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My P101bot — Parallax Forums

My P101bot

This my latest robot project, using Parallaxy parts.

I added a top shelf for more module placement. The pictures show a sort of loose fit for some of the stuff, I am in the process of adding some more modules like a compass, a temp gauge, and I will see what else I have laying around.

I am using SimpleIDE for programing the Activity board, and came up with a simple Python GUI program that actually drives the bot around while viewing the streaming video. The Activity board will do the mechanical control stuff, while the Raspberry Pi will do the heavy calculating stuff. I also have the IR receiver for TV remote control of the bot.

Since I have another bot chassis sitting around, I am now thinking about doing this one with a P2, but there is still a lot of missing software parts for a P2 version.



  • For my project I wrote LOGO to drive the robot around. With the WiFi module I could send it commands and watch it move around.

    Since I used a stepper motor I could set the distance to move and have it move there.

    This was done with a P2 but it could have been down with a P1 as well

    Most of the C code and libraries for the P1 move over to the P2 with small changes.

    It looks like you could use a 3D printer or maybe some balsa wood.


  • RsadeikaRsadeika Posts: 3,558

    I have been thinking about that upper shelf, it needs a solid piece of plastic material with some sort of surface that you could screw in screws, easily.

    The next purchase from Parallax will be the brackets that hold the Pings, I think they will fit on the lower shelf, hopefully the brackets come with the nuts and bolts.

    When I was doing my test P101bot run, using the streaming video source, I definitely need the pings on the lower shelf. Four of them should be sufficient. When viewing the streaming video you have a fair idea of the distances in front of you, but you have no idea as to where sides of the bot are. I also have to be careful as to how much stuff I can add to bot. Not only do you have to worry about the available memory, but you also have to be aware of IO pin allocation, those are starting to shrink in the number that is available.


  • Nicely done, Ray. Sticking with the project and sorting through the challenges along the way.

    Ken Gracey

  • Would you mind sharing your Python program? I am interested in how you handled the video stream display. Wonderful work, keep it up!

  • RsadeikaRsadeika Posts: 3,558

    At the moment I have two separate Python programs, one does the GUI, the other is a Python program that sets up the camera and the IP address.

    What I do is start up the streaming program, then I go to the IP address , in a browser. Then I start up the separate Python GUI to give me control of the bot. I am looking into, somehow combining the two programs into one, but that will take some time.

    The streaming program is very basic, I would like to add a way of having it record at the same time it is doing the live streaming. Of course it would have to have on/off component to it. Also maybe a single photo shot, could be very useful, lots of ideas.

    I am in the process of adding some more components, I found I have a GPS module, which I will test out. Also, I will be adding a compass module.

    I am also testing out using two separate power sources, one for the Raspberry Pi, and one for the Activity board. The Activity Board power is NiMH batteries, and the Raspberry Pi power is two, two 18650 in series cells. The NiMH power unit is five 3000 mAh cells @~ 7.0V, and the 18650 power unit is two cells, in series, ~8.0V 3400 mAh, with two separate packs hooked up in parallel on my terminal strip. The Raspberry Pi with the WiFi on uses a lot of power, plus the camera that is also on the Raspberry Pi, adds even more stress, especially when the IR lights turn on.

    The next step is testing out setting up the bot for a teach/learn condition. Since I can control the bot with a TV remote, and there are some commands for capturing the distance the servos turn, plus the GPS , plus the compass, maybe a little COG program that can make sense of the data and put together a repeatable step script. Not sure if the Activity Board P1 has the resources for that.


  • ercoerco Posts: 19,942

    Pretty sharp setup, Ray!

  • GenetixGenetix Posts: 1,521


    Buy a sheet of Birch plywood from Home Depot.

    I think Michaels also has it in the crafts section.

  • RsadeikaRsadeika Posts: 3,558

    Just an update, this is still an active project. Waiting for some cash to free up so I can buy the Parallax NiMH battery charger and a couple of those Ping devices with brackets.

    I did try the GPS module that I have, on the bot, and inside the house it cannot locate any satellites, so I guess it is non functional for the bot.

    I am still thinking about a P2 bot, but I have not found any P2 code for driving the servo360 device. Plus it would be a kind of real hack to get the 3 pin connector to work with the P2 mini board.


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