Finnian's blog

Software Engineer based in New Zealand

2-Minute Read

I know I haven’t written anything for a while, but I have been doing stuff! My latest project was one I have been doing with Ben James (the hamster owner) and Angus Ledesma. It was a British Science Association CREST project and our idea was to build a shoe-box sized remotely controlled robot vehicle equipped with a range of sensors such as temperature, humidity, distance and a camera.

The vehicle was built from a tracked chassis kit, two motors (to drive the tracks), two servos (to pan and tilt the camera), a Raspberry Pi to control everything and a LOT of batteries! The vehicle could be controlled from anywhere in the world through a web-based user interface to the controller on the Pi. All software was written in Python and included an API for the controller, web server, motor and servo controls. We also integrated a Wii remote and an Xbox controller as alternative user interface methods, which required additional RPies to pass the movement commands to the API. We used quite a few modules that other lovely people have made available - read the GitHub readme to find out which and whose! Amazingly it all worked and for long enough to make a couple of demo videos and get our Silver award… But it never did catch the hamster.

If you’re interested you can read the full report we submitted for the CREST award (big PDF!) and get the code from GitHub

Recent Posts