Arduino IDE 3DoT Tutorial

Arduino, first and foremost, is an open‐source computer hardware and software company. The Arduino Community refers to the project and user community that designs and utilizes microcontroller‐based development boards. The 3DoT board is based on the Arduino family of ATmega32U4 boards, operating at 3.3v at a clock frequency of 8 MHz.

Figure 1.1. 3DoT Boards

The most common programming approach is to use the Arduino IDE, which utilizes the C++ programming language. This gives users access to an enormous Arduino Library that is constantly growing thanks to the open‐source community.

Shown in Figure 1.2 is Arduino IDE once the application has been opened. It defaults into a blank sketch where programming can begin immediately. First, you will need to add the 3DoT board to the Arduino IDE.

Figure 1.2. Arduino IDE Default Window

Adding the 3DoT Board

Follow these step-by-step instructions along with associated pictures to add the 3DoT board to the Arduino IDE.

  1. Navigate to File / Preferences
  2. Paste the following link into Additional Board Manager URLs:
  3. Close the preferences window and navigate to Tools / Board: / Boards Manager…
  4. Type “3DoT” in the search bar. The board Should show up.
  5. Click inside of the box that contains the text “3DoT by Arxterra” and the “Install” button should appear. Click Install.

From now on you can select the 3DoT board just like any other Arduino board.

Figure 1.3. Step 1: Navigate to File / Preferences

Figure 1.4. Step 2: Add link to “Additional Board Manager URLs:”

Figure 1.5. Step 3: Navigate to the Boards Manager

Figure 1.6. Step 4: Search for 3DoT

Figure 1.7. Step 5: Install the 3DoT Board

Uploading Arduino Sketches to your 3DoT Board


The Arxterra 3DoT board has two “switchable” modes of operation: Program and Run. Use the program PRG mode to upload your sketches and the RUN mode to run your program. Although you physically connect the 3DoT board to the PC via a single micro USB cable;  the 3DoT board communicates with the PC over two different serial (COM) ports. Which port is active depends on the switch position (program or run).

Figure 1.8. OFF-PRG-RUN Switch

For now, keep the switch in the program mode.

Figure 1.9 Switch in PRG position

Select the 3DoT Board

Connect the Arduino board to the PC via a micro USB cable. Select the Tools pulldown menu and go to Board. This list is populated with the currently available Arduino Boards able to be programmed using Arduino IDE, select “Arxterra 3DoT”


Figure 2.0. Select Arxterra 3DoT Board

Select the Port

If Arduino IDE was downloaded before plugging in a 3DoT board, when plugging in the board, the USB drivers should have installed automatically. The most recent version of Arduino IDE should automatically recognize connected boards and label them with the respective COM port they are using.  Select the Tools pulldown menu and then Port. Here, it should list all open COM ports and, if an Arduino board is recognized, will list its name. Select the “Arxterra 3DoT” connected to the PC. If the setup was successful, the Arxterra 3DoT and COM port should appear in the lower right‐hand corner of the Arduino window. These steps are shown below in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1. COM Port Setup

Testing 3Dot With Arduino – 3DoT Blink

One common procedure to test whether the board being used is properly set up is by uploading the sample sketch “Blink”. This sketch is included in all Arduino IDE releases and can be accessed by

File > Examples > 01.Basics > Blink

shown in Figure 2.2.

Figure 2.2. Access “Blink” sketch.

Like the Arduino UNO, the 3DoT surface‐mounted LED is wired to digital pin 13 and is located between the USB port and the switch. Press the “Upload” button in the upper‐left corner to upload “Blink” to the board. This sketch will blink the LED at a specified interval and is an easy way to confirm if the board was set up properly and code uploaded successfully.

Quick Guide Summary

  1. Connect 3DoT Board to PC via a microUSB cable
  2. Select connected board in Arduino IDE ( Tools > Boards > Arxterra 3DoT )
  3. Select proper COM port ( Tools > Port > COMx (Arxterra 3DoT) )
  4. Open “Blink” sketch ( File > Examples > Basics > 01.Blink )
  5. Click “Upload” button to upload the program to connected board
  6. Confirm board is working properly by observing blinking LED

Using the Serial Monitor and Plotter

The 3DoT board communicates with the PC using two serial (COM) ports. Which port is active depends on the switch position (program or run). In the previous section you selected the COM port used to upload your program (i.e., switch in program mode). To run the serial monitor or plotter, you need to identify and select the COM port that is active in run mode.

Now that you are ready to test your code switch from programming mode to run mode.

Figure 2.3. Switch in RUN position

Now go to tools again and switch the com port to the new one that appears.

Figure 2.4 Select Serial Port

Now you can open serial monitor from tools menu or select the magnifying glass in the top-right hand corner.

Figure 2.5. Serial Monitor Window

Switching from RUN to PRG

If you have already installed the ArxRobot library (next Chapter), you can skip this step.

To return to program mode, you can either move the switch from RUN to PRG and press the reset button (located on the bottom of the board) or move the switch to the OFF position and then to the PRG position.

In the next section, you will learn how to install the ArxRobot Library. The good news is that ArxRobot.loop() automatically, resets the Arduino when the switch is moved to PRG.

Installing the ArxRobot Library

The 3DoT extension to the Arduino library adds a powerful set of functions allowing you to seamlessly control your robot.  These functions include support for the ArxRobot Android and iPhone App plus access to the Arxterra telerobotic community. In addition, the library allows you to easily customize your robot by adding new commands and telemetry channels. To install the ArxRobot library first download the library from this link below.

Then, in the Arduino IDE window, click on Sketch > Include Library  > Add .ZIP Library as shown in Figure 1.7.

Figure 2.1. Add .ZIP Library to Arduino IDE.

Navigate to the downloaded zip folder, select the folder, and click “Open” shown in Figure 1.8. Save the folder in your Arduino IDE library  or your Arduino project folder.

Figure 2.2. Select ZIP Library and add to your Arduino project folder.

3Dot Library Sample Scripts

Inside the ArxRobot examples folder you will find two sample projects. ArxRobot_Basic is the minimum script needed to operate your robot. With this script uploaded to you 3DoT board, you are already able to connect to the board using the ArxRobot app, and use all the basic app features to control your robot. ArxRobot_TeleComm provides samples of using built‐in and custom commands and telemetry channels. We will be referencing the second script throughout this document.

Figure 2.3. ArxRobot_Basic Script.