) to fit top plate, ensuring the Arduino mounting positions are above the battery holder and ensure the vertical pillars are fitted correctly into the slots on the bottom of the top plate
  • Use 4 screws (E) to fit the Arduino (UNO, Leonardo, Mega2560) onto the pillars provided. The USB and power connections should be directly above the power PCB
  • Connect the Male ends of the Dupont cable into pins 6..9 on the Arduino (or the sensor shield for ultimate pack)
    • IN1 to Pin6 (should be a PWM pin)
    • IN2 to Pin7
    • IN3 to Pin9
    • IN4 to Pin8 (should be a PWM pin)
    • NB. Shown differently in photo - change the sketch appropriately
  • The basic robot is now complete and can be programmed to move with demo code initio_01 and initio_02
  • But we have not connected any sensors yet...
6. Fitting the optional Mini Pan/Tilt assembly and IR Obstacle Sensors
  • Please visit the Pan/Tilt assembly page to build the Pan/Tilt module
  • The Pan/Tilt is mounted at the Front of the initio
  • Use 4 screws (B) to mount the Pan/Tilt assembly
  • Mount to the opposite end to the Arduino
  • Use the special mounting plate and clip to front of the Pan/Tilt to mount breadboards or sensors
  • Use 2 screws (A) to mount the two obstacle sensor brackets (You may want to remove the top plate so you can screw them in easier)
7. Mounting the mini-breadboard
NB. This step is only required if you are not using the sensor shield included in our complete bundles
  • Use a pair of side-cutters or sharp knife to remove the unwanted pillar (used for the L298N on the bottom plate - both top and bottom plates are from the same mould)
  • Remove self-adhesive backing from the mini-breadboard
  • Press the breadboard to the top plate, ensuring the wire feed-through holes in the top plate are not obstructed
Alternatively, you can use an Arduino sensor shield to connect the sensors and motor drive directly to the Arduino (as supplied with our Ultimate kits). This produces a much tidier robot.
8. Complete the Wiring
  • The suggested wiring below matches that expected in the example sketches, but of course you could wire it differently if you want
  • The wheel speed sensors each have 4 wires:
    • Black (was Yellow on Rev A Initio) - connect to Gnd
    • Red - connect to 5V
    • Orange - Interrupt. Connect to Arduino interrupt pin 2 (right) and pin 3 (left)
    • Brown - Direction. Connect to Arduino input pin 4 (right) and pin 5 (left)
  • The two servos in the Pan/Tilt each have three wires:
    • Brown - connect to Gnd
    • Red - connect to 5V
    • Orange - connect to pin 10 (pan) and pin 11 (tilt)
  • Connect the Obstacle sensors with three wires:
    • Black to Gnd
    • Red to 5V
    • Yellow to pin D12 (left) and pin D0 (right)
    • NB: The connection to D0 will need to be removed when downloading software to the Arduino, then put back before running the sketch
  • Mount the ultrasonic sensor using double-sided adhesive pads, or with elastic band. Use the 30cm Female-Female cable to connect:
    • Gnd to Gnd
    • Echo to A5
    • Trig to A4
    • Vcc to +5V
  • Mount the line sensors using the long pillars and 4 screws (F) so the line sensors are about 1cm off the ground. Connect:
    • Gnd to Gnd
    • Left & Right line sensors to D2 and D3 (instead of the wheel sensors)
    • Vcc to +5V
The Completed initio
  • Add in 6 good quality AA batteries. We prefer Energizer Rechargeable Extremes
  • Download some demo code:
    • initio_01 simply moves initio back and forwards and spins
    • initio_02 uses PWM to control the speed and create smooth turns
    • initio_03 shows how to use the speed sensors to move accurate distances
    • EncoderTest01 tests the operation of both wheel sensors. Use the switches on the top of the gearbox to disengage the wheels from the gears, then turn the wheels by hand to see the results on the serial monitor
    • initio_04 uses the obstacle sensors to avoid obstacles
    • initio_05 adds a light-follower function using LDRs mounted on the Pan/Tilt (Connect one end of each LDR to 0V, the other ends to A0..A3)
    • initio_06 uses the line sensors to follow a black line and stop when it reaches a cross-roads
    • initio_07 uses the ultrasonic sensor mounted on the Pan/Tilt to avoid obstacles and travel in the direction of most space
  • Do let us know how you get on