Raspberry Pi Based Sumo Bot

So in the recent copy of The MagPi magazine there is a nice little article about building a remote controlled, 4-wheel robot. The build in the magazine is based around a Pi Zero and a camera, a motor driver pHAT and some laser cut parts for the frame. It was such an entertaining read that I really fancied making my own! :smile:

I however have a massive thing for tracked robots, so I wanted to base mine around that. Pololu produce a lovely little mini tracked chassis with integral battery holder called the Zumo (video) that is far too adorable for its own good.

So I’ve ordered the following:

  • Zumo chassis kit
  • 2x metal gear 50:1 motors
  • Pi Zero Explorer HAT (contains an H bridge for the motors as well as a variety of other inputs/outputs)
  • Pi Zero
  • Pi Zero camera cable

I also have already:

  • Pi Camera (old model)
  • Small USB battery pack for the pi zero
  • Bluetooth adapter
  • Wii remote
  • various cables such as OTG USB for the pi
  • an 8gb SD card

Which should all come tomorrow, ready to bring to the space to make it there!

Initially I would like to control it using a Wii remote and a bluetooth adapter, as per Alex Ellis’ example here. Down the line, I’d like to be able to remotely operate the robot via wifi and view the camera at the same time, and be able to use it as a mini inspection robot - perhaps useful for the space’s loft - and use it to spy on my dog at home when I’m out.

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Hello Sir.

Sounds like a fun project. I’ve been doing a lot of work on RPi controlled stuff, using a variety of different methods, but I’ve found a few bit’s and bobs that work well along the way.

This was a really good video streamer that worked well with the RPi, and enabled video and sound (with a cheap usb mic) on a Pi Zero:

Found some issues with the sound, as wifi interference caused a high frequency signal, but added an extension cable and that sorted that out (or you could just use an additional resistor to help attenuate and a capacitor on the power to help low pass the signal out).

It actually handles the capture a serving the video over the wifi all on the pi zero, but with motor control and servo as well this does stretch it, so was thinking of just doing the streaming on the zero and handle the video serving with another pc on the network.

Anyhoo, if you want to chat more about this one then please do. :slight_smile:


For streaming check out MotionEye. It’s video only but works well

I’ve used with a Zero and with video for 640x480 the delay is about a second.

For remote control check out the Edukit 3 resources for options.