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A project log for Tote Zero

Affordable quadruped robot powered by a Pi Zero

deʃhipudeʃhipu 02/11/2016 at 12:380 Comments

o I haven't done much work on this during the week, but I did do some thinking, and the results of that are pretty scary. First, I realized that using Servo Blaster and all those pins is not really that convenient, when I can simply have a #Servo Controller from a Pro Mini. Second, while Pi Zero is cheap, a WiFi dongle and SD Card for them are not. ESP8266 is cheap, though, and you can do #RPi WiFi with it. Can't really do much about the SD Card, apart from using a cheap, small one.

Anyways, putting it all together, I got something like this:

It has room for ESP8266, Pro Mini and Pi Zero, 12 servo sockets, IR sensor socket, and a voltage regulator module. I had to use both sides of the PCB with surface pads, and the RPi header doesn't quite fit on the 5cm board, but that's details.

How would you use this? There are three options. Only put a Pro Mini there, and you have the simple version of #Tote with remote control. Add a ESP8266 with the right firmware, talking to the Pro Mini over I²C, and you have a Micropython or Lua-based robot with WiFi. Finally, add a voltage regulator and Pi Zero, and you have a perambulating computer, with WiFi over ESP8266 and possibly a USB camera.

Will this work? I honestly have no idea. I cobbled this PCB together over several evenings, stealing ideas that I don't fully understand all over Hackaday. It does, however, sound like the right way forward.

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