How To Build an IG32 DM 4WD Robot

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These videos will walk you through building our IG32-DM4, 4WD All Terrain Robot Platform (TP-150-032). Please note that this assembling this platform requires some mechanical and electrical skills as well as some basic hand tools. This is a professional development robot with a sturdy aluminum chassis and high quality components. This is our lightest-duty wheeled robot and also our easiest robot to assemble. The 0.090" thick aluminum chassis is easy to drill into allowing this platform to be customized to fill your requirements. If you do not feel comfortable assembling this platform, we also offer assembly as an option. If you have questions feel free to Contact Us.

Part 1 (Steps 1-3)

Step 1: Prep the Motors

Note: In the video, we show how to put capacitors in between the motor terminals. We typically skip this step as it usually is not necessary and in some cases can cause the robot to behave erratically. If after assembling the robot there is electrical noise (static in a camera feed while motor is moving, motors not moving how they are being commanded) then we will try using capacitors to combat this.

To get started, we will wire the the IG32 motors. The first thing we will do is strip back about 2-3 inches of the wire's outer insulation to expose the red and black wire underneath. Place a large ferrite bead and heat shrink over the junction where the outer casing exposes the inner wires. Place the smaller ferrite beads and heat shrink on the wires BEFORE you solder the wires to the motors. There is a red dot on the motor to indicate which side the red wire attaches to. Once the soldering is done, use a heat gun on the heat shrink tubing around the ferrite beads.

Step 2: Mounting the Motors

The chassis has pre-cut holes for the motors. Simply put the motors in the chassis (with the nameplate stickers visible) and secure it to the chassis with the screws provided and Loctite.

Step 3: Mounting the Tires

Each set of tires comes with the wheel hubs and all the hardware required to mount them. First, put the wheel hubs on the motor shafts. The motor shaft has a flat spot that the set screw hole in the wheel hub must align with. After sliding the hub on the motor shaft, secure with the set screw. The wheel then attaches to the hub with a bolt screwed into the end of the hub.

Tools used in this video:

Part 2 (Steps 4-5)

Step 4: Mounting the Battery

Select a location for the battery to be mounted. Just to the inside of a motor set is a good location. Mark the holes and drill them. We will not mount the battery just yet, we will install some other components first.

Step 5: Mounting the Motor Controller, Switch and Fuse Holder

A good spot for the motor controller is just inside the motors opposite of where the battery will be mounted. Mark its location and drill the holes (the drive pin punch creates a starting point for the drill bit to make drilling the holes in the right position much easier). Make sure you use the small spacers between the chassis and motor controller when mounting. The switch works nicely on the side of the robot with the switch in the on position facing up. Mark its hole and drill, use an adjustable wrench to tighten it to the chassis. The fuse box works best positioned close to the switch. You will also be drilling an access hole for the receiver wires to go from the battery mount to the motor controller. Remember when drilling holes for wires to go thru to use the deburring tool to prevent the wires from being cut by the metal.

Tools used in this video:

  • Sharpie marker
  • Drill
  • Deburring tool
  • Drive pin punch
  • Adjustable wrench

Part 3 (Steps 6-7)

Step 6: Prepping the Battery

Strip away enough of the wire casing to allow the terminal to cover the exposed wire. Place the terminal ends on the wires and crimp. Push the terminal ends into the connectors until they snap together. If necessary you may want to use a small flat head screwdriver to push the terminal ends into the connectors. Push until you hear it click into place.

Step 7: Wiring the Motor Controller, Switch, and Fuse

Start by wiring the negative side of the motor controller to where it will connect to the battery. You will need to drill an access hole at the end of the robot (don't forget to deburr the hole). Strip about a 1/4" of the wire off the end and secure inside the B- terminal. On the other end install another connector that will plug into the negative battery terminal.

The red wire will connect to the B+ terminal on the motor controller and then to the fuse holder. Solder the wire to the fuse holder terminal and cover with heat shrink. Continue from the fuse holder to the switch, making sure that every connection gets soldered and heat shrink is applied. Then run another wire from the other side of the switch to the positive terminal of the battery, installing a red connector to connect to the positive battery terminal.

Tools used in this video:

Part 4 (Steps 8-10)

Step 8: Wiring the Motors

Strip about 2" of the outer casing of the motor wires to expose the red and black wire. Strip about 1/4" of insulation off both the black and red wires. Apply a small amount of solder to the wires to keep them from fraying. The two left motors will share the M2B terminals while the right side will share M1B. Install the two red wires together and the two black wires together and tighten down screw terminals.

Step 9: Installing the Battery

Place the battery on the chassis and secure with the battery bracket and the hardware provided (use the holes drilled in Step 4). Now we'll install spacers to keep the batteries from shifting forward or backward. To do this, place a spacer up against the battery, center it, and then mark the hole by using a 3/32 drill bit through the spacer. After drilling the hole put one spacer/screw assembly together. Follow the same procedure for the other side of the battery. You may need to move the batteries out of place a time or two in order to drill all of these holes. If you like you may also apply foam tape to the inside of the battery bracket to take up any remaining space and make the connection tighter.

Step 10: Connecting the Remote Control

Connect the two remote pigtails to the motor controller. Route them through the hole you drilled earlier. For detail placement of the pigtails see the image for Step 8. The pigtail wires come pre-soldered so you can screw them directly to the motor controller with no prep work.

Unpack the remote and apply the receiver to the battery mount using Velcro. Connect the pigtails to the receiver. One of the pigtails gets connected to the 0V, 5V and S1 connections on the motor controller and the other end to ELEV on the receiver. Only one wire is required on the other pigtail (the orange wire, heat shrink the wire where you cut the other 2 wires off) it gets connected to the S2 connector on the motor controller and the other end plugs into AILE on the receiver. Put the binding clip in the BIND/DATA slot on the receiver. You only need this to set up the remote.

To power up and test the robot put the robot up on a block so the wheels aren't touching the ground. Put the batteries in the remote control. Plug in the robot's battery to the and insert the fuse. Power up the robot by turning on the switch, you should see a flashing yellow light in the receiver. Turn on the power switch on the remote while holding the bind switch and hold until the yellow light on the receiver stays on. You should now be able to remotely control the robot. Remove the binding clip from the receiver and your robot is ready to go!

Tools used in this video: