Hardware

Parts

You'll need the following parts to build this robot:

  • Mini Rover Robot Chassis Kit
  • Raspberry Pi Model 2, B+, or A+
    • Stick with a more recent Raspberry Pi Model 2, B+, A+ as these boards have convenient mounting holes for attaching to the robot chassis.  I recommend the Model 2 because it's the most capable.  You could potentially use the Pi Zero but it is a bit small for mounting the motor HAT securely.
  • Motor HAT
    • This has everything needed to drive DC & stepper motors from the Pi, perfect for small robot projects.
  • Brass M2.5 Standoffs for Raspberry Pi HATs
    • These help hold the Motor HAT securely to the Pi.  Although not shown in the photos these are highly recommended!
  • 4x AA Battery Holder With Switch
    • The motors need a separate power supply from the Pi since they can draw a lot of current (much more current than the Pi can source!).  A small 4x AA battery pack with switch like this is perfect.
  • Small USB Battery Pack
    • This will power the Raspberry Pi.  Use a pack that's small and light enough to mount on the robot.  A ~2200 mAH pack like this one will run a Pi with WiFi dongle for about 5 hours on a full charge.
  • Miniature WiFi Module
    • Although not technically required, a small Pi-compatible WiFi adapter will make it much easier to log into and control the Pi robot.
  • 2x #4-40 3/8" or longer machine screws and nuts
    • You'll need a couple machine screws to hold the Pi to the robot chassis.
  • Small Piece of Cardboard
    • You'll want a small piece of cardboard that's as large as the Raspberry Pi to help protect the bottom of the Pi from touching the metal robot chassis and shorting out.  Cut out a square from the box your parts ship to you inside.
  • Jumper Wires
  • Precision Screwdrivers & Small Adjustable Wrench or Pliers
  • Soldering Tools
    • You'll need to solder a header and a few connectors onto the motor HAT.  This is a relatively easy soldering job, be sure to follow the guide to excellent soldering if you're new to it!

Raspberry Pi Setup

You'll want to make sure your Raspberry Pi is running the latest version of the Raspbian Jessie operating system.  In addition the Pi will need access to the internet through a wired or wirless network connection so it can download necessary software.

If you're new to the Raspberry Pi be sure to follow a few getting started guides to learn how to load an operating system on the Pi, setup a wired or wireless network connection, and connect to its command line terminal.

Motor HAT

Start the project by following the motor HAT guide to assemble and test the HAT.  Make sure you can install the motor HAT software and test each DC motor to verify it spins.  It's much easier to troubleshoot issues with the HAT and motors when it's outside the robot chassis!

Once you've assembled and checked the motor HAT works, continue on to learn how to put together the robot.

This guide was first published on Jan 08, 2016. It was last updated on Jan 08, 2016. This page (Hardware) was last updated on Oct 15, 2019.