Build a micro:bit controlled Zumo buggy
The Zumo chassis is a great starting point for a buggy/robot project. In this tutorial we will show you how it can be used in conjunction with our Motor Driver board for the BBC micro:bit and our Klaw kit to create this fun buggy with gripper action! build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-01_870

Learn how to:

  • Attach the Klaw kit to the Zumo chassis.
  • Control the Zumo buggy with a microbit.

Level of difficulty:

  • Intermediate.

In order to make your microbit controlled Zumo buggy you will need:


You will also need the following equipment:

Step by step guide to making a microbit controlled Zumo buggy

Step 1

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-03_870 Start by soldering two lengths of connecting wire to each of the two motors. Ideally about 15cm or longer. They can also be cut down in length later on if needed.

Step 2

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-04_870 Build the Zumo chassis as per it’s build instructions but do not connect the top plate included in the kit. Then, you should end up with a buggy that looks like this. Next, solder a length of connecting wire to the two battery terminals as shown at the bottom of the image.

Step 3

The next step is to mount the Klaw gripper to the 5mm Perspex top plate (Cutting file here). Start by building the Klaw gripper as per its build instructions but do not connect the servo using the long M2 bolts or servo horn screw. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-05_870 Then, place the servo against the top plate as shown above. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-06_870 Then place the built Klaw on to the servo output shaft as shown above and secure using the servo horn screw. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-07_870 Finally, secure the Klaw to the plate using the 2 x 16mm M2 bolts. These bolt through the servo, then through the mounting plate and into the Klaw holding all the parts tightly together.

Step 4

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-08_870 Now secure the M/F nylon spacers to the mounting plate (facing away from the servo) using four of the M3 countersunk screws. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-09_870 Once complete the mounting plate should look like the picture above.

Step 5

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-10_870 The top plate can now be secured to the Zumo chassis. Start by feeding the two wires on each of the motors through the slots in the top plate as shown above. This will allow the top plate to sit down firmly on top of the motors. It can be easier to do this without the tracks in place. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-11_870 Then remove the battery cover and screw the top plate to the Zumo chassis using the two short countersunk screws. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-12_870 The last part of securing the top plate in place is to then bolt the front of it to the chassis. This is done using the remaining two sets of M2 nuts and bolts.

Step 6

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-13_870 The tracks can now be put back on the buggy and it should look as shown above. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-14_870 Then feed the servo and motor wires between the M/F spacers and secure the motor driver board in place using the four nylon nuts.

Step 7

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-15_870 Feed the two power wires under the motor driver board and then connect them to the power terminal on the motor driver board. The back left battery terminal on the chassis is the positive output and the back right output is the negative terminal as shown by the red and black wires in the image above.

Step 8

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-16_870 Now the two motors need wiring in place. The left motor should then be wired to terminal P12 and P8, the right motor to terminals P16 and P0.

Step 9

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-17_870 The servo now needs wiring to the motor driver board. To do this the connector needs cutting off. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-18_870 And the insulation also needs removing from the ends as shown. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-19_870 The orange wire should then be connected to terminal P1 on the motor driver board. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-20_1000 Then the red wire should be connected to the Positive power terminal and the brown wire should be connected to the Negative power terminal as shown above. The wires have also been fed under the PCB for neatness. build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-22_870 Any excess cable can now be tidied away under the PCB.

Step 10

build-microbit-controlled-zumo-buggy-01_870 With the BBC micro:bit inserted the buggy will look like this.


To allow you to test the buggy we have created two .hex files. One is for the BBC micro:bit that controls the buggy. The second file then allows another micro:bit to act as a wireless controller. The buggy is controlled by tilting this control microbit and the buttons on the microbit are used to control the Klaw gripper. Try it out! Below are links to two .hex files.

Helpful hints

If the motors turn the wrong way check the way in which they are wired to the terminals. The code can be altered to match your setup as required. Find more information on how the motor driver board works here.


Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Andrew, it is 5mm thick. I will update the blog to reflect this. Thanks for the heads up!

Andrew Biden

Andrew Biden

Hi Can you let me know the thickness of the perspex that's used for the top plate please? Thanks

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Tim, have you considered looking for a local Hackspace/Makerspace? They will often have a laser cutter or two and materials that you can purchase. If you take our DXF file along, they can show you how to use their machine to get the part cut out. We did look into selling the plate as part of a kit but once we priced it up we decided that the resulting kit would be too expensive, so we have no plans at this time to sell the top plate. Instead, we chose to give the DXF file away so that people could cut their own.



I really need this as a kit, or can you cut and sell the plate, i dont have a laser cutter?

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Frank, thanks for your interest and comment. This is something we are looking at producing, watch this space.



Can you make this a purchasable kit? I don't have a laser cutter but looks like it would be a step up from the micro move… Anyway great work! -f

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