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Robot Buggy


The Robot Buggy project unites hardware and software to create a fun and useful system.

In addition, it provides a useful introduction to some basic design and build concepts for computer controlled hardware (i.e. ROBOTS) using Python as the programming language for sensing and control.

When completed in its basic form you will have an understanding of DC motor control for robot motion,  wireless remote controls, and the basics of robot use: training and playback for specific tasks. Advanced operations with extensions to the basic kit look at environment sensing and autonomous operation.

If that seems interesting, then let’s get started! 

What Is a Robot?

We take the simple definition (because it applies to our project) that a robot is a computer controlled machine.

While Science Fiction has popularized the notion that a robot looks like a person, robots in real modern use can have any shape or function; many of the first robots were made for industrial use to perform repetitive actions on assembly lines.

Our robot buggy in its simplest form is intended to move about and explore. 


The Robot Buggy project is adapted from, based on a RaspberryPi 3, and from a similar project using the PiZero The coding mods and setup to use the PiZero are found in MagicPi Issue 86.

This project uses a RaspberryPi Zero W as the controller to allow robot control and sensing through a WiFi connection. Other modifications have been made based on available materials to allow for extensions, and through exploration of design and build options.  We will reference some material from other projects, but the hardware and software used has been developed or tailored specifically for this project. 

Let’s Get Started

Module 1 – Assembling the Buggy

Module 2 – Installing the Software

Module 3 – Initial Checkout and Basic Tests 

Module 4 –Open-Loop Control

Module 5 – Interactive Operator Control: Robot Training and Playback

Module 6 – Adding Sensors