[RPi Rover] Another Raspberry Pi Robot – Episode 1 – The chassis



I have experimented with Raspberry Pi Robots in the past but I wanted to make a generic Robot that you can use practically. This series is about making a Robot using scrap and as many things as you can find in the house and then make it useful and solve a problem. In this post I start by making the chassis.

Where to start

In the movie Real Steel, the robot was recovered from a junkyard but unfortunately, the local junk yard here only has rotting tyres from old cars. Hence I started with scrap wood and to be very honest, this is not my first robot BUT this WILL be my third iteration on the Raspberry Pi and I will name it MinionBot Mark III. The purpose is to make a general purpose Robotic platform from scrap stuff and what not. The first thing is to make the chassis and Bill of Materials. Roughly it will be…

– Lots of scrap wood.

– wood saw.

– Extra thumb?

– Motors

– Wheels

– Screws

– Softdrink Cans(Empty)

With all that stuff, I start my little experiment.

Making a Chassis

In order to explain the robot, I made a video which will possibly evolve into a series of videos. I already cut out a wood board into a octagonal shape with slots for the wheels and then used the soft drink cans to make Tin strips for clamps. Pretty cool huh? Here is the video of me assembling the base.

The end result is shown in the image below. I can make a motor driver like I did in a previous challenge but it does not seem to be what the masses want and hence I went on with a readymade solution- A Grove Pi+ This little pi Hat is available from http://www.seeedstudios.com and comes will all kinds of stuff. A motor driver widget is available and all of it is just plug and play. The code to make it run is also available from seeed and is quite simple. Once you have humpty dumpty ready, we move on to prepare a RPi

Raspberry Pi Rover
Raspberry Pi Rover

Setting up a Raspberry Pi

Now there are a gazillion tutorials on this subject and I have written some myself. If you need help setting up your pi, navigate to https://embeddedcode.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/the-geek-getting-started-guide-to-the-raspberry-pi/ and you have my version of setting up an RPi. I discuss how to setup a static IP as well which will save you a LOT of time later on. To connect to the network, I prefer using Wifi since we want THIS robot to be wireless and moving around like a small kid. For this I use the element14 wipi which is available from element14/farnell

The additional Hardware

I am using the seeedstudios grove system of modules and I did a small review of the starter kit which is available here(https://embeddedcode.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/seeedstudios-groove-pi-pre-review-part-1/)

In the next post I will be going through the software part and MY version of setting up the template for our robot! Stay Tuned!


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