So I fancied having a go at building one of these Sainsmart balancing robots. But I wasn't sure how hard they would be to build. So I hatched a cunning plot. Get one for each for myself and number one son as Christmas presents and then, once he had built his and got it working, carefully copy it.
The plan was working very well until a wire came off my robot and rather than providing a nice friendly 5 volts to the robot controller it delivered a much more unpleasant 11.3 volts. This did not end well. The voltage surge took out the Arduino board, the radio receiver and the gyroscope. Around ten pounds worth of damage. Wah.
The good news is that the spares arrived today and my robot is now back on his wheels, lurching around the kitchen under sort of remote control. Getting the robot to balance was a bit of a challenge, my top tip is to just use the values given at the end of this video.
I'm looking forward to adding a few more features. Ideally I'd like to make him self tuning, or at least be able to tune the PID loop using the remote control rather than the fiddly trimmers that are supplied.
The kit is good value, the components are good quality and you get a lot of them. This would serve as the basis of a lot of interesting projects.