The 3DoT Board is the brain, power, and controller of any robot - all on a 35 x 70 mm PCB. Plug your motors and servos directly into the board, and a smart, current-limited power circuit allows it to drive everything from the on-board rechargeable battery. Bluetooth connectivity even allows you control your robot directly and/or make your phone part of the robot.
3DoT Board will get your robots up and running with less hassle and cost than any other platform.
No need to purchase a separate battery charger. The 3DoT Board automatically charges the on-board battery to a safe level through USB.
The on-board battery can power most small robots continuously running for about 30 minutes. Since the battery is charged while USB is plugged in for programming, we find we never have to worry about battery life while developing. Combined with being able to send debug messages over Bluetooth, this really makes the development process a much more pleasant experience.
A robot charging
As soon as you receive the board, you can start driving robots from your phone using the open-source iOS/Android app developed specifically for 3DoT.
The mobile app also contains some really cool features such as Community Mode and custom control widgets. In Community Mode, your phone is attached to the robot, and by utilizing the phone’s cameras and Bluetooth connection to the 3DoT Board, you can control your robot from a computer anywhere in the world.
To go further, you can program the board using the popular Arduino IDE using the 3DoT Arduino library to help you get started. The library also allows you to write code to interface with controls on the mobile app.
Advanced users can, of course, also use any AVR tool of their choosing.
We have built many robots using the 3DoT Board ourselves, and it has been used at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Electrical Engineering classes for two semesters. In the process, we have been able to refine our design to be reliable and suitable for every level of maker.
The board is OSHWA certified open source hardware and all software is open source with GPL licensing. We encourage you to check out the schematics to build your own shields or other add-ons! Share your hacks in our Discord channel.
The 3DoT Board is difficult to compare, as there are not many boards specifically designed for robots. The most common solution is to use a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino wired to breakout boards. If you need a ton of processing power or other specialized features, this may be the way to go, but we don’t think most robots need this.
Below is a comparison chart:
|The 3DoT Board||Raspberry Pi 4||Arduino Nano 33 BLE||DFRobot Romeo BLE Mini|
|Operating Voltage||5.5 V, 3.3 V||5 V||3.3 V||5 V|
|Flash Memory||32 KB||SD card||1 MB||32 KB|
|SPI, I²C, UART||Yes||Yes||Yes||I²C, UART, no SPI|
|IO Available||9 digital, 5 analog||40 digital||14 digital, 8 analog||8 digital, 4 analog|
|Dual Motor Driver||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Bluetooth||BLE 5.0||BLE 5.0||BLE 5.0||BLE 4.0|
|Battery Power Management||Yes||No||No||No|
|Extra Parts Needed to Match Functionality||Motor shield, 3 jumper cables for servo, battery management, USB cable, LiPo battery||Headers, connectors, motor driver shield, battery charger, battery boost, LiPo battery, wiring, soldering||Battery management, LiPo battery, wiring|
|Size||70 x 35 x 14 mm||85 x 56 x 16 mm + motor shield + battery breakout + battery||45 x 18 x 11 mm + connector shield + motor breakout + battery charger + battery boost + battery||45 × 38.5 mm + battery breakout + battery|
|Total Configured Cost||$49 (US shipping included)||$105||$65||$51|
Here is a gallery of robots made with the 3DoT board to help inspire you to greatness.
You can see more robots built with 3DoT in action here:
Our collection of must-have accessories for small robots. Includes:
Get all of our favorite shields. Shields plug into the top or front headers on the board to add features to your robot. Includes:
The chassis is designed for 3DoT and its accessories and shields. Includes:
Upon receiving your 3DoT, scan the QR Code on the board to open up the 3DoT Documentation Site.
We are also always hanging out in our Discord channel, which is a great place to get quick answers to any questions you may have and discuss your robot projects with other members.
We produced a small batch of 3DoTs for CSULB a few months ago with a Shenzhen-based manufacturer. They did a great job and we will be using them again for PCB production and assembly.
Once we receive the boards in Huntington Beach, we add on our Bluetooth modules and batteries. The ATmega chip and Bluetooth modules are then programmed and every function of the board is tested before we pack it.
Once the campaign is over, we pass our boards on to Crowd Supply, who will make sure each backer gets their reward as soon as possible. More information on their shipping service can be found in their guide page on ordering, paying, and shipping. Shipping within the US is free! Non-US or will have a shipping fee at checkout.
Although we have not encountered any issues or significant delays in shipping recently, COVID-19 does still pose some risk to disrupt supply-chains. Luckily for us, most of the components used on the 3DoT board are either generic or widely-available both in the U.S. and China. For those components that are not, namely the battery holder, Bluetooth module, and motor driver, we have used and tested possible replacements in the past.
Should any other problems arise that might affect the delivery date, we will communicate quickly and be transparent with our supporters.