A robot rover using a PiZero – Part 3

Yorkshire versus Lancashire PiWars gets a step closer!

The next stage in making the robot rover I’m constructing (with massive help from the Cam Jam people and their EduKit3) is to incorporate ‘power on the move’ for the PiZero.

As you read before in A robot rover using a PiZero – Part 1 the two powered wheels use 4 x AA batteries. However no independent power source for the Pi is included with the kit. You therefore have to choose and buy the one that suits you. Because I am using a piZero rather than a full-sized Pi, I can get away with a lower power battery source (which adds less weight) than you would need for the full-sized Pi. I therefore chose a 2200 mAh (milli Amp hours) DC 5V portable powerbank. These are meant for powering smartphones on the move.  They are often called lipstick battery packs (because they’re like a large lipstick) and can be bought at high street discount stores.

Power_Bank

I went to a trusted online Pi provider though, because I can’t afford to get it wrong and damage the rest of the set-up.  Also, the Pi provider’s powerbank came with the micro USB cable to charge it up with (and link it to the PiZero).

PiWars_Robot_2

Anyway, the powerbank came immediately and, after a charge-up of about 4 hours (using the plug from my smartphone), its light went out to show it was fully charged and it is working brilliantly.  You just disconnect the cable and turn it around so the standard USB goes in the ‘OUTPUT’ on the powerbank and the micro USB goes into the Pi.

You can see my very rough video on YouTube here:Moving Robot

It cost £8.34 so I have now spent:

£48.64 + 4 AA batteries

on this project and I shouldn’t need to spend any more because the line following and the obstacle avoiding sensors are included in the kit.

The next job is to fit and code the ‘Line follower‘, so that the robot can follow a black line on a mat, and that will be in part 4.

Happy Raspberry Pi tinkering!

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