Want to know how to build a Raspberry Pi robot? This guide shows you the kits, and projects to help you easily get started in building one!
Before we introduce what you’ll need to build one, you may be wondering why to use Pi to build your next robotics project instead of the popular Arduino board. Well, both options are great, but with the Pi, you’re getting a complete computer for less than $60, alongside its seemingly small form factor, affordability, and large community support. Making it an easy way to get started even for beginners!
But if you would like to know how you can build an Arduino Robot, do check out my post on it!
What will be covered:
- What do you need to build a Raspberry Pi Robot?
- Raspberry Pi Robot Kits
- Raspberry Pi Robot Projects
What do you need to build a Raspberry Pi Robot?
The first step to building anything is what are the components needed? Building a Raspberry Pi Robot is no exception, where the exhaustiveness of parts needed depends on the type of robot you’re building, alongside your budget!
Here, with have the list of components you’ll typically need to build a basic, and simple Raspberry Pi Robot:
- Raspberry Pi board
- Motor driver, E.g. L298 – The intermediate device between your microcontroller, batteries, and motors. Ensures all components work as it is
- DC Motors – Provide the drive for wheels to rotate and allow for movement
- Ultrasonic Distance Sensor – For robot detection of nearing objects
- Voltage Regulator Circuit
- Chassis to house modules
- Connectivity Modules – Raspberry Pi WiFi or Bluetooth modules for control
As mentioned, the above list is the minimal components required to build a simple Raspberry Pi Robot. However, you can expand your creativity by incorporating a plethora of other parts out there applicable for Raspberry Pi robot building!
To help ease the process of sourcing and buying all the parts individually, we’ve prepared Raspberry Pi robot kits that include all essential components/modules you’ll need to easily get started!
Without further ado, here’s the list of kits available at Seeed!
Raspberry Pi Robot Kits
AlphaBot, GoPigo Alternative Raspberry Pi Robot Building Kit with Pi included
Totally new to Raspberry Pi and robot building? Well, this AlphaBot kit is a great way to get started as it comes with a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B alongside a wide range of modules that require no soldering and wiring. Truly a whole lot of convenience in one package!
- If you already own a Pi, you can check out this version of the Alphabot that doesn’t include the Pi
Adding on, combining the Alphabot platform and the rich Raspberry Pi open-source resources, you can easily find module extensions or change up the design, building your very own version of a Raspberry Pi Robot!
If you would like to stick with the kit, it’s still capable of achieving what you would want a robot to do; including line tracking, obstacle avoidance, speed measuring, IR control!
Alphabot features the following:
- Support for both Raspberry Pi/Arduino Interfaces
- Modular design with support for plug-and-play modules
- LM298P motor driver with a diode protection circuit for added safety
- LM2596 voltage regulator, providing stable 5V power
- TLC1543 AD acquisition chip for analog sensor compatibility
- Arduino extend header
Interested to find out more? Check out the full product description on the Alphabot here!
AlphaBot2, upgraded 2nd iteration of the original
Like what you’ve seen with the earlier Alphabot kit recommendation and though that was it? Well, this upgraded version brings building a Raspberry Pi Robot to the next level!
This kit shares the same robot functionality capabilities as the previous iteration (line tracking, obstacle avoiding, no soldering, wiring, etc.) but brings upgrades with its 2-layer structure that provides better stability and compatibility with multiple Raspberry Pi boards.
It’s Two-Layer Structure Includes:
Lower-layer base chassis:
- TB6612FNG dual H-bridge motor driver rather than the L298P that provide higher efficiency, less heating in a more compact package
- 5-ch infrared sensor, analog output, combined with PID algorithm for stable line tracking
- N20 micro gear motors that provide lower noise at a high accuracy
- Onboard RGB LEDs for all your aesthetic junkies out there!
Upper adapter board base (what’s new):
- PCA9685 servo controller, make it more smoothly to rotate the pan head
- CP2102 UART converter, easy for controlling the Pi via UART
Interested to find out more about Alphabot2? Check out the full product description here!
Raspberry Pi Robot Car Kit – RC Smart Car Chassis Kit
Have most of the components ready and only need a chassis kit to complete your Raspberry Pi Robot Car? With this RC Smart Car Chassis Kit, you’ll be able to do just that but better!
Unlike a traditional 4-wheel robot car chassis, this car is designed similarly to a professional remote-controlled racing car; using rear-wheel drive plus front-wheel steering to achieve forward, reverse, and left-to-right turn. Directional control of the trolley is also achieved by using two steering rods through the steering gear.
The flexibility in changing motors if you’re looking to pursue high speed is made possible as well. So long as the motor is a 25mm shaft diameter one, you’re good to go!
Interested to find out more? Check out the full parts list included and a further description here!
6WD Raspberry Pi Robot Car Kit: Robot Car Kit-6WD Off-Road Chassis Kit
Wonder what’s better than a 4-wheeled robot car? A 6-wheeled one! This newly shock absorption design of this 6WD off-road chassis car kit allows for better road penetration capability, making it suitable for easy usage in very much every surfaces!
The 6WD mobile platform can be easily installed with your Raspberry Pi alongside sufficient mounting holes that allow for a variety of other sensors or features to be paired with your robot!
Interested to find out more? Check out the full part list included and a further description here!
Raspberry Pi Robot Arm Kit – Waveshare 4-DOF Metal Robot Arm Kit with Bluetooth and WiFi
We’ve talked about robot car and vehicle kits, but what about the Raspberry Pi Robot Arm kit? Well, here at Seeed, we got just the thing for you!
This Waveshare 4-DOF Metal Robot Arm Kit is the perfect way to get started in building a robot arm for your Raspberry Pi through its inclusion of Bluetooth/Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing you to easily control it via your smartphone!
- If you’ve never worked with Bluetooth/WiFi, development resources and manual (examples in python like Bluetooth/Wi-Fi remote control) are included!
This Raspberry Pi Robot Arm Kit features a servo driver HAT and metal mechanical arm structure, as follow:
Servo Driver HAT Features:
- Compatibility with Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W/Zero WH/2B/3B/3B+
- I2C controlled, only 2 pins used
- Up to 16-Channel servo/PWM outputs, 12-bit resolution for each (4096 scales)
- 5V regulator integrated, can be powered by a battery through VIN terminal
- Standard servo interface
- Reserved I2C control pins, allow for other control boards to be used
Robot Arm Structure Features:
- Metal mechanical grasper
- Full aluminium alloy body with sandblasting oxidation surface
- Agile to control, easy to build
- 4x metal gear servos with large torque force and smooth moving
Interested to find out more? Check out the full part list included and instruction video here!
Raspberry Pi Robot Projects
Want to explore deeper into the endless creativity that lies with building a Raspberry Pi robot project? This section of today’s blog is one not miss!
I’ll be showcasing 5 of the most interesting Raspberry Pi robot projects out there in the community! Feel free to gather inspiration from these project ideas!
1. Raspberry Pi Humanoid Robot
One of the most common looking robots out there, when asked to describe a robot, is those human-looking robots. These types of robots are also known as Humanoid robots, built and made to look like humans.
Humanoid robots are used in many applications such as a marketing tool for companies, R&D, and even tasks that are unsafe for real humans to execute. Hence, it’s all-around a good option to start building one!
What do you need?
Interested to find out more? Check out the full tutorial with code provided by NeoMaeloP on Instructables!
2. Raspberry Pi Hexapod Robot
Another unique robot you can build with the Raspberry Pi is this Hexapod Robot. Running on 6 legs, it’s inspired by insect models, studying their complex behaviour and mimicking it via this robot type.
There are many design ideas that come to building a Raspberry Pi Hexapod robot, but with this, it can navigate mazes autonomously and controlled manually via an Xbox controller that’s connected to a PC.
What do you need?
- PhantomX AX Metal Hexapod Mark II Kit
- ATmega1284p microcontrollers
- IR distance sensors
- Ultrasonic distance sensor
- MPU-6050 IMU
- LCD display
- Firefly Bluetooth Modem
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
- Raspberry Pi Camera
Interested to find out more? Check out the full tutorial by FredrikG3 on Instructables!
3. Build a Raspberry Pi Robot for GPS Tracking
Want to build a Raspberry Pi Robot that instead of just line tracking, navigating mazes, has a functionality of tracking GPS? Well with this project, you can build a mobile robot that has a GPS navigation system powered by your Raspberry Pi.
What do you need?
- Raspberry Pi Sense HAT
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
Interested to find out more? Check out the full tutorial by Ingmar Stapel on Hackster.io!
4. Build a Raspberry Pi Football-kickin’ robot
Into football, Sunday league sessions or even futsal with your friends but looking for a challenge elsewhere? Well with this project, you can explore the world of robotics in football by building a football-kicking robot to challenge your friends!
What do you need?
- Raspberry Pi 3
- Makeblock Custom Microsoft mBot kit
- Microsoft XBOX 360 Wireless Controller
- Microsoft XBOX Wireless Receiver
- Jumper Cables Kit
- 2-Pin Male to Female Jumper Cables
- Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Core
- Microsoft Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Apps
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2015
Interested to find out more? Check out the full tutorial by Team Windows IoT on Hackster.Io!
5. Build an M&M sorter Raspberry Pi Robot
Been eating the M&M chocolate for a long time and have your personal favorite colored flavors but don’t want to go through the hassle of separating it on your own? Well, why not build an M&M sorter robot with your Raspberry Pi through this project tutorial!
With this, you no longer have to individually sort out a big packet of M&Ms yourself!
What do you need?
Interested to find out more? Check out the full tutorial by Team Dexter Industries on Hackster.io!
Additional sensors for your Raspberry Pi Robot
The above raspberry pi robot kits may provide a good selection of modules and sensors for your next robotics project but if you’re looking to pick out individual sensor parts or components like touch sensors, do check this out!
More on other Raspberry Pi Robot Projects:
Overall, building a robot with Raspberry Pi is a simple, fun, and easy hobby one should pick up! I hope with today’s blog, you get a deeper understanding of what it takes to build one!
If you’re looking to easily get started with it, do consider the recommended Raspberry Pi Robot Kits covered today!