An open source robot to inspect under vehicles, crawl spaces and any other dark dirty space you need to take a look at.

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InspectorBot is a Raspberry PI based mobile robot to allow its user to inspect the dirty dark and dangerous areas for anything from leaks to damage to dangers from the safety of a smart phone.


Have you ever needed to crawl under your vehicle to see where that leak is coming from, or maybe you’re a home owner that may need to crawl into a small dark crawl space and push your way through the spider webs to investigate a possible busted pipe? Or you could be a law enforcement officer that needs to look under a suspicious vehicle for possible drug smuggling.


InspectorBot is a small, low cost open source tele-operated robot with an upward-pointing high definition camera to allow easy inspection of any surface above the robot. A second forward-pointing low definition camera will be used to allow the user to drive the robot to the desired location. InspetorBot will be built around the ever-popular Raspberry Pi with P2P (Point to point) wifi and a built in website to allow InspectoBot to be controlled from any smart phone or web enabled device in any location.

*License GPLv3 unless stated otherwise. License details available in the github repository.*

plain - 770.00 bytes - 07/16/2017 at 13:05


plain - 147.00 bytes - 07/16/2017 at 13:04


sheet - 9.01 kB - 07/12/2017 at 01:06


  • 1 × Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
  • 1 × Raspberry pi camera v2
  • 1 × mini usb camera
  • 2 × Dual H-bridge Motor driver L293D L293DD013TR PDF in repository
  • 1 × BOX PLASTIC 4.43"L X 3.33"W x 1.73"H Hammond Manufacturing 1591XXSSBK PDF in repository

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  • Starting the build

    Dennis4 days ago 0 comments

    It’s always nice to receive a Digi-Key box. It means more toys. Also, the first parts for the new build.

    I’m using an aluminum L bar to make the camera mount. This one is a 1/2” x ¾’. I measured and mark a 1 ½” length and also mark the mounting holes around ¼” from each side. Drill 1/8” mounting holes and cut the 1 ½” length. I like to file off any burrs and round the edges.

    Next, center the aluminum mount on one side of the top of the box and drill the 1/8” holes. I pop riveted the mount on the cover, but machine screws will work also. The low definition USB camera should clip easily on the mount

    Next, take the bottom of a Raspberry Pi case and drill four small holes on the feet.

    Place the bottom of the case on top of the box centered behind the camera mount and drill 4 small holes. I used 4 self-tapping screws to secure the Raspberry PI case to the box.

    On the top of the Raspberry PI case, I positioned the Raspberry PI camera and drilled 4 small holes to mount the Raspberry PI camera.

    With 4 screws and four ½” stand offs, I connected the cameras to the top of the Raspberry PI case.

    Next, plug everything in and snap together the parts and the top of the bot is assembled. I haven’t gotten the gearhead motors yet, but hopefully soon.

  • Raspberry pi camera v2

    Dennis07/06/2017 at 00:07 2 comments

    For the time being, I wanted to work with pygame to access and display the cameras. Pygame makes it easy to add a USB camera, but a little more challenging to add the second High definition Raspberry Pi camera v2. Below is a short program to display the cameras attached to the RPI that are detected by pygame. I gave it the original name of “check_for_cameras”. The USB camera is plugged into a USB port and the Raspberry pi v2 camera plugged into the camera port.

    Now run the program.

    The program shows the problem. With the USB cameras plugged in and the Raspberry pi camera v2 plugged into the camera port, the program only displays the USB camera. To be able to access the Raspberry PI camera with pygame, we need a driver. Open the terminal and enter the command “sudo modprobe bcm2835-v4l2” like the below picture and run the program again.

    ***I edited this section on Radomir Dopieralski advice and placed bcm2835-v4l2 in /etc/modules instead of /etc/rc.local. Thanks Radomir it works GREAT! ***

    It worked! We can see both cameras. The next problem is it will only work until we reboot the Raspberry Pi. To get around this, we will need to run “sudo modprobe bcm2835-v4l2” at start up. To run the command at start up, open terminal and enter “sudo nano /etc/ modules” then add “bcm2835-v4l2” in the following window. Like the two pictures below and save the change.

    Finally reboot the Raspberry PI and run the program, and both cameras should be detected.

  • Low Resolution Camera

    Dennis06/26/2017 at 01:34 0 comments

    InspectorBot will need a forward facing low resolution camera so the user will be able to drive the robot when the robot is in an area such as crawl spaces where the user cannot see the robot. I found a cheap mini USB camera on ebay. Below is the camera.

    I wasn’t sure if the camera would work with a Raspberry PI so I wrote a short program using Pygame to test it. Below is the program and an image of the program running with the mini camera plugged into one of the Raspberry PIs USB ports. It works well with a Raspberry PI.

  • First steps getting the tools

    Dennis06/23/2017 at 02:47 0 comments

    One if the nicest things about Raspberry PIs is that there is great documentation online that is easy to follow. I’m using the Raspberry Pi 3 model B with Raspbian available here

    Next, the RPI needs to be setup as a wifi access point to allow the RPI to directly communicate with other web enabled devices.

    Next, the Raspberry Pi will need to be set up to use the upward pointing camera. I’m using a raspberry pi camera v2 for this camera.

    That is the initial tools we’ll need to get started.

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Enjoy this project?



Humpelstilzchen wrote 06/29/2017 at 17:24 point

You might want to fix the tag: MOB_LE ROBOT ;)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dennis wrote 06/29/2017 at 23:41 point

Oops! Thanks Humpelstilzchen. Spelling never has been my
strong point. :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

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