We've put together a tutorial
which shows you how you can easily build an affordable Raspberry Pi Camera Robot that can be driven around using a web browser on a tablet, smart-phone or computer. All of the required software is provided as an SD card image, so it makes it really easy to get up and running with a cool robot quickly.
You can see a video of the robot at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eSSExIWkgY
We also have a chassis bundle
in our store which provides parts needed to build the robot. If you buy this bundle then it comes with wires soldered onto the motors, and connectors crimped onto all of the wires. So no soldering is required, you can just plug everything together and start having fun.
Any comments or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Also, all of the software we wrote for the robot is open source and available here
in case it's of use to people building their own Raspberry Pi robots.
- We've carried on improving the software for this robot, and so the new things to share since our original post are
and an updated SD card image for the robot featuring, faster camera streaming, more config options, and an off button in the web interface...
We've released an open source Python library
that allows you to connect to the webserver running on the robot, and write scripts to give the robot autonomous behaviour. The scripts can run either on the robot, or on another, more powerful computer. The library lets you stream images from robot's camera for computer vision with OpenCV. We've also taken advantage of the clever work done at Pi towers to enable you to get motion vectors from the robot's camera (free low resolution optical flow!
We've started to sell a USB powerbank
that can be used to power the entire robot. This is more expensive than using rechargeable AA batteries, but gives longer running time (approx 3hrs compared with 1.5hrs for Duracell 2400mAh NiMh) and means that you don't have to buy a separate charger.
As always, any questions, comments or suggestions much appreciated.
- We've now expanded the kit slightly so that we run the Pi off a UBEC (efficient switching voltage regulator) rather than the Mini Driver's linear voltage regulator. This gives more current overhead for attaching sensors, and increases the robot's battery life to 3 hours when running off 6xAA NiMh batteries. Details of our battery testing process can be found in this blog post
Also, we've updated the robot's software so that it's really easy to attach lots of sensors to the robot and read from them using Python. The tutorial showing how to attach and read sensors can be found here