Pi Car

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Background

In the L298N Single Motor project we configured the L298N and a single motor. This project will take this a stage further and allow you to use 2 motors and use the project to construct a remote-control car. We will be using the Car Chassis and 2 DC motors to then make a moving robot. This is the foundation level of nearly all robotic systems, they start very simple and then develop with additional hardware and software into very complex systems. A robot is defined as a complex machine able to complete tasks automatically, usually with either the aid of sensors or specific commands. Robots can take many forms and can fulfil a range of tasks only limited by your imagination. There are robots that understand how to walk and jump (like the Boston Dynamics robots), we send robots to explore space and the ocean and we are even creating robots small enough to enter the human body for medical research.  

Each of these robots are the union of hardware and software with a processing controller like the Raspberry Pi at the heart of them. The Raspberry Pi not only stores the code but also possesses the processing power to quickly execute the code. While the Pi Car doesn’t have as much processing power as the Boston Dynamics robots it is also a fraction of the price, allowing anyone interested in computers access to make their own robots. It would be possible using this chassis as foundation for other peripherals that could be connected and integrated into the code. Could you think of any other sensors that could be connected that could make this project autonomous?

 
 

Learning Outcomes

  • Use Python to code instructions for a Pi controlled Car;

  • Assemble the Car using 2 motors and the L298N Motor Controller; 

  • Understand how breaking down steps of a project is the foundation of good code. 

 

Hardware Required

Component Number (Peli Case)

(Base) 4 + 5

(Base) 5

(Level 1) 2

(Level 1) 2

(Base) 25

(Level 1) 2

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 2)

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 2

(Level 1) 2

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 5

(Level 1) 4

Component Number (Box Case)

Slot 1

Slot 11

In-between levels

Slot 11

Slot 7

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 11

Slot 12

Slot 13

Component

Raspberry Pi + Case

Raspbian SD Card

Car Chassis

Battery Holder

Wheels

DC Motors

Male Male Wires

Male Female Wires

Flathead Screwdriver

4 AA Batteries

Stabilizing Wheel

Nuts and Bolts

HDMI

Wireless Keyboard

Wireless Mouse

Power Bank

 

Video Guide

Conclusion

This project was designed to show how more complicated physical and digital projects are assembled. Were there issues with putting all the components neatly in place? How did you overcome this issue? This project also shows you how limited robots can be when broken down to this level. This project can move but it isn’t aware of its environment, what kind of sensors could you attach to this project that would make it aware if it was going to hit a wall? What code would you require to make that work? It is from these simple foundations that more complicated robots are created. These robots have many diverse applications including surgery, exploring oceans and space. Even last century, we had no concept of where robotics would be today, so by pushing the boundaries of development we can create more projects that can do even more.