Elecfreaks Cutebot

A great robot kit, particularly for the classroom - small, affordable and rich in features.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

30 October 2022 by Kevin McAleer


👍 Recommendation

This is a solid buy recommendation, This is a perfect starter kit for getting into robotics, and learning how to programme. if you already have a micro:bit you can use that instead of the Pico:ed.



Elecfreak Cutebot Review

Cutebot is a small programmable robot, based on the Pico:Ed or Micro:bit microcontroller. It can be programmed in MicroPython, Microblocks and C++.

Cutebot on a desk

Features

Cutebot has the following features:

  • Dual line following sensors
  • 2 motors
  • 2 RGB LED user programmable ‘headlights’
  • IR sensor
  • Ultrasonic rangefinder for avoiding obstacles or following them!
  • Ambient Chassis lights
  • Headers for expansion and access to the I2C bus and GPIOs
  • Battery box for 3 AAA batteries

Whats in the box

The Cutebot kit contains everything you need to get started (apart from 3 AAA batteries). The box contains:

  • The Cutebot robot
  • A MicroUSB cable for programming the robot
  • An AAA battery box and sticky pad for attaching it to the robot
  • An ultrasonic range finder for measuring distance and detecting objects in front of the robot
  • A Pico:ed microcontroller board for controlling the robot
  • User Instructions
  • A line following sheet; the robot can follow the black line drawn on the sheet

User instructions

The guide that comes with the kit has a couple of easy examples (they call then cases, as in use-cases) to get you started:

  • Case 01: Move Forward or Reverse at the Full Speed
  • Case 02: Speed Up Gradually
  • Case 03: Dance in Figure-of-eight
  • Case 04: Run at Random
  • Case 05: Automatic Headlights
  • Case 06: Steering&Clearance Lamps
  • Case 07: Fall-arrest Cutebot
  • Case 08: Run Along the Black Line
  • Case 09: Autonomous Obstacle Avoidance
  • Case 10: Car Following with A Fixed Distance
  • Case 11: micro:bit Remote Control
  • Case 12: Remote Control the Cutebot with micro:bit Accelerometer
  • Case 13: Remote Control with Joystick:bit
  • Case 14: IR Remote Control Car
  • Case 15: Seeking the Light

You can access the examples here: https://www.elecfreaks.com/learn-en/microbitKit/smart_cutebot/index.html


Programming languages

The Pico:ed (and therefore cutebot), can be programmed using a couple of different approaches:

Microblocks

Microblocks is a Scratch-like, visual programming environment suited to beginners, particularly young people in education.

MicroPython

Micro:bit Makemode provides an web-based environment for coding in MicroPython.

Javascript

Micro:bit Makemode - Javascript mode also enables you to program the Pico:ed in Javascript, simply by toggling he slider over from Python to Javascript.

C++

For the more experienced and hardcore programmer, the Pico:ed can be programmed in C++. The main benefit of this is the speed of execution of code, and the smaller code size on board. The main disadvantage is that C++ can be quite complicated and intimidating for beginners, and requires experience and knowledge to do the most basic of things.


Price

The price for the Cutebot:

  • with the pico:ed - $47.90
  • without the pico:ed - $34.90

Pico:ed

The Pico:ed is a microcontroller, similiar in form factor to the BBC Micro:Bit. Unlike the Micro:Bit, the Pico:Ed has a Raspberry Pi RP2040 as the main processor, bringing all the rich features and software support for that chip.

The pico:ed is priced around $12.90.


Pros

  • Small, solid construction
  • Very easy to setup and start programming
  • Lots of features for the price
  • Price
  • Compatibility - Accessories & Plugins available
  • Expandability - easy to add lego to it

Cons

  • I had a few problem getting the software to work initially (CircuitPython libraries)

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