mikey32094
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:07 am

Recommended DIY Chasis/Kit With Lots of Freedom?

Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:12 pm

Hello all,

I'm looking for your favorite/recommended DIY robotics chasis/kit for a newbie on a budget.

I'm a total newbie to robotics. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of arbitrarily fastening various things to a chasis (motors, pi, batteries, wheels, etc). I see screws on some of the motors online and I'm assuming these chasis somehow have screwholes where you can do that? Otherwise I was thinking duct tape and velcro, lol

I would be interested in a chasis that only allowed you to make one type of "car", but also I would love something like a grown up version of legos where you could screw together any number of configurations to try. They have an "erector set" online now with motors, but I don't think I can access the motors without opening them up and risking them. Maybe I could buy motors separately?

Thank you for your time!

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mikronauts
Posts: 2729
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:28 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Recommended DIY Chasis/Kit With Lots of Freedom?

Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:17 am

Hi,

I'd suggest

1) reading all the robot articles in past issues of the Pi Magazine

2) getting a digital Servo magazine subscription, it also lets you read past issues

2a) then you can read my "Serving Raspberry Pi" series, about building Pi bots (Jan-June 2016, Nov-Dec 2016, more in 2017)

There are many chassis, with different strength and weaknesses.

You can take a look at some of the Pi bots I've built at:

http://www.mikronauts.com/robot-zoo/
mikey32094 wrote:Hello all,

I'm looking for your favorite/recommended DIY robotics chasis/kit for a newbie on a budget.

I'm a total newbie to robotics. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of arbitrarily fastening various things to a chasis (motors, pi, batteries, wheels, etc). I see screws on some of the motors online and I'm assuming these chasis somehow have screwholes where you can do that? Otherwise I was thinking duct tape and velcro, lol

I would be interested in a chasis that only allowed you to make one type of "car", but also I would love something like a grown up version of legos where you could screw together any number of configurations to try. They have an "erector set" online now with motors, but I don't think I can access the motors without opening them up and risking them. Maybe I could buy motors separately?

Thank you for your time!
http://Mikronauts.com - home of EZasPi, RoboPi, Pi Rtc Dio and Pi Jumper @Mikronauts on Twitter
Advanced Robotics, I/O expansion and prototyping boards for the Raspberry Pi

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B.Goode
Posts: 8905
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: UK

Re: Recommended DIY Chasis/Kit With Lots of Freedom?

Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:59 am

4tronix ( http://www.4tronix.co.uk/store/ ) have a range of Raspberry Pi compatible robot chassis kits.

gregor3000
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:57 pm

Re: Recommended DIY Chasis/Kit With Lots of Freedom?

Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:24 pm

why is there no RPi zero kit on sale?

you have cheap kits that need RPi3.

is there any starter kit with all he things inluded? Bateries and such?

anything that is a bit cheaper? most when you add things on costs close to 80-100 EUR. not sure i want to spend so much just to try it out a bit.

is it better for a beginner to get an arduino kit ?

mikey32094
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:07 am

Re: Recommended DIY Chasis/Kit With Lots of Freedom?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:18 pm

gregor3000 wrote:why is there no RPi zero kit on sale?

you have cheap kits that need RPi3.

is there any starter kit with all he things inluded? Bateries and such?

anything that is a bit cheaper? most when you add things on costs close to 80-100 EUR. not sure i want to spend so much just to try it out a bit.

is it better for a beginner to get an arduino kit ?
For me personally, I'm done with the Pi Zero's. After I bought an USB OTG adapter, cheap hub, wifi dongle, it's already basically the same price as a Pi3 but with less computing power. I'd rather just get the Pi3 at this point.

ElEscalador
Posts: 681
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:55 pm
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Contact: Website

Elescalador

Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:47 pm

mikey32094 wrote:
gregor3000 wrote:why is there no RPi zero kit on sale?

you have cheap kits that need RPi3.

is there any starter kit with all he things inluded? Bateries and such?

anything that is a bit cheaper? most when you add things on costs close to 80-100 EUR. not sure i want to spend so much just to try it out a bit.

is it better for a beginner to get an arduino kit ?
For me personally, I'm done with the Pi Zero's. After I bought an USB OTG adapter, cheap hub, wifi dongle, it's already basically the same price as a Pi3 but with less computing power. I'd rather just get the Pi3 at this point.
Word. I really think the zero is a horrible choice for someone getting started. Extra stuff to buy..extra variables/compatibility issues. My only use for them is basically as super-microcontrollers. To the OP: an Arduino kit might be simpler getting started, but long-term more limiting. Depending on what you want to do I'm rather fond of the Roomba. I use an old vacuum model which can be a pain to attach things to, but once you get your own "topper" attached you have a flat platform you can drill and glue to at your discretion.
My Autonomous Robot Project and a few of my other projects below.

https://lloydbrombach.wordpress.com/

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exartemarte
Posts: 373
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:51 pm
Location: Middle England
Contact: Website

Re: Recommended DIY Chasis/Kit With Lots of Freedom?

Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:03 am

There are some good chassis and chassis kits out there, but none of them are cheap.

Until you have have a little experience and know what you want I would suggest one of two things:

1. Buy the cheapest plastic chassis/motors combination you can find on eBay, or

2. Buy a couple of cheap geared motors (the yellow ones that come with 65mm wheels) and a caster or rollerball. Fix them to a simple chassis cut from plywood or plastic sheet using nuts and bolts, adhesive pads, hot glue, cable ties or whatever. At this stage try not to buy anything you wouldn't want to lose.

Then add a controller, say a Pi or an Arduino, a motor driver, such as the L298 modules available cheaply on eBay, and a power source such as batteries with a regulator to provide 5V for the Pi/Arduino or a powerbank.

Wire it all up and you've got the basics of a simple robot, about as cheaply as it's possible to do. Program it to do some simple things (quite satisfying the first time you get it going) and then it will be time to think about adding sensors depending on what you want the robot to do.

Think of your first robot as a learning exercise and spend no more than is necessary. You'll have fun, learn stuff and get your money's worth. Later you may want to build something robust, built to last and inevitably more expensive, but IMHO that's not the place to start.

Edit: Since it will be experimental by definition it will quite a good idea to include a cheap breadboard in the build.

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