8BitRobots Module Uses a Pi Zero and RoBonnet for Generic Robotic Brain

30 years ago, if you wanted to build a robot, you probably cannibalized parts from broken electronics and rigged them up to a chassis made from an Erector Set, or anything you could get your hands on for that matter.

The 8BitRobots Module uses a JavaScript robot API along with the Raspberry Pi Zero and RoBonnet for an all-in-one robot brain. (📷: Tim Wilkinson)

Nowadays all you need to do is grab a Raspberry Pi or other SBC, maybe some motor control boards, a handful of servo motors, sensors, and whatever else, wire it all together, upload some code to it, and you’re ready to go (to some extent). Software engineer Tim Wilkinson has made the process of constructing robots easier with his 8BitRobots module — a standard hardware and software platform that works with basic robot functions.

Wilkinson’s RoBonnet features PWM outputs, an H-bridge, pressure and temperature sensors and everything needed for robot management. (📷: Tim Wilkinson)

The 8BitRobots module is comprised of six components, including a Raspberry Pi Zero and Wilkinson’s custom RoBonnet board, which is outfitted with a host of control components — PWM outputs, H-bridge, TTL serial, I2C, encoder inputs, IMU, temperature/pressure sensors, DC power regulator, and power monitor. All of the hardware is contained in a 3D-printed enclosure for easy management and implementation.

Programming your robot can be done using JavaScript or Google’s Blockly, a Scratch-like GUI programming app that runs in a web browser. (📷: Tim Wilkinson

For the software, Wilkinson created a JavaScript distributed robot platform (robot API) that can be used on one or more Pis as needed. If you would like to program your own, you can use JavaScript, or Blockly for those that prefer a drag-and-drop GUI. If you’re looking to build your own, be sure to check out Wilkinson’s project page for all the files and schematics needed to get started.


8BitRobots Module Uses a Pi Zero and RoBonnet for Generic Robotic Brain was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: 8BitRobots Module Uses a Pi Zero and RoBonnet for Generic Robotic Brain
Author: Cabe Atwell