Big Rob is a very hungry robot. As you see with his big mouth he needs a lot of energy. To fulfill his need for energy I had to find a good solution for the robot. At the end I decided to buy a “Victron Energy – Peak Power Pack”. The power pack has 384 Wh, 12V and 30 Ah. I would say that is enough power for a ride in the garden. Heavy lead acid batteries as normally used in cars are too big and well too heavy. I decided to buy solution with Lithium-Ionen technology which could store a lot more energy with less weight and smaller in its dimensions then a normal lead acid battery. I thought, okay which technology is BMW and Tesla using in their electric cars. At the end there was only one all in one solution for my Raspberry Pi robot. A Peak Power Pack (PPP) with Lithium-Ionen LiFe04 technology for security reasons with enough energy for long operation time.
Look how happy the Big Bot is with his new peak power pack. I think he is smiling…
The Peak Power Pack was developed for caravan movers which need a lot of power to move a caravan. Inside the power pack is a built in charger and energy management system. This enables the power pack to be charged from the car electrical system during the travel with the caravan. But you could charge the power pack from different sources. One could be a solar cell which maybe from interest for my robot as well or from a wall plug which is included in the package. You have many ways to charge the power pack and this makes my robot very flexible.
Such a Peak Power Pack maybe also from interest for offgrid usage. Maybe if you have a hunting lodge with solar cells you could build your undependent energy supply. The next picture shows the 30Ah Victron Peak Power Pack I am using in my robot with the charging device.
Peak Power Pack robot assembly
I assembled the power pack into my robot and connected all wires. To be on the save side I used a 8A fuse to protect the power pack from a short circuit. I do not see an explosion problem of the power pack because it is built out of Lithium-Ionen LiFe04 cells but to protect the electronics inside the power pack like the charging system and battery management system. The elektronics inside the PPP have their own fuse. But it is not possible to replace this fuse. I thought an additional external fuse could additional protect my Power Pack.
I also included a main switch right after the power pack to shut down the whole robot system if needed.
Build your own robot car with the Raspberry Pi!Step by step to your own robot car
This book guides you in two parts through the project phases with the aim of building an individual, autonomously driving robot car. In the first part of the book you will learn the basics of robotics and the interaction of hardware, electricity and software. You build the chassis and wire the individual components - details can be found in the appropriate, richly illustrated chapters. An introduction to software installation and programming with Scratch and Python completes the first part. You do not need any previous knowledge in robotics and programming. In the second part of the book, you will familiarize yourself with the sensors required for autonomous driving. With the acquired knowledge you can individualize and further develop your robot car as you wish. The knowledge you acquire in this book will enable you to implement your own projects with the Raspberry Pi.
This book offers you that:
- Simply get into robotics with the Rasperberry Pi without prior knowledge
- Numerous illustrations, tables, circuit diagrams
- Information boxes with useful tips also for other Raspberry Pi projects
- Project code with syntax highlighting
- Two car projects: remote-controlled robot car via WLAN and self-driving car
- Hardware tips and recommendations for suitable accessories - Extensive project material as download: Raspbian image, parts list, chassis artwork and code
- Special features: Easy and robust cabling, use of high-precision time-of-flight laser distance measurement sensors, introduction to servo motors and suitable servo controllers, control via gamepad, use of an OLED display
Ingmar Stapel studied computer engineering and is currently working internationally as IT project manager and enterprise technical architect; in addition, he has been intensively involved with Raspberry Pi and robotics for years. He likes to share this knowledge with interested people from the tinkering scene at meet-ups on robotics. On his private blogs he also writes about many current technology trends.
The robot chassis is big enough for the power pack. I only had to change the arrangement of all the electronic components. At the end everything was in place and the robot started at the first time and was driving around our living room. Now I have to test the power pack and check how long I could drive around in the garden. I think I will have time for such a test in a few weeks.
Article list - Big Rob:Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot power train
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot motor driver BTS7960B and Python program
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot outdoor camera
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot with differential GPS
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot with nice teeth
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot Peak Power Pack power supply
Big Rob – Raspberry Pi robot videos