Building and playing with robots is my main guilty pleasure in life. Others play golf or ski, but I build robots (since I can't play golf or ski :-). I find it relaxing and fun! To make most of my bots, I use chassis kits. Using kits helps me do what I like doing more, the software and electronics and also makes for a better chassis for my all-thumbs self.
In this Instructable, we will look in what it takes to make a simple but robust Wifi/web controlled rover. The chassis used is the Actobotics Gooseneck. I chose it for it's size, expand-ability and cost but you can use any other chassis of your own choosing.
For a project like this, we will need a good solid single board computer and for this bot I chose to use the Raspberry Pi (RPI) a Linux based computer. The RPI (and Linux) gives us lots of coding options and Python will be used for the coding side. For the web interface I use Flask, a lightweight web framework for Python.
To drive the motors, I chose a RoboClaw 2x5a. It allows for simple serial communication for commanding it and works well with the RPI and the motors on the Gooseneck.
Finally, it has a webcam for POV type video feedback for driving it remotely. I will cover each topic in more detail later.
Step 1: Hardware needed
- Actobotics Gooesneck chassis or a suitable replacement of your choice
- Raspberry Pi of your choice (or clone) – An RPI model B is used on this bot, but any with at least two USB ports will work
- Standard Servo Plate B x1
- 90° Single Angle Channel Bracket x1
- RoboClaw 2x5a motor driver
- Small breadboard or Mini breadboard
- Female to Female jumper wires
- Male to Female jumper wires
- Web cam (optional) – I use a Logitech C110, and here is a list of supported cams for the RPI
- 5v-6v power source for servo power
- 7.2v-11.1v battery for drive motor powering
- 5v 2600mah (or higher) USB power bank for the RPI
On my bot, I use 4″ wheels to make it a little more All-Terrain-Indoor. For this option you will need:
Step 2: Assembling the chassis
First assemble the chassis following the instructions included with the chassis or video. After finishing you should have something like the image. NOTE: When assembling the Neck part, just leave the mounting bracket off.