Thursday, June 7, 2012

Raspberry Pi rover?

I made a few years ago a small robot using a Lego Mindstorms plus my HP mini netbook... It was controlled with my local Wireless network, through another computer (using TeamViewer). The netbook was connected to the IR programming interface, linked to the RCX, and controlled the motors directly through Bricxcc. I could "see" through the Webcam embedded on the screen of the computer. We called it the "Kitchen Rover".

100% Lego. Well, except for the netbook.

 Pretty fun to play with, but the major drawback was that the whole thing was way too heavy, making it difficult to turn. Those little wheels were too small and fragile to withstand about 2.5 kgs of heavy Lego frame and computer. It was also subject to lags, the webcam stream plus TeamViewer used too much bandwidth.

Two days ago I ordered a Raspberry Pi. I was thinking about using it for making a small Media center (using XBMC), or a small Web Server. Then I tought about my small "rover". Why not use it as a controller, making the whole thing much lighter? I'm not sure yet if I'm going to use a Lego frame+motors like the first rover, I'll maybe build to something much sturdier, with more powerful motors (and using the GPIO pins instead of the lego RCX brick)...

For now, I can't do anything but wait. RS says "7 week lead time" before dispatching my order, so I'm going to stick to other projects until then...

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