Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot

Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot
Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot
Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot
Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot
Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot
Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot

Sparki - The Arduino Compatible Robot

Sparki is the easy, affordable, feature-packed Arduino compatible robot that comes pre-programmed and ready to do your bidding with the included remote control.


Think robots are complicated? Think again! Sparki is ready to roll right out of the box. The included remote control gives you instant command over Sparki, and when you're ready to take Sparki to the next level, load up the custom-enhanced Arduino software and choose from dozens of sample programs. Or write your own and upload them to Sparki through the USB port.

Sparki comes with a Bluetooth module, an array of onboard sensors (light, ultrasonic distance, acceleration, and more), and precise stepper motors. Sparki even has a motorized gripper – something unheard of for robots in this price point. For this special Make: Edition, we asked Arcbotics (Sparki's creators) to make him in “Maker Blue.” Sparki is a really impressive full-featured robot that can grow as your understanding of robotics and Arduino programming grows.

Recommended for middle school ages or anyone who's ready to dive into educational or hobby robotics.

Here are just some of the things you'll learn by experimenting with Sparki:

  • Edge avoidance
  • Line following
  • Maze solving
  • Wall avoidance
  • Room navigation
  • Object retrieval (using the built-in grippers)
  • Follow/hide from light sources
  • Shape drawing (using the marker holder)
  • Computer input (make a keyboard/mouse using sensors)
  • Games you can play with multiple Sparkis

    Here are some of the more sophisticated robotics concepts you'll learn from Sparki: 

    • PID Loops – A Proportional Integral Derivative loop is a kind of control feedback scheme commonly used in robotics and industrial automation control.
    • Pathfinding algorithms – A method of plotting the optimal path between two points, such as in maze-solving.
    • Signal Filtering – The process of removing unwanted frequencies from an incoming signal.
    • Heuristics – How to apply experience-based techniques to problem solving.

    What's in the Box

    • Ultrasonic distance sensor (get distance from Sparki to walls and other objects)
    • 3-Axis Accelerometer (pick-up detection, fall detection, hill climbing)
    • 3-Axis Magnetometer (sense the magnetic field around Sparki, coordinate with accelerometer to detect compass heading)
    • (3) Light-sensing phototransistors (light following, darkness seeking)
    • (5) Line-following and edge detection sensors (mazes, line follow, sumo wrestling)
    • 128x64 Graphic LCD (for Sparki's status readouts and other desired display)
    • RGB LED (RGB = generate any color!)
    • Buzzer (beeping, booping, and musical tones!)
    • IR transmitter (like your TV remote)
    • IR receiver (like the IR receiver on your TV)
    • IR remote control (lots of buttons to control Sparki with right out of the box)
    • TTL serial port for expansion (talk to an Arduino/Raspberry Pi)
    • Bluetooth serial module (to communicate with Sparki over Bluetooth)
    • (2) Geared stepper motors (precise, measured movement down to millimeters/sub-degrees)
    • Marker holder for drawing (used for holding markers to turn Sparki into a drawbot)


    What You'll Need

    • (4) AA batteries 

    Product Documentation / User Guide

    The Acrobotics website has an impressive amount of material on Sparki, a Getting Started Guide, lessons in “SparkiDuino,” an introduction to programming basics, and a detailed rundown of all of Sparki's components. Start your journey of discovery here: Sparki Getting Started Guide 

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