Simple Raspberry Pi Robot – Development Kit

December 09, 2019 by Paul Shepard

This is a fun project to build a simple robot using the Raspberry Pi and Adafruit's robot chassis kit.  This robot is one of the simplest robots you can build and uses two dc motors to control a pair of wheels.  A swivel caster in the front holds the robot up, and the Raspberry Pi with motor HAT controls the motors.

There are no sensors or other inputs to the robot, it will just follow a set of instructions in Python code that tell the robot how to move.  Use this project as a starting point for your own Raspberry Pi robot projects.  You could add sensors to detect objects around the Pi, add a camera to get a robot's eye view of the world, or even connect the robot to web services that control its actions--there's almost no limit to what you can do with this robot.

To build this project it will help to familiarize yourself with using the Raspberry Pi.  Follow these great learn Raspberry Pi guides to learn the basics.  You will also want to review the motor HAT guide, and skim the Bluefruit LE feather robot guide to learn more about the robot chassis.

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Robot Chassis Kit Details

This kit gives you everything you need to build the shell of a 2-wheel-drive Robot Rover! You get the chassis, 4- to 6-Vdc motors and wheels. You'll fill in the rest with power supply, microcontroller or microcomputer and a dual H-bridge motor controller.

We of course have suggestions to run the motors like our TB6612 breakoutMotor FeatherWingMotor Shield for Arduino, or Motor HAT for Raspberry Pi. Basically anything that can do two bi-directional brushed dc motors at about 5V and 1A. To steer the wheels, you'll need something to toggle the motor driver like our Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE that we used in our demo, and to power the rover/microcontroller we used a AA Battery Pack and a 3.7v 350mAh LiPoly Battery, but this is all up to you and your imagination!

Note: 4xAA Battery packLiPoly BatteryFeather boardFeatherWings, and Feather accessories are not included. This is just the body of the robot rover.

Kit includes:

  • 2x Wheels
  • 2x DC Motors in MicroServo shape
  • 1x Support Wheel
  • 1x Metal Chasis
  • 1x Top Metal Plate with mounting hardware

There is also a comprehensive tutorial on building a Feather Bluefruit LE version of the Robot Rover. It's one of infinite possible designs, but gives you a sense of the possibilities for remote-control robotics.