AdaBox003 arrived! It’s my first box as an official subscriber. I bought 001 and 002 through the Adafruit store, but as a subscriber you get:

  1. The new box automatically each quarter.
  2. A cheaper price – $60 with free shipping.
  3. Extras!

Each AdaBox has a theme and this one is right up my alley…


IoT is short for “Internet of Things” and covers a wide range of devices, including home automation. I had actually saved several of these items on my wishlist and planned to buy them when I’d finished some other projects, so it’s a very cool surprise.

AdaBox002: Make Robot Friend

Adafruit’s 2nd AdaBox is everything needed to build a full functioning robot, controlled over Bluetooth via their Bluefruit app.

When I got it a couple of months ago, I put it together and wrote a bunch of notes for improvements I wanted to make. I finally got around to spending some time on it. Adafruit’s learn guide and the associated code were a great start and I referenced some ideas from their Multi-tasking the Arduino series. Some of the things I customized with my robot:

  • No need to hold buttons in the Bluefruit app to keep the robot moving.
  • Increase/decrease speed by pressing buttons 1-4.
  • Allowed turning left/right to be combined with forward/reverse.
  • Added a backup beeper.
  • Added blinkers.
  • Added stop/go LEDs. The stop LED will blink when going in reverse.
  • Improved the increasing/decreasing speed so the robot doesn’t pop a wheelie or tip over.

I put all of the code and wiring info on GitHub. Here’s a very poor and unedited video of the robot in action. I did a terrible job of keeping the iPhone in frame.

At some point in the future I should update this to work with the iPhone’s gyroscope instead of having to press buttons. Getting my ideas for AdaBox002 wrapped up came just in time since I now have an AdaBox subscription and AdaBox003 ships out tomorrow. I’m excited to see what it is!