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Robot Buggy – Components and Materials

Robot Buggy Components are mounted on a base and wired to the controller. There are options for this with your own kit that we review here.

The introductory project site from which we’ve drawn ideas has guidance for constructing the most basic of chassis from a cardboard box.

The RabbitHole offers some design  options here for a more rugged buggy built on a plastic plate, including discussion of how that design could be extended using CAD/CAM prototyping. 

Solid-Plate Chassis Design 

Components selected or produced for our prototype are shown in the gallery and listed here: 

  1. Plastic Chassis Baseplate and Mezzanine – these are bespoke designs cut and drilled for the motor and remaining components.
  2. Motor Mounts – the motor mounts are bespoke L-Brackets, for the left- and right- side of the chassis base plate, tailored to the motors used in the robot..
  3. Geared Motor and Wheel Set – this project used a set obtained commercially.
  4. Motor Driver Module– provides a Dual H-Bridge (Model L298N) that controls current flow and direction to the motor, with GPIO compatible inputs and a separate power supply input for the motors. 
  5. RaspberryPi Zero WH with GPIO Header– wireless interface and robot controller.
  6. Misc. Hardware – brackets, mounting posts, screws, nuts, zip ties.
  7. Power Supply – the car has had various versions as the design evolved:
    1. 4x 1.5 volt AA Batteries and holders, providing 6 volts total for the motor power supply.
    2. 5 volt USB Battery Pack- compatible power supply for the RaspberryPi, since the 6 volts from the AA batteries exceeds the maximum allowed voltage for the Raspberry Pi.
    3. 2x 3.7 volt 16350-type rechargeable batteries, which provide more more to the drive wheels but also exceeds the allowable RPi input voltage. 
    4. a DC-to-DC voltage regulator, which converts the available AA or 16350 battery power to 5 volts for the Raspberry Pi; two versions were used:
      1. the 5 volt power output integrated with the L298N H-Bridge motor controller.
      2. a separate DC-to-DC voltage regulator that accepts inputs from 4 to 40 VDC  and adjustable output set to 5 volts.