I wanted a quick, easy to build robot kit to get back into electronics and robotics. I ask for a Herbie the Mouse Bot for Christmas and sure enough I got one. It was a fun kit to build and went together in a little over an hour.
You start off with a PC board…
… and a handful of components…
You break apart the PC board which serves as a PC board and a body for the mouse which, is pretty cool.
The PC boards join together via several solder joints. Tape is used to keep everything together until you are done soldering. A smaller board that holds the 9 volt battery connector helps keep the three main sides together. By the time you are done soldering all the joints it is a pretty sturdy little robot.
The whiskers and tail activate a relay when bumped so the mouse will backup to avoid getting stuck. I taped the relay down while I soldered it in.
Herbie with the photo diode “eyes” installed….
Herbie just about finished…
Herbie is an interesting robot because it uses a simple analog IC, the LM386, to do something you might think requires a much more complicated digital circuit or micro-controller/processor:
We don’t have much open bare floor in the house and it moves quite fast so it was a bit of a challenge to keep it under control without hitting too much:
The Herbie Kit is well engineered and fun to assemble. I give it five stars and recommend it as a good first robot kit.
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I was going to order a number of these for my grandsons. Are they still available Can’t find them
It looks like Solarbotics still has them here: