Kit & Resources

Update as of September 10, 2pm.

Sept 10 2pm updates:

  • added Laser Cutting services from Fare Made

Sept 12 2am updates:

  • buy extra parts from Elmwood Electronics, each team has a $60 budget to spend
  • added Interaxon and Muse to the parts borrowing library


On This Page

Base Kit

Each team can select either a beginner base kit with an Arduino or a more advanced base kit with a Raspberry Pi.  We have one kit for each family team or each team of 4 robohackers that have purchased individual tickets. Teams can select the kit they prefer.

The beginner base kit includes:

  • an Arduino Uno or an Adafruit Metro
  • a USB cable to connect it to your laptop
  • a breadboard
  • a photoresistor (light sensor)
  • some limit switches
  • a motor driver
  • a couple of motors
  • a battery and connectors


The advanced base kit includes:


  • a Raspberry Pi 2
  • a console cable
  • a plug-in power supply
  • a preloaded SD card
  • a breadboard
  • a photoresistor (light sensor)
  • some limit switches
  • a motor driver
  • a couple of motors
  • a battery and connectors

Here’s what you should bring

  • an idea of what you want to build
  • your laptop computer and power cable
  • 3 to 5 volt and a 7 to 10 volt power supply if you have one (these are not required, but will help save batteries)
  • any parts that aren’t in the kit that you want or need
  • your favourite tools if you have them and think you need them for your project
  • your data stick if you have one – could come in handy when our networks get choked up
  • your maker spirit and enthusiasm
  • your portable coffee mug or water bottle: we try to keep our hackathons as environmental as possible and would love to reduce waste as much as possible
  • peripherals for your Raspberry Pi including an HDMI monitor and cable, USB Keyboard, USB mouse. A console cable is provided but if you want to use the Raspberry Pi but don’t know how to use the console cable you will need the peripherals. Scratch GPIO is an excellent option for beginners but you need peripherals to run it.

Demo Robot and Code

This summer James Schuback of Kiwi Wearables prepared a workshop on gesture controlled robots.

You can see James’ presentation, a demo video and sample code here

Last year our team took a night off and built a little something.  It uses some of the parts in the beginner base kit.  We used a motor from one of our toy building sets and the Arduino. Check it out here:

And here you can find some sample code for the Bluetooth shields and other parts:

Its from Daniel Mirmilshteyn so don’t be shy to find him at the hackathon and ask him for some help.

3D Printing

We have 4 Makerbots and 1Type A 3D Printers for you to design and print your own parts. Thanks Synaptive Medical, Semaphore Lab, and Makelab!

You can find sample parts at the following sites to add to your bots at:

Here is a great intro to 3D Design, a step-by-step guide for you to create a model and get it ready for print: An Introductory Guide to 3D Design Using 123D Design by Daniel Southwick, Isaac Record, and Matt Ratto.

You can check out all Autodesk’s 3D tools and their education offers at:

Laser Cutting

(offsite at Fare Made, 277.5 Augusta Ave., 2nd floor, @ The White House Studio Toronto, ON  M5T 2M1 )

You can prepare your laser-cut designs at the hackathon then speak to the Fare Made people at their shop to finalize your files and get them cut.  The shop is in Kensington, about 20 minutes away on foot.

Here are the specifications for the cutter and files.

And here is a design guide to help you create your files.

We have a few sheets of 1/8 th inch acrylic for partner and you can purchase more (not part of the kit budget) if you require.

Speak to Maksim on Friday evening and book your time.

Special thanks to our sponsors and hardware partners for providing the following:

A GestureSense sensor from XYZ Interactive in each kit – add Gesture recognition capabilities to your robot
Pitch your idea to XYZ CEO Mike Kosic and get a ZX Gesture Sensor to  incorporate into your bot.

Documentation available at on Sparkfun.


Wearhacks Selection of Wearables
Wearhacks is sharing the following hardware. Go to the Wearhacks table to BORROW the items and ask questions about implementing them.

  • 5 Pebble Watches – create apps to connect your watch to your robot
  • 10 Estimote Beacons – build context-aware interactions
  • 10 Myo bands – add EEG-enabled gesture control to your bot
  • 1 Nod Ring – add gesture control to your robot
  • 2 MS Kinects – add 3D imaging and vision to your robot
Interaxon makers of Muse the Brain-sensing headband  Muse
  • Muse Headband – read EEG signals from your brain
Conveyor Built Selection of Hardware
Visit the equipment table to BORROW the following:

  • 1 HDMI cable
  • 1 self-powered VGA to HDMI cable (use the RPi with a VGA monitor)
  • 1 RPi peripheral kit including monitor, keyboard,mouse, powered hub, mini USB power cable, USB camera, USB wifi adapter, USB Bluetooth adapter, unamplified speakers
  • 1 Tobii EyeX – add eye tracking to control your bot
  • 2 EyeTribe Trackers – add eye tracking to control your bot
  • 1mini A8 with GPS, GSM, GPRS – add GPS Tracking
  • Myo band – add EEG-enabled gesture control to your bot
  • Muse Headband – read EEG signals from your brain
  • 2 MS Kinects – add 3D imaging and vision to your robot
  • 5 SD/micro SD cards
  • 1 Duracel rechargeable USB battery pack
  • 1 USB Wireles N adapter
Get Your Bot On! We have one IP camera available to BORROW at the equipment desk.


Cables also available to borrow:

  • 13 ethernet cables
  • 1 router (no wireless)
  • 6 USB to Arduino cables
  • 3 USB extensions
  • 5 USB to mini USB cables
  • 1 USB to micro USB cable
  • 3 VGA cables
  • 1 DVI cable
  • 1 USB to VGA cable
  • 3 power cables (for  a desktop or monitor)
  • 1 audio to RCA cable

Buy extra parts from Elmwood electronics. Each team has a $60 budget. Inventory is available at:


Arduino Uno
The Arduino website will tell you how to get started. There are lots of

Here is a great manual from Artash and Vikas Nath, members of one of our family teams this year.

Arduino Robot projects on the Instructables website to get you started .

USB Cable (A to B)
To connect the Arduino to the computer.
5mm Photo Resistor (light sensor)
3pin Switch – 3 units
Motor Driver/H Bridge – Pololu (one of Pololu H-bridge or Sparkfun H-bridge)
Motor Driver/H Bridge SparkFun Motor Driver – Dual (one of Sparkfun H-bridge or Pololu)
9V Battery Snap – no barrel
power arduino
Battery Holder – AA – no barrel
power motors
Batteries – 1 pack of AA, 1 9V
3 x Press Switches
Markers and Post Its
Wire Strippers

You’ll need this stuff to build – ask for what you need.

capacitor assortment
used here and there
led assortment
used here and there
Breakaway Header
used here and there
Resistor Assortment
used here and there
hookup wire – 25′ rolls
Heat Shrink

We have limited quantities of the following items. You can purchase them with your team tickets. They  are available to teams at the Parts Pool.

Alligator Clips (10 Pack)
connect stuff
IR Range Sensor
IR Sensor Connector
for ir sensor
Mini Servo
High Torque Full Rotation Servo
Heavy Duty Karbonite Gear Servo
Metal Gear Servos
Helicopter Servos
gearhead motors
Caster Balls
move around
grab it
C brackets
make an arm
Ultrasonic Sensor
Ultrasonic Range Finder 3mm resolution
Bluetooth Modules
Bluetooth Modules – DX
Bluetooth Shield
stretch sensor
Advanced Sensor Kit
Check out the Sparkfun list of parts here.
Accelerometer (2g, 4g, 8g)
Accelerometer (3/11g)
Accelerometer (1.5/6g)
3-Axis Gyro
3-Axis Gyro
MPU – Integrated Gyro & Accelerometer
0.5in pressure sensor
1.5in pressure sensor
Flex Sensor
 IR emitters and sensors
 Universal remotes
a few

50mm RFID Tags
rotary encoders
30A current sensor
5A current sensor
Temperature Sensor
Temperature Sensor
Temperature Sensor v2
Moisture Sensor
Volume Sensor
Arduino Prototype Shields
Arduino Sensor Kit
Check out the list of sensors and parts on the product website:
L298 H Bridge
Audio-Sound Breakout – WTV020SD Note: if you find a more detailed tutorial, please share it!
Prototype Board

You may need to do some testing and troubleshooting.  We have a few of these on loan from the Equipment Library. Try them out! Bring one of your team’s “Borrow” tickets. Be sure to bring them back for other teams.

Multimeters Kits:
Syscomp CGR-101
– USB Oscilloscope, USB Cable, CD
USB Oscilliprobes pair – with manual
GDS Oscilloscope – gds-1072-u
GDS Oscilloprobes pair- with CD, manual
Soldering Station
Panavise helping hands
GW Instek Power Supply
GW Instek Power Supply Probe Six Pack:
Test lead GTL-104A x 2,GTL-105A x 1 ; European test lead GTL-203A x 1,GTL-204A x 2, GTL-201A x1
solder suckers


Come to the craft table to find cutting, stripping and sticking tools:

  • 16 exacto knives
  • 10 pairs of scissors
  • 10 pairs of wire strippers
  • 10 pairs of needle-nose plyers
  • 10 wire cutters
  • Steel rulers
  • Protractor Sets
  • Glue Guns

And we have lots of stuff at the craft table to finish things off.  Take what you need.

  • nuts, bolts and fasteners
  • tin sheets and tin snips
  • foam core
  • glue
  • Glue Sticks
  • Electrical Tape 
  • Duct Tape – various colours
  • Double-sided tape
  • Aluminum Tape
  • Set of Screws – Various large – Hex Bolts and Nuts Set
  • Thick Rubber Bands
  • Craft Wire/Bailing Wire
    Popsicle Sticks
    Zip Ties various sizes
    Craft Paint
    Small Craft Paint Brushes
    Foam Core Board

Some ideas you can build!

Check out Erin Kennedy’s Robobrrds. These little birds are made from plywood sheets laser cut and then assembled with an Arduino brain. Erin even tells you how to connect them to your Google+ Hangout: Robobrrds also appear in the first place winner, Lightingbots, at the Cloud Robotics Hackathon earlier this year.

20121030090838-copertinaRackbot is an Arduino-based flexible robot building platform for building rovers and other robotic inventions. The platform includes aluminum parts to build your chasis and mechanisms.  We won’t have aluminum but you could prototype something similar in cardboard. The kit also includes interfaces for control from your iOS or Android device. The Markerbot follows paper coloured arrows. You may have to cut the reader housing out of foam but the other parts you need should be available at the hackathon.


Mechanisms and Automata:

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre has some tips and tricks for building mechanisms on their blog. Most of these can be easily built with the cardboard and foam core that will be in the hackathon kit. You can download some of their samples and try to build them yourself. Instead of a hand crank you could connect a servo motor and control it with an Arduino. Add a switch or sensor and some logic and you are in the competition!

Rob Ives designs templates for paper automata. He has an entire library of mechanisms you might find useful to help you create the motion that you need for your robot.

The late 1800’s book “507 Mechanical Movements” is available online as a PDF and has plenty of ideas for movements you may need.

And the Exploratorium museum has catalogued a series of mechanisms on display in Boston. Use it in your brainstorming to help you design your robot mechanisms.

For more advanced mechanics and mechanisms the Kinematic Models for Design Digital Library (KMODDL) has numerous examples of mechanisms you can use to create movement in your robot.

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