The fictional mutant known as Dalek from Dr Who has been brought to life in reality that one wouldn’t have imagined. Ron Ostafichuk, a developer who likes fidgeting with Raspberry Pi, went on to develop an interesting project named RaspiMower Dalek. As the name clearly indicates, it contains three terms- Raspberry Pi, Mower and Dalek. This is because he originally started the project to make an automatic solar powered mower but the series of events ultimately resulted in a Raspberry powered Dalek.
Ron was struck with an idea to turn certain spare parts and scraps into a robotic mower for his garden that could cut off the grass on its own. The thought was to develop an inexpensive lawn mower that could use up the power from solar energy along while navigating around with the help of one or more Raspberry Pi’s. For this he prepared a wooden base and fitted two 12V motors inside it. This was then connected to the off-road wheels via a V-belt system.
Some of the raw materials required by the Raspimower base are enlisted here:
- 2 Raspberry Pis
- 2 5V Channel Relay Modules
- 3 L298N DC Motor Controllers
- 2 wheels measuring 13X5 inches (for grass)
- 1 wheel measuring 8X2.5 inches (for pivot system)
- 2 12V DC gear motors
- 1 weed weed whip/hedge cutter
- Multiple solar panels
As the base was ready, his children took a ride on it and gave him an idea to use it for the Halloween. Being a Doctor Who fan, Ron immediately decided to make it look like a Dalek. In order to turn the idea into reality, he manufactured a bodyframe and made it stand on the Raspimower base. This frame was built with ¾ inch clipboard and ¼ inch of sheeting that came in the form of residuals after building a shed.
Then he covered the body with the weather proof Rustoleum water based paint and used some Gorilla Tape to cover the seam in the panels. After covering the structure with glossy black finish, he fitted a toilet plunger and an aluminium pipe which acted as its arms.
However the Robot wasn’t rested to a particular from. Ron kept tweaking the insides with better ideas .Initially this DIY Dalek was controlled with a wireless keyboard but later developed a web interface. Moreover, the circuit was replaced with whole new configuration that could pull more current than before.
He also planned to replace the 12V motors with a Zappy mobility scooter for $60 CND so as to render more power and mechanical sound to the device. In order to add some appeal, a red-colored flexible LED string was added around the base to render a glow to the robot. Later, some computers speakers were fitted inside which were loaded with 15 sound clips making it look lively.
You can have a look at the video posted by Ron that demonstrates the working of his DIY Dalek that will certainly help you in getting to know more details about the robot.
Filed Under: Reviews