Build your own robot car with the Raspberry Pi!

Build your own robot car with the Raspberry Pi!

In this article I describe how to set up the Arduino development environment to program the ESP32-CAM module. In a first step only the necessary library is installed to support ESP32 in the Arduino development environment. In the further course of the project we will install the modules you need to control the electronics of the robot car via software.

Therefore I will describe what you need to install on your computer to be able to do the live video transmission. I assume with my instructions that a Windows PC is used. But it doesn’t make a difference if you use a MAC or Linux PC because the software components are the same and the principle of installation is the same.

Installing the Arduino development environment

The Arduino development environment is used, which can be downloaded for free and for which there are many instructions and support on the Internet. It not only supports the different Arduino models but also the support for e.g. the ESP32-CAM module can be set up.

Note: I have used the ARDUINO 1.8.12 version for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 for this manual.

The Arduino development environment can be downloaded from the following website

Download: Arduino IDE (Please press the “Just download” button if no donation should be made)

Now that the Arduino IDE is installed, we continue with the necessary additional modules. These must be installed to program the ESP32-CAM module.

Set up ESP32 Add-On

Support for the ESP32-CAM module can be installed quite easily. To do this, you have to place a link to the required library in the Arduino development environment. The menu in which the link or the URL is stored is called up as follows.

Start the Arduino development environment.

Open the menu FILE and then the submenu item PRESETTINGS

Arduino IDE Voreinstellungen

Arduino IDE Voreinstellungen

Now the PRESETTINGS menu opens and there the following URL is stored in the item “Additional board administrator URLs”.

ESP32 board administrator URL: https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_index.json

In the following picture you can see the menu once again. In the picture you can see that I already entered several of these URLs separated by a comma.

Boardverwalter-URL

Boardverwalter-URL

After entering the URL just press the OK button.

Now the ESP32 software must be installed. To do this, go to the menu TOOLS -> BOARD -> BOARD MANAGER and search for ESP32. The library with the description “ESP32 by Espressif Systems” must be installed.

The following screenshot shows the menu and the search result for ESP32.

Boardverwalter

Boardverwalter

The necessary software is then downloaded and installed. From now on the support for the ESP32 board is available.

Important: Please close and restart the Arduino IDE now. Only after a restart you will see the sample programs we need to install the software for the live video stream on the ESP32-CAM module.

Now we have to select the right board in the Arduino IDE. To do this, select again via the menu TOOLS -> BOARD -> ESP32 ARDUINO -> AI THINKER ESP32-CAM.

Boardverwalter AI THINKER ESP32-CAM

Boardverwalter AI THINKER ESP32-CAM

Now everything is prepared and you can open the sample program which will be loaded later on the ESP32-CAM module when it is connected to the PC via the USB-Serial adapter. You will find the sample program in the FILE -> EXAMPLES -> ESP32 -> CAMERA -> CAMERA-WEB-SERVER menu. In the following screenshot you can see the path to the program again.

ESP32-CAM Camera-Web-Server

ESP32-CAM Camera-Web-Server

Next, the ESP32-CAM module must be connected to the PC via the USB-Serial Adapter to be able to load the sample program.

Summary

All you have done so far is to prepare the Arduino development environment so that the ESP32 cam module can be programmed. You have installed the necessary libraries and added support for the ESP32-CAM to the Arduino IDE. If everything worked out fine you could also have a look at the sample program which you will install on the ESP32-CAM module in the next step.


Article Overview ESP32-CAM Robot Auto:

ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – project start
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – Set up development environment
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – USB-serial adapter wiring
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – Installing the live video streaming software
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – Design of the chassis
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – Cabling in general
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – Wiring the I²C hub
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – robo car example programs
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – programming the WIFI remote control
ESP32-CAM building your own robot car with live video streaming – connect external WIFI antenna

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