LaunchBot is a $15.00 programmable robot with a 16bit processors from TI.  

The robot is programmed in C, using a professional development environment called Code Composer Studio.

Members: 13
Latest Activity: Mar 12, 2013

This firmware is for the MSP430Launchpad and is based off the TI Launchpad example for Code Composer Studio 4.

The firmware turns LaunchBot into a line follower.

See video on this




LaunchBot is built using this $10.00 kit from kitsusa as a base:


and this $4.30 kit from TI with a 16bit MSP430 as it's intelligence:


The total cost of the robot is less then $15.00


The robot includes two line sensors ( IR sensors pointing down ) and two motors providing differential drive.  This robot is perfect for line following and maze competitions.


The robot is programmed in C using the professional development tool, Code Composer Studio, from TI.  The TI MSP430 in the Launchpad kit is a professional RISC microcontroller used in automotive, industrial, and medical products around the world.  Time spent working with the TI Launchpad and the MSP430 can be counted on your resume.  Design experience with the TI MSP430 and a understanding of the Code Composer Studio development environment are skills desired by many employers.



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Comment Wall

Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 20, 2011 at 1:59pm

Thanks. I can see the whole schematic now. So as designed, the left and right "eyes" on the robot blink with the multivibrator. Not much use, mostly for show.


The downlooking IR emitter and detector pairs are sensed and amplified by a 3-stage motor driver circuit.


A nice sized experience for beginning solderers! Good to go through before moving to larger projects.


I still am thinking a replacement board with the processor built into the board, with dual Hbridges, seems like the best course. I'm afraid the running of the 8 wires from the LaunchPad (16 connections both ends) it might be easier to just start over. Anyway, a thought looking ahead.

Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 22, 2011 at 4:55pm
Got my order of 3 LaunchPads today. Pretty impressive. Smaller than I'd thought form looking at the pictures. I guess R3d3 is smaller too. I'd estimated 3.5" round. Can someone measure the body width and let me know? Still waiting for that kit to come in from C&S Sales.
Comment by eric gregori on August 22, 2011 at 6:20pm
3" in diameter
4" high
Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 22, 2011 at 8:55pm

Okay. 3" is about an ideal table top robot size. It should be legal for Mini-Sumo operations then as well.

Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 22, 2011 at 9:16pm

As an instructor in the Physics department at our University, I'm often asked, "Where's the Physics" in our robotics class. I'm really surprized people don't see it.


To  me it is obvious the kinematics problems are right out front. Robots aren't about computing so much as they are about movement, and nothing is more related to physics than movement. Then there's all the issues of electronics, and basic diode theory (solid state, quantum, semiconductor theory) the color of LED's (quantum theory again), Control Systems and PID (stemming back to Hooks law and Damped Harmonic Motion). O could go on and on.


But here's my point. I think we should start a document listing the things we could teach, or a user like a Boy Scout, or highschool student, or a begineer in college, could learn from using. What form would such a work take on a forum like this? To me this site is rather a new format. I don't know if we could have a common file or "wiki" of sorts we could build such a document together.



Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 22, 2011 at 9:56pm
Just saw a post on the SRS forum. Kevin Impson made a comment: "
You are not going to get consistent design and construction of robots until a company goes from the wheels and up and designs a "lego" style system to build a robot that includes everything, sight, smell, feel, hearing and speech.
This includes programming language, compiler, debuggers, documentation and everything else including T-shirts and Mugs."
Great idea. Okay, who wnats to work on the LaunchBot T-shirts and Mugs.

Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 23, 2011 at 12:36pm
Whoohoo, I don't have it in my hands just yet, but I'm told my R3D3 kit has arrived at the office. So I'll get my first hands on view of the kit by this afternoon.
Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 23, 2011 at 6:20pm

Alrighty. R3D3 kit is in. To my surprize I got the already-soldered version, so that will save me some soldering. i was a bit looking forward to that, but it isn't like I need the experience, but I would have liked to have seen and experienced the assembly.


Slightly wider than we previously thought. At the "wheel wells" 3-3/8". Still very nice for sumo.


Since it has tires in the center, it will have limited success as a sumo. But for learning the principles, it should be fine.  They should certainly be able to push on each other, or a box. Need to check weight, but probably 300 grams just guessing.


Drive construction: Largely this is similar to a Tamiya twin gear box. standing in the middle of the robot.  So this ammounts to the majority of the kits cost.


A plastic shell wrapped around the drive train.,The battery case sits on one side of the drive train., Control board, sensor, switch on the other.


Middle dark band of plastic is not black, but translucent. Quite possibly, the control board could be replaced, and IRPD's could be added at that band, making functional near range sensors, making reasonable sumo sensors to allow directed attacks. Cost for two of those sensors might be $5. Cost of a PCB for the processor and sensors probably $10 or less, depending (very much) on volume.

Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 24, 2011 at 9:58pm

I downloaded the Code Composer Studio 4 from the LaunchPad website link. I plugged in my LaunchPad. The drivers recognized it and "New Hardware ready to use."

Comment by Randy M. Dumse on August 24, 2011 at 10:10pm

Looked up some information on shipping the robot. For addresses I used from Elenco's zip in the Chicago area to my Dallas address. Weight of unit was .65 lbs (10.4 oz.). Plus we checked one of our standard boxes that would fit it at .5 lbs. (8 oz.)


UPS Ground $6.27 Ground

UPS Orange $12.54 Third Day

UPS Blue $20.32 Second day

UPS Red $53.53 Next day


For the postal service considered at 32 oz. verying by ZIPCODE:


Priority Mail in our box $4.97 - $9.37 1-3 days

Priority Mail their box, $10.95 (medium)1-3 days

our box Parcel Post = $5.15 - $8.67, 2-9 days


That should give you an idea what it would cost to ship your boxes, in approximation depending on zones.


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