Build your own robot car with the Raspberry Pi!

Build your own robot car with the Raspberry Pi!

The Duckietown platform consists of the Duckiebots and the Duckietown. The Duckiebots are the small autonomous robots that move around Duckietown and here you can prove your ability to observe basic traffic rules. The Duckietown is the city with its streets, signs, road markings and the inhabitants the yellow bathing ducks.

The Duckiebots consist of standard components like I use for my robots. So a Raspberry Pi is used, the well known yellow gear motors, a Raspberry Pi camera and as power supply a power bank. So the costs for a Duckiebot are kept within a manageable range and in principle this small robot can also be built for the project from already existing components. The Duckietown is constructed from several black foam panels as a base plate. The road markings are then stuck onto these black plates, the signs are put up and the little ducks then populate the city.

Here two pictures of the box with the Duckiebot and of the city and here more precisely of the City Expansion Pack.

Duckietown Duckiebot box

Duckietown Duckiebot box

Duckietown City Expansion Pack

Duckietown City Expansion Pack

Duckiebot

First I unpacked the box with the Duckiebot and looked at the individual parts. The workmanship makes a very good impression at first sight and it seems that all parts needed for the construction of the robot are included. Very nice is also that really everything is plugged and screwed. The cables that have to be soldered, e.g. on the motors, are already soldered on. So the construction of the robot should work without problems and go quickly so that the installation of the software can start soon.

Nevertheless I have a note to the description of the kit on the homepage of the Duckietown project. Because not all components are standard components that are used. So there is a HAT which is plugged on the Raspberry Pi and contains the motor driver and probably other electronics. This component is not known to me now and seems to have been specially developed. To what extent it is compatible with an Adafruit motor HAT or can be replaced remains to be seen.

The following picture shows the box of the Duckiebot after I unpacked everything.

Duckietown Duckiebot components

Duckietown Duckiebot components

As you can see on the picture all components are included. Even a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is included in the package.

City Expansion Pack

The City Expansion Pack consists of the black foam panels, the adhesive tape for the road markings, the ducks and other traffic signs. I had thought that the road markings were already printed on the pack and only the signs needed to be set up. Here I had not informed myself sufficiently in the apron because the shop shows it directly what is contained in the City Expansion Pack. So I must also here still exactly read up which distances must be considered if the road markings are stuck on.

The following picture shows how the City Expansion Pack is delivered.

Duckietown City Expansion Pack

Duckietown City Expansion Pack

Summary

I am already very enthusiastic about the project and am looking forward to assembling the little Duckiebot. For me it is always exciting to see how other projects build such robots and especially how they describe the assembly of the robot car. Of course I also find it great that a Raspberry Pi computer is used. However, it is still the somewhat older Raspberry Pi 3 Model B that was included and not the more powerful Raspberry Pi 4. But still this should not spoil the fun.

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