Arduino self balancing robot – Update #2 & #3

🕒 4 min read

After much consideration, I think I will try to make a self balancing robot first before a ball balancing robot as to get a better understanding of “balancing” algorithms first. Hence, I’m working on a self balancing robot now instead. Actually I had finished a few stuff a few weeks before I wrote this post, so I will be writing Update #2 and Update #3 together.


#Update 2 – 17/10/15:

Don’t really have any pictures on it, majority of the time was spend testing parts only. I decided to build a self balancing robot first to get more understanding on how balancing robot work. This is because 2 wheel self balancing robot only have to handle 1 axis (the x-axis), whereas the ball balancing robot have to handle 3 axis, which is more complicated.


  • Using a Arduino Uno for testing purposes, intending to get a smaller micro controller soon
  • Thought about using ATtiny85, but it is too small in memory size & slow in terms of speed.
    • Verdict: Stick to Arduino Uno for now.

Locomotion (Settled)

  • Thought of using the 5V stepper motors for locomotion, but after testing them out, I realised it was way to slow to respond to changes……
    • Verdict: Nah, too slow. Will be choosing another type of motor to use.
  • Tried out 5V mini rotational servo motors with an Arduino Uno, seems to be a better candidate for the robot
    • Verdict: Should be good (enough?). Most likely using 2 FITEC Continuous Servo Motor (FS90R)
    • Things to keep in mind while using rotational motors:
      • 0° – No movement
      • 90° – Clockwise movement (max. speed)
      • 180° – Anti-clockwise movement (max. speed)


  • Interfaced the MPU6050 (Accelerometer & Gyroscope Sensor) with the Arduino Uno, used it to control the speed & direction (aka velocity) of the servos
    • When the sensor falls in one direction, the servo has to react in the opposite direction. (~Newton’s 3rd law)
    • E.g. If the robot is falling to the left, the servo has to move to the right as to mitigate the fall


  • Implemented a simple program to do crude correction of the falling sensor.
  • Will be using only the gyroscope x-axis for now, with the values mapped.
  • The velocity of the servo will be determined by adding 90 with how much change there is in the Gyro-sensor (X-axis). (Since at 90, the servo will not be moving.)
#include <Servo.h>
#include <Wire.h>

const int MPU=0x68;  // I2C address of the MPU-6050
int16_t AcX,AcY,AcZ,Tmp,GyX,GyY,GyZ;

Servo myservoL;  //Left Servo (D10)
Servo myservoR;  //Right Servo (D9)

int valL=90; 
int valR=90; 

void setup()
  myservoL.attach(4);  // Left
  myservoR.attach(5);  // Right
  //Initialise Serial at 115200 baud rate
  // Initialize MPU
  Wire.write(0x6B);  // PWR_MGMT_1 register
  Wire.write(0);     // set to zero (wakes up the MPU-6050)

void loop() {

  //val = Serial.parseInt();            // reads the value of the potentiometer (value between 0 and 1023) 
  // sets the servo position according to sensor

  delay(15);                           // waits for the servo to get there 


void readVal(){
  Wire.write(0x3B);  // starting with register 0x3B (ACCEL_XOUT_H)
  Wire.requestFrom(MPU,14,true);  // request a total of 14 registers<<8|;  // 0x3B (ACCEL_XOUT_H) & 0x3C (ACCEL_XOUT_L)<<8|;  // 0x3D (ACCEL_YOUT_H) & 0x3E (ACCEL_YOUT_L)<<8|;  // 0x3F (ACCEL_ZOUT_H) & 0x40 (ACCEL_ZOUT_L)<<8|;  // 0x41 (TEMP_OUT_H) & 0x42 (TEMP_OUT_L)<<8|;  // 0x43 (GYRO_XOUT_H) & 0x44 (GYRO_XOUT_L)<<8|;  // 0x45 (GYRO_YOUT_H) & 0x46 (GYRO_YOUT_L)<<8|;  // 0x47 (GYRO_ZOUT_H) & 0x48 (GYRO_ZOUT_L) 

That’s it for Update #2. Now, moving on to Update #3…


#Update 3 – 24/10/15:

Micro-controller (Settled)


  • I think I will be using the Bluno Bettle instead of Arduino Uno
  • Features:
    • ATmega328@16MHz: Similar to the Arduino Uno
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BT 4.0): Can be used in the future for control
    • Micro USB port
    • Super Compact Size (28.8mm X 33.1mm, 10g): That’s what I need!
    • Working voltage: 5V DC
    • Digital Pin x6
    • Analog Pin x6
    • PWM Output x2
    • UART interface x1
    • I2C interface x1
  • Verdict: Most likely using this micro-controller.


Sensor (Settled)


  • Interfaced the MPU6050 (Accelerometer & Gyroscope Sensor) with the Bluno Bettle
    • Encountered various problems while doing so
    • Got -1 for all the output (Gyroscope values), took some steps to resolve problem (in ~2h):
      • Changed jumper wires.
      • Used I2C Scanner to make sure the Bluno Bettle can detect the MPU6050.
      • Did not detect any address at first, so I swapped the wires around. And it detected the sensor. Opps!




  • Designed the body of the robot, it will consist of 3 body plates with stand-offs supporting it.
  • I will 3D print the parts, the sketchup file will be uploaded onto Github soon.
  • The servos will be attached below, sanwichiched between 2 of the plates.
  • The top section of the plate will be where the sensor (MPU6050) & the 5V voltage regulator is. I will be using a 3.7V Lipoly Battery to power the Bluno Bettle.


(I think the distance between the top plate & middle plate is a little to small. Maybe I will extend the stand-off by one more the next time.)



  • Using the same code as previously mentioned. Will be adding the PID filter once I settled everything.


This are a few more other photos that I have taken: (Rather messy setup…)


And that’s about it. This is what I intend to do next time (hopefully):

  • Organise the jumper wires nicely (it’s rather messy now).
  • Find a good spot to place the Bettle & the battery.
  • Modify the body a little bit, maybe 3D print wheels?
  • Implement the PID algorithm into the robot.
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  1. Hello, I am a student working on a project with a blue-no-beetle. I’ve got a problem. I don’t know which pin I’m going to connect the gyro sensor to. I don’t know where the 12c communication is. I would appreciate it if you could let me know.

    • Hi jiyeon, there is a I2C contact at the bottom left of the bluno beetle, you can either solder a wire or header onto the contact point. The pinout is as shown below.

      Bluno Beetle Schematics

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