What is the one thing most of us wanted since childhood? A robot! We loved those really cool toy robots which used to cost a bomb! Here is your chance to build one without having to shell out big bucks! This one uses the Raspberry Pi computer.
As it is your robot, you can get it to do anything you like. The author has attached a cup holder to his robot. The author has used a readymade base which had a built in gearbox that houses the wheels. This is similar to the base of a toy crane. Other parts include a HP HD2300 webcam, water dancer speakers with 6 Watt Amp, an ultrasonic range finder distance measuring sensor (HC-SR04), battery cases that can hold 6 AA batteries (the author’s prototype requires 27Volts), LED lights (here’s your chance to use those Diwali/ Christmas lights again!). You can substitute the HC-SR04 for an easily available and cheaper distance measuring sensor.
The motors run at 9V whereas the Pi runs at 5V. A voltage converter is needed to regulate the voltage to 5V. The Raspberry Pi is sped up by 100MHz. two motor controllers are used. The author has also used a headphone jack , a micro USB power input to the Pi and the composite video jack on the Pi.
The neck of the robot is made with a smart phone holder. The author has replaced the speakers with lights (torch lights). The speakers may make the neck heavier. A small motor will not be able to move the neck from side to side. The other neck can be made using the engine of a small remote controlled car.
The start of graphic user interface is coded in Python. With the help of the Raspberry Pi, you can control the motor controller which is connected to a switch. The author has provided the links so that your Pi can be up to date. Most of the coding is done in Python, but you can use Turbo C as well. The code includes movement keys, diagnostics, controls, toggling the lights, etc. The really cool part is that it can create and post a new tweet and take images as well.
You can build your own robot with added updates like speech recognition or you can even make it fully automated. Or even a temperature sensing robot which will set off an alarm if there is a fire. So use your imagination and start building your very own TinkTrank!
Filed Under: Reviews