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Understanding Robotic Systems

Introduction to Robot Systems

The benefits and uses of robots are as endless as your imagination. Whether you are in the classroom, homeschooling or working with scouts, BotBrain offers a variety of products and solutions to fit your unique situtation.



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BotBrain Tiny Computer chipClassroom robots are controlled by a microprocessor: a tiny computer on a chip.

The microprocessor "Brain" in the BotBrain® board is a Parallax BotBrain Educational Robots ControllerBasic Stamp® . Everything plugs together quickly and easily. Connectors are polarized so students cannot plug things in backwards. No need to breadboard circuits. You can teach robotics without having to think about electronics.

  • Parallax Basic Stamp® Microprocessor
  • Polarized connectors
  • 5 Servo output jacks
  • 8 protected I/O connections
  • 'Safety' circuit to prevent over current on I/O
  • Piezo Speaker built in
  • Reset and Programming button built in
  • Holes in edges mount to Merkur® parts


Actuators are the muscles of the robot. The BotBrain robot system uses RadioControl type servos for actuators.BotBrain Educational Robots Introduction to Systems

Position Servo
These are standard RC servos used in model airplanes. They can be commanded to go to any position within a 120° range.

BotBrain Educational Robots Introduction to Systems

Continuous Rotation Servo
These are similar to position servos, but instead of moving to a particular angle and stopping, they rotate at varying speeds in either direction. Use them to drive wheels.


The Program is the MIND of the robot. It is a set of instructions that students create to tell the robot what to do. The BotBrain is programmed in Parallax pBasic, an easy-to-learn form of the basic programming language.

  • Well designed editor
  • Runs in Windows or Macintosh OS
  • Extremely well documented


BotBrain Educational Robots offer four (4) different types of sensors. The sensors receive a signal or stimulus (as heat or pressure or light or motion etc.) and respond to it in a distinctive manner.

IR (InfraRed) Sensors-transmit an InfraRed signal and detect its reflection. The range is from 5 cm to 2 meters. They can be used for detecting objects and determining distance.

Line Sensors- are infrared sensors which detect light and dark at close range. They are often used for line-following challenges or to find the ring in robot sumo. Best to have three, but two will work.

Light Sensors - are phtoresistors in an RC (Resistor/ Capacitor) circuit. They provide an input number which is proportional to the amount of light falling on the photoresistor. They can be used to determine light and dark areas. Used for Photovore robots and flashlight controlled robots.

Whisker Sensors - also known as touch sensors, they are used for detecting the presence or absence of objects or surfaces. When the wire 'whisker' bends, it closes a switch, sending an input to the BotBrain Board.

You may also use any sensor the Basic Stamp® can use.