Using Arduino for robotics project is becoming more commonplace. With Kickstarter allowing projects to be crowd-funded, robots kits are becoming readily available for those who consider starting from scratch a bit too difficult. The Pi-Bot is designed as a learning platform, created by Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal, to allow beginners to get into robots, and Arduino, without having to create a program it from scratch.
The Pi-Bot runs off a custom Arduino-compatible board called the STEM board (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The kit includes everything you need: the STEM board, wheels, gearbox, sensors and a custom ‘pi’-shaped, laser cut chassis.
Pi-Bot has taken several different iterations and a couple of years to develop. It is now in the final design stage and is ready to be manufactured, and has been tested by the students in the ‘Robotics Creativity Centre’, set up by STEM Centre USA.
The Pi-Bot features:
- Modular platform for interchangeable sensors
- Standardized Arduino C programming
- Novel chassis design minimizes weight while maintaining strength
- Fully accessible microprocessor for easy connections
- Slide in battery pack
- Additional microprocessors can be used simply replacing the support plate
- Develops practical knowledge by using real electronic components
The Kit includes:
- Pi-shaped acrylic chassis (made locally in the US)
- STEM board – Arduino compatible microcontroller
- USB cable
- Motor controller
- Ball-bearing castor
- Ultrasonic distance sensor
- Line tracking sensor
- LEDs and resistors
- Wireset and jumpers
- Power switch
- Mounting brackets
- 4-AA battery holder
- Spacers and fasteners
- Easy to follow instructions
- No soldering required
Pi-Bot looks like an interesting project, with all you need included in the box. For $75, you can get the whole kit, which isn’t bad at all. If you want to grab one, simply head over to their Kickstarter page.