ScoutBot—Pi Bot With Camera

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About: HKU Computer Engineering Student

Here, we present our Raspberry Pi 8 DOF Wi-Fi quadruped robot. The robot is featured video vision streaming and Wi-Fi control via simple web UI. We release all information to people to build it by themselves. Any Pi version from 1A+/1B+ to 3 and Zero/Zero W can be used to build this robot. Below figures show an implementation using Pi B+ and camera module V1.3.

Step 1: Preparation

To build one, you will need following items. The electronic components can be found in the online store such as Taobao, Amazon, etc.

  • Raspberry Pi 1A+, 1B+, 2 or 3
  • Nano size WiFi USB dongle or equivalent for 1A+,1B+, 2 & Zero
  • Raspberry Camera V1.3 (optional if no vision video streaming)
  • Raspberry Pi I/O Expansion Board
  • 3D printed STL model files, download here
  • Robot System SD card image: The image is based on LEDE Project. The user guide is applicable to the robot for other system settings. You see Step 3: Installation of System Image for writing images to SD card. SD card bigger than 256MB can be used since the size of the image file is less than 256MB. There are 3 images respective to the different version of Pi, download below:

Prior to build or assemble the robot, you need to 3D-print the models and preparing the SD card for Pi.

Step 2: 3D Printing

Those implementations in demo were printed in PLA. The models were sliced using Cura. Here are the suggested parameters for slicing the robot models to print. You may adjust to fit the 3D printer you're using.

  • layer height: 0.2mm
  • shell thickness: 1mm
  • bottom/top thickness: 1.2mm
  • support: needed
  • adhesion type: none
  • fill density: 10%

Step 3: ​Installation of System Image

You will need to use an image writing tool to write the image onto your micro SD card.

Etcher is a graphical SD card writing tool that works on macOS, Linux and Windows, and is the easiest option for most users. Etcher also supports writing images directly from the zip file, without any unzipping required. To write your image with Etcher:

  • Download Etcher image writer
  • Connect an SD card reader with the SD card inside
  • Open Etcher and select the image file you wish to write to the SD card
  • Select the SD card you wish to write the image to
  • Review your selections and click Flash! to begin writing data to the SD card

Step 4: WiFi Setup

After you install the system image to the SD card, next step is to setup the Wi-Fi connection.

  • Connect your computer to the LAN port of Pi
  • Optionally, connect Pi to an HDMI monitor for booting messages
  • Connect the USB Wi-Fi dongle to USB port if not Pi 3
  • Insert the SD card to Pi
  • Power on Pi to boot, the green LED will be flashing for few seconds
  • After boot up, the Pi becomes an Internet and WiFi router, it will allocate IP address in the range of http://192.168.1.1/. to any network devices connected to it via LAN port or WiFi.

Step 5: Robot Assembly

You must have 3D printed models and the SD card ready. If you have those ready, watch assembling video at below.

Step 6: Play!

Firstly is to join the robot WiFi network. Initially the SSID is LEDE. The WiFi password is the one you set in above Step 4: WiFi Setup. If you are success to join the WiFi network, you can access the web control interface with the URL http://192.168.1.1:8080/robot.html. You can control the robot as the previously video demo shows.

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    14 Discussions

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    jproehl99

    Question 9 months ago on Step 6

    Hi: Nice Bot! One problem I have is that there is no way to be sure the order of the servo cable connections. The video I was able to watch has no sound, and the cables can't be easily traced after they go through the slot. Does it go:

    1: Right front toe
    2: Right front knuckle
    3: Right back knuckle
    4: Right back toe
    5: Left back toe
    6: Left back knuckle
    7: Left front knuckle
    8: Left front toe

    or are they connected in some other order in the video??

    Thanks!

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    YunusDa

    11 months ago

    Good work, I’ve got a question about the camera, would it be possible for you to explain to me how you did the setup for the camera because I’m pretty sure just entering the ip address doesn’t work.

    Thank you

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    nedevski

    11 months ago

    Hi, are you using a step-up for the voltage?
    As far as I know the servos are working with 5v or 6v, and the pack provides only 3.6v

    If you are using a step up - what model?

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    paulbrandt2

    11 months ago

    Sorry, I must be doing something wrong, I can't download the .stl files. It does not give me that option, I can save the page, print it, etc. but not download any of the files.

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    IgorF2

    12 months ago

    Great robot! How long does it run on that 18650 batteries?

    2 replies
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    ShoyuIgorF2

    Reply 11 months ago

    It can run for approx. 3 hours

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    IgorF2Shoyu

    Reply 11 months ago

    Great! Thanks for the information.

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    ExtremeSam

    1 year ago

    I can't help but smile when i look at the BOT when it is moving. Great job on the project!

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    watcan

    1 year ago

    great build! I'm voting for you!

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    TavaresF

    1 year ago

    This looks awesome! I have most if not all of the parts I need already :) However, in going through the "Preparation" section, I realized none of the links work - can you update this with active links? I'd love to start building this soon!

    2 replies
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    ShoyuTavaresF

    Reply 1 year ago

    I have added the links just now!

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    Gelfling6

    1 year ago

    I jotted down a similar design, but reverse of the leg joints.. (near body handled up/down, elbow handled swing forward/backward, and based on a Arduino. Well done!!!

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    Swansong

    1 year ago

    That's a pretty fun bot! Great instructable :)