Examples > Robot

Disco bot

This sketch demonstrates how to play a melody with the robot, by playing back some sound files.

You can choose between three melodies specially composed for the Arduino Robot using the buttons on the control board. Once you get the music you like, put the robot on the floor and it will dance for you.

Hardware Required

  • Arduino Robot

  • Your best dance outfit


  1. Upload the example, unplug USB and turn on power.

  2. Place the robot on the ground

  3. After the starting screen, the robot will be dancing with music playing and flashing colors on the screen

  4. You can press left/right button to switch music

  5. If you're not satisfied with the dancing moves, change the example to make it dance differently :

  6. Locate the line char danceScript[]="S4L1R1S2F1B1S1\0"

  7. S: stop, L: turn left, R: turn right, F: go forward, B: go backwards

  8. The number after each command decides how long it lasts. 1 = 500ms, 2=1000ms, 3=1500ms, and so forth.

Try it out

LottieLemon illustration Disco 780

Choose a tune


/* Disco Bot

 This sketch shows you how to use the melody playing

 feature of the robot, with some really cool 8-bit music.

 Music will play when the robot is turned on, and it

 will show you some dance moves.


 * Arduino Robot

 created 1 May 2013

 by X. Yang

 modified 12 May 2013

 by D. Cuartielles

 This example is in the public domain


#include <ArduinoRobot.h> // include the robot library
#include <Wire.h>

/* Dancing steps:

  S: stop

  L: turn left

  R: turn right

  F: go forward

  B: go backwards

  The number after each command determines how long

  each step lasts. Each number is 1/2 second long.

  The "\0" indicates end of string

char danceScript[] = "S4L1R1S2F1B1S1\0";

int currentScript = 0; // what step are we at

int currentSong = 0; // keep track of the current song
static const int SONGS_COUNT = 3; // number of songs

// an array to hold the songs
char musics[][11] = {




// variables for non-blocking delay
long waitFrom;
long waitTime = 0;

void setup() {

  // initialize the Robot, SD card, display, and speaker





  // draw "lg0.bmp" and "lg1.bmp" on the screen


  // Print instructions to the screen

  Robot.text("1. Use left and\n right key to switch\n song", 5, 5);

  Robot.text("2. Put robot on the\n ground to dance", 5, 33);

  // wait for a few soconds


  setInterface(); // display the current song

  play(0);  //play the first song in the array

  resetWait();  //Initialize non-blocking delay

void loop() {

  // read the butttons on the robot

  int key = Robot.keyboardRead();

  // Right/left buttons play next/previous song

  switch (key) {

    case BUTTON_UP:

    case BUTTON_LEFT:

      play(-1);  //play previous song


    case BUTTON_DOWN:

    case BUTTON_RIGHT:

      play(1);  //play next song



  // dance!


// Dancing function
void runScript() {

  if (!waiting()) { // if the previous instructions have finished

    // get the next 2 commands (direction and duration)

    parseCommand(danceScript[currentScript], danceScript[currentScript + 1]);

    currentScript += 2;

    if (danceScript[currentScript] == '\0') { // at the end of the array

      currentScript = 0;  // start again at the beginning



// instead of delay, use this timer

bool waiting() {

  if (millis() - waitFrom >= waitTime) {

    return false;

  } else {

    return true;


// how long to wait
void wait(long t) {


  waitTime = t;

// reset the timer
void resetWait() {

  waitFrom = millis();

// read the direction and dirstion of the steps
void parseCommand(char dir, char duration) {

  //convert the scripts to action

  switch (dir) {

    case 'L':

      Robot.motorsWrite(-255, 255);


    case 'R':

      Robot.motorsWrite(255, -255);


    case 'F':

      Robot.motorsWrite(255, 255);


    case 'B':

      Robot.motorsWrite(-255, -255);


    case 'S':




  //You can change "500" to change the pace of dancing

  wait(500 * (duration - '0'));

// display the song
void setInterface() {


  Robot.stroke(0, 0, 0);

  Robot.text(musics[0], 0, 0);

// display the next song
void select(int seq, bool onOff) {

  if (onOff) { //select

    Robot.stroke(0, 0, 0);

    Robot.text(musics[seq], 0, 0);

  } else { //deselect

    Robot.stroke(255, 255, 255);

    Robot.text(musics[seq], 0, 0);


// play the slected song
void play(int seq) {

  select(currentSong, false);

  if (currentSong <= 0 && seq == -1) { //previous of 1st song?

    currentSong = SONGS_COUNT - 1; //go to last song

  } else if (currentSong >= SONGS_COUNT - 1 && seq == 1) { //next of last?

    currentSong = 0;  //go to 1st song

  } else {

    currentSong += seq;  //next song




  select(currentSong, true);  //display the current song

Explore further

The melodies are stored on the SD card. They are created with a tracker program.

To write your own music, use a tracker program as explained in the Squawk library reference.

See Also: