Pi Robot Survey
I think a great place to start discussing Pi-based robots
is to quickly compare robots currently available for sale that
incorporate an RPi.
I will only consider robots that are currently available
and actually have an RPi mounted on them, as the whole
point of Pi-based robots is to have the extra processing
capability and camera support onboard.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but instead a
list of kits that are popular or look like a decent value in my
Pi Robot Kits
Note: These kits do NOT include a Raspberry Pi or
camera, and you will likely need to add rechargeable
batteries and other accessories. Please see the product
pages for the kits to confirm exactly what is included.
The original Raspberry Pi rev.1 boards do not have any
mounting holes, and as such, cannot be easily mounted on
Comparing the Kits
Of the kits included here, currently the best “bang for
the buck” has been the Dawn Robotics kit. Unfortunately,
Dawn Robotics is shutting down, but I am certain other
great value kits will become available soon.
The Ryantek and PiCy kits are cheaper, but do not
include any analog inputs or 5V I/O; both would add extra
cost (and complexity) to your bot.
The GoPiGo base kit is tempting as it is a more
integrated solution and offers wheel encoders, but it costs
almost 50% more than the CameraBot.
DiddyBorg is the coolest bot kit in this roundup, and it
is also the most expensive. Like Ryantek and PiCi, DiddyBorg
also needs additional boards for 5V analog input and digital
I/O. If I have missed your favorite RPi robot kit, please email
me the link ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
Serving Raspberry Pi
By William Henning
52 SERVO 01.2016
Ever since the Raspberry Pi was announced, I knew I wanted to build robots that incorporated
one, allowing far more capabilities than a microcontroller-based robot can dream of. The idea
of an inexpensive Wi-Fi capable robot with a 5M pixel camera was just too hard to resist. The
first Pi-based robot I built was SPRITE (SERVO, January 2014). I have since designed RoboPi
and PiDroidAlpha — two robot controllers for the Raspberry Pi (RPi). This, of course, has led to
many more Pi robots running around my house. Since I was having fun with RPi-based robots,
I figured that others would also be interested in Pi-based robots, and might like having a
starting point, as well as a Q&A. So, let’s do just that.
GoPiGo Robot Base Kit
• A 2WD chassis with controller/driver board for an RPi
(any version) with quite a bit of documentation and
• Starts at $89.99 plus shipping and handling.
• While you still need sensors, this bot promises to power
your Pi from the same batteries that power the motors. It
also includes some sensors and two analog inputs. (You
still need a Pi.)