What is the Raspberry Pi robotic shield
Robots are becoming more and more important in our world. Often, robots are driven by small microcontroller boards, but these have limited capabilities (e.g. it is not possible to use state-of-the-art robot frameworks such as ROS) and are not easy to connect to the internet.
The Raspberry Pi is a powerful and cheap linux board which would be ideal to implement advanced robot control algorithms. There are however no readily available extensions available to allow it to drive motors or read sensor values.
This is why I designed an open hardware Raspberry Pi robotic shield which makes it very easy to control robots, even over the internet! I designed the shield using existing open hardware modules on circuits.io. It even comes with a powerful voltage regulator allowing to both power the shield and the Raspberry Pi from a battery.
I launched this bootstrap campaign to raise the required funding to be able to get this board manufactured at a compelling price. If the goal is reached, I will be able to ship fully assembled shields for $49.00.
- plugs right into the GPIO header of the Raspberry Pi
- ability to drive two 1.4A motors at the battery voltage
- connectors for two RC servos
- 4 analog input channels to connect sensors
- ability to power both the shield and the Raspberry Pi from an external battery, allowing fully untethered operation
- Microchip PIC based core, compatible with the Dwengo platform and library. This platform was originally developed for education and has many tutorial, examples and an active development forum
- open source shield firmware
- example Raspberry Pi code to demonstrate all features of the shield
Who should get the robotic shield
This shield is ideal for anybody interested in robotics. It allows to turn the powerful Raspberry Pi platform into a state-of-the-art robot controller with easy internet access.
The shield is also ideal in education. It is cool to learn to program the Raspberry Pi, but it is even cooler to see your programs come to life. In the learning process, especially when working with computers, it is very instructive to actually see what your code does in the real world. This create lasting mental images of what code can actually achieve.
LicenseThe shield schematics, board layout, firmware and tutorials are all available under the Creative Commons SA-BY 3.0 license. Fork us on circuits.io and help improve the shield. Happy hacking!
What will happen?
When the goal is reached, the boards will be manufactured and fully assembled. Circuits.io will help me with this process and will also ship the finished boards directly to you. The expected delivery date is end of January.
If the goal cannot be reached, I will not be able to offer you assembled boards, but you will still be able to download the Gerber files or order the PCB from circuits.io and solder the components yourself.