Beginners: What a Raspberry Pi Robot is and how to build one

Beginners: What a Raspberry Pi Robot is and how to build one

The development of technology continues at an unrelenting pace in the modern world.

The International Federation of Robotics found in 2020 that a record 2.7 million industrial robots were in operation in factories across the world, showing just how prevalent they are becoming.

Robots aren’t just in our factories, though. They can check you into a hotel, answer questions about an impending delivery and even prepare you some sushi at the same level of the most esteemed chefs.

Further innovations are sure to be forthcoming, with it now easier than ever to get into robotics in the comfort of your own home thanks to Raspberry Pi.

Here, we explain what a Raspberry Pi Robot is, what you’ll need to build one and how you will be able to go about controlling it. 

What is a Raspberry Pi Robot?

Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer that is about the size of a credit card. It can be used to power a range of projects, including: a video doorbell, a voice assistant, a home music system, and an air quality monitor. The only real limit to what you can create is your own imagination!

Despite its small size, one of the projects Raspberry Pi is perfectly capable of powering is robotic programming.

Building a Raspberry Pi Robot is a great idea for those looking to start getting into robotics, with the potential to do so at a relatively low cost.

What do you need to build a Raspberry Pi Robot?

There are a number of components you’ll need and chief among them will be the Raspberry Pi board that provides the foundation for controlling your robot. Other parts needed include:

  • A body or chassis to keep everything held together.
  • Raspberry Pi Wi-Fi or Bluetooth modules to control the robot.
  • Wheels and motors to drive them.
  • A motor controller/driver to connect your Raspberry Pi to the outputs.
  • Sensors for real-time data, like a camera.
  • Batteries to power the robot.

If finding the right components sounds a bit overwhelming, it’s not a problem. There are plenty of robot kit makers on the market that give you everything you’ll need from one place.

This could be a better option if you are working on your first project or looking to get a child involved – it will show them what the end product they are working towards looks like and how it will work.

How do you control a Raspberry Pi Robot?

Most of us a smartphone these days – it is estimated that by 2025 there will be 64.89 million active smartphone users in the UK alone. They can be used in all sorts of ways, including controlling your Raspberry Pi Robot!

By setting up a locally hosted HTML web page with buttons and a stream from the camera on the robot, you could access the page on your smartphone and use it to control your robot.

You can add greater security by making the Raspberry Pi a Wi-Fi access point, meaning that someone would have to know the exact network ID and password to gain control of your robot.

Once that’s sorted, congratulations – you’ve built yourself a robot!

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