Raspi Arduino rover from modified Tyco mini-hopper

As an introdution, I'm just getting into bots at the age of 34. I wanted to get into programming a bit as a hobby, and decided on Python to start with, so I ended up picking up a Raspberry Pi, and found all the hardware related projects fascinating (Home automation, robots, etc) so why not get into robotics at the same time? Ultimately I want a full size JARVIS with full AI and a british accent turning lights on/off by voice command and pouring my coffee in the morning, but one step at a time..

Aside from a simple manually controlled 6dof robotic arm (like jjshortcut's except hand cut from wood/plexiglass) that can barely pick up a pencil yet, this is my first bot. As the title suggests it'll be a rover and just rove around the house and harrass the pets, maybe talk/play music, and maybe stream a video feed on my local network. Possibly offer a Siri-like service so I can google stuff if I'm not at the computer, but i'm getting ahead of myself again.

I found in my parent's garage my old mini-hopper from when I was a kid which will do for the base. I really wanted the the turbo-hopper and my older brother had one, but that's another story. The gearbox for the rear drive makes a wierd sound and the rubber is rotting on the tires, but it'll do for now. The steering motor is pretty much shot, so I took it out and replaced with a 9g servo, and took out the entire control board essentially replacing with an Arduino UNO knockoff and L293d.  I've decided to do all the motor controlling with the Ardy, and possibly some other functions as well, not entirely sure yet.

RPi (model A) controls the Arduino over I2C. Presently the Pi also is going to control at least one SR04 ping sensor and the Pi Camera module for vision. Ultimately I want to integrate OpenCV but finding that a bit daunting, so it's on the back-burner. I have no desire at this stage to learn another language on top of Python and Arduino (most of my code at this stage is stolen/modified at this other sources). I also picked up a 16x2 LCD but not sure if I'll actually be using it in this project or not. I picked up a 8000mAh 2.1A backup battery that does provide enough juice to power the Pi and wifi dongle, though I haven't yet tested with the Arduino connected. Most certainly I'll be powering motors separately from NiMHs or something, I haven't worked all that out yet.

Most likely this will take quite some time with some breaks (working on improving my arm, and I've got grand ideas of a diy CNC machine as well). I'll probably need something a little less intense to get some successful builds/experience notches and build my confidence/motivation to complete this and the CNC, as well as allow time to save up some funds for the CNC. I'm thinking of making a BoB bot. I'm a procrastinator at heart so some little wins will help keep me in line.

Rove around the house using Picam and ultrasound.

  • Actuators / output devices: DC motor, 3 mini servos (steering + head)
  • Control method: Semi-Controlled, WiFi
  • CPU: Raspberry Pi ARM 1Ghz
  • Operating system: Raspian
  • Power source: Battery (still undecided)
  • Programming language: Python
  • Sensors / input devices: camera, SR04 Ultrasound
  • Target environment: indoor

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://community.robotshop.com/robots/show/raspi-arduino-rover-from-modified-tyco-mini-hopper