Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Robot Core is a robot controller that connects to the Raspberry Pi, allowing you to easily control motors, servos, and read sensors.
Robot Core is a robot controller that connects to the Raspberry Pi, allowing you to easily control motors, servos, and read sensors.
Robot Core is a robot controller that connects to the Raspberry Pi, allowing you to easily control motors, servos, and read sensors.
148 backers pledged $13,300 to help bring this project to life.

About

Robot Core - The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Robot Controller project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Robot Core - The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Robot Controller

$13,300

148

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

516d70e3187e93a44925fcf9ec737552 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Introducing the Robot Core! 

The Robot Core is a robot control board for the Raspberry Pi and Arduino that brings many different elements into one awesome package! You can now power your Raspberry Pi, control motors, servos and read sensors without needing five additional boards to hook up. The boards can even be daisy chained to add even more functionality. 

Leveraging the design prowess of Freeburn Robotics Limited (PiBorg), we commissioned a board that combines advanced motor control, input, and power on a single core board. Plus, it looks EPIC

This powerful robotics controller was developed from the ground up for STEM education. Providing a way for educators to engade students early on to pave the way for teaching core topics in robotics, electronics, coding and making.

 

 

Easy to connect to:

Robot Core uses I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit). I²C is a serial computer bus invented by Philips Semiconductor. I²C is a very easy to use, two wire bus, that your Pi has no problem talking with. A built-in level shifter ensures compatibility to both 3.3 volt and 5 volt I²C buses. 

You can also easily daisy chain the board and the I²C buss is compatible with hundreds of devices and sensors. 

It is compatible with all current and past generations of Raspberry Pis and with many Arduinos.  (The Raspberry Pi Zero will need 6 pin headers soldered to it).

 

Open Source:

All board files and software will be released at the end of the successful funding of this Kickstarter. 

Below is a autonomous outdoor robot created with Robot Core during a weekend. 

 

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

Vast amount of Features:

Behold the vast and powerful features on the Robot Core board! Wait...do I see a 5 volt 6 Amp DC-DC converter ? Yes. Yes, you do. 

Full list below:

 

Easy to talk to:

The board has software provided in the form of libraries and python example programs to get you started fast. 

 

Power:  

  • Main power input - 6.4V to 14V DC
  • On-board DC-DC regulator for generating 5 volts, Capable of handling 6 Amps total load. (This also allows it to power the Raspberry Pi).
  • Optional separate supply input for servos (approx 5-7.2 volts) 
  • Separate power input for Dynamixel servos

  Motor drive:

  • Up to two 5 Amp continuous load DC motor outputs 
  • Can be used as a pair to drive a single stepper motor 
  • Built-in safety protection from motor faults and overheating 
  • Optional connector for a normally-closed EPO (emergency power off) switch 

  Servos: 

  • 16 bit PWM driver provides accurate positional output 
  • Supports both analog and digital servos 
  • Tuning GUI (graphical user interface) allows each servo to be set for the correct operational range 
  • Start-up positions can also be set for each servo 
  • Up to 8 conventional servo outputs

  Dynamixel servos: 

  • Two ports are provided for connecting Dynamixel servos 
  • Support for multiple Dynamixel's connected at the same time 
  • Simple positional control functions make basic moves easy 
  • All functionality of the Dynamixel servo is accessible via low-level commands.
  • There are also example python programs for finding rouge servo baud rates and ID's. Also a way to set them once found. 

  Ultrasonics: 

  • Up to 4 HC-SR04 ultrasonic modules supported 
  • Filtered readings can be used for better accuracy, unfiltered readings can be used for faster readings 
  • Readings are converted into millimeters by the provided library

  Analog:

  • Up to 8 12-bit analog inputs for sensors or feedback 
  • Range of 0V to 5V for each input 
  • Protection from exceeding the input limits 
  • Additional analog reading for the main power voltage 
  • Configurable warnings for low power

  Software: 

  • Easy to use Python library for all of the board functionality 
  • Examples provided for each functional part of the board 
  • GUI's provided for most functions on the board 

  Also included: 

  • Boards can be daisy-chained to connect more than one 
  • Each board uses I²C to talk with the Raspberry Pi + I²C addresses, can be changed if desired 
  • Clear on-board labeling 
  • Functional sections have their own box 
  • Each port and screw terminal has its pins labelled 
  • Prototyping space for adding more functionality
  • Easy to access voltage rails 
  • Access to the Raspberry Pi I²C at 5V levels 
  • Prototyping space removable to make the board smaller 
  • Status LED's for: Main power voltage, DC motor status, Script controllable status + 5V and 3.3V power

If you find the board is too large for your application, you can always break away the prototyping space on the pre-scored line. 

 

So what can you do with the Robot Core? 

Below are just some example projects you can create with the board. Robot Core is an all-in-one solution for many projects. With its widely used I²C bus you can daisy chain even more sensors and PiBorg boards

  • A two plant monitoring system that reads ambient light, temperature, plant moisture, and even uses two water pumps to water two different plant sizes.
  • Have you always wanted to build a Johnny 5 robot but it always got a bit complicated?  Make it easier with a Robot Core!
  • Using a single board, you can create a 2 wheeled robot with a ring of 8 analog ultrasonic sensors and a strong Dynamixel smart servo arm.  
  • Build a lab-based Dynamixel arm that moves test tubes and uses a temperature probe to bring solutions up to the correct temp. 
  • With an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) tied into the I²C and tied into the expansion port, you can create a two wheeled balancing robot for all to see.  
  • Build a biped walker based around the board and a Pi using powerful servos or Dynamixel smart servos. 
  • Make a hexapod walking robot with sensors to navigate. 
  • Build an R2D2 droid replica, run two powerful drive motors and use servos for features of the droid.  
  • Make an automated greenhouse. Have analog sensors for light, temperature, carbon dioxide, moisture, water leaks, control two water pumps. 
  • Make a K9.  Affirmative, Master!

And much, much more....

A autonomous plant monitor/watering system
A autonomous plant monitor/watering system

Meet The Team:  

The team is made up of Raspberry Pi geeks, entrepreneurs, students and designers. Here's the team who is helping to make Robot Core a reality.    

Apollo Timbers - Project Leader  

Apollo is the owner of Second Robotics. A 31 year old Maker working with electronics and robotics for over 13 years. He served six years in the U.S. Air Force, working on missile guidance systems and electronic subsystems of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s). He is the mind behind Robot Core, molding the overall specs and design elements of the board. 

Timothy Freeburn - Engineer    

Timothy is the the guy who brought Robot Core to life. From the schematic to board layout, he did it all. Using the Altium design suite. A special thanks to Freeburn Robotics for taking on the project.

Arron Churchill- Programmer

Also with Freeburn Robotics, Arron is the brainchild behind the library and GUI demos that will get you up and running so fast it will make your head spin. He has thoroughly tested the example Python programs to ensure you have a easy time using them. 

Brian Ellis - Graphic Designer  

Brian helped refine the logo, and created many of the images, gifs, and the 3D cartoon animation for your enjoyment.

Jason Metropoulos - Videographer

Jason with Metrospect Media spent countless hours recording and editing the main video. 

  

 

Risks and challenges

There are always risks and challenges. We will strive to minimize as much as possible. However, the PCB design is already finalized, tested and is working great. We have production quality units in hand and they are working correctly. Only a few minor changes will be done. However depending on the level of funding, we may be able to throw more into the examples and provided software GUI's.

We have quotes from suppliers for both PCB manufacture and assembly and have lined up our component suppliers. This should mitigate any delay, in case any of them cannot fulfill our orders in time.

For shipping, the Robot Core boards will be shipped out to our backers as soon as they are programmed and tested. This should be by the beginning of July.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks!

    You did it! You were able to hit the button and give a dollar to this project. Pat yourself on the back kind Sir, Madam, or Non-Gendered Person. You will be added to an ever-growing list of supporters on the webpage.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The Vinyl Sticker

    You love robots! Though not enough to spring for parts, I see. Well, here is a sticker for you! This vinyl sticker is of the adorable Second Robotics logo robot. You will be added to an ever-growing list of supporters on the webpage. *All higher awards also get a sticker*

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Twitter Friend

    @secondrobotics will follow you on Twitter for six months. Your day will be a constant source of our entertainment. You also get a sweet, sweet vinyl sticker

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $58 or more About $58

    *Super Early Bird Special*

    You get a fully built and tested Robot Core board and hookup wires. Happy robot building, you lucky soul! (Over 40% off retail savings).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 49 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    *Early Bird Special*

    You get a fully built and tested Robot Core board and hookup wires. Happy robot building, you lucky soul! (Over 28% off retail savings).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 48 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $73 or more About $73

    The Board

    You get a fully built and tested Robot Core board and hookup wires. Happy robot building!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $127 or more About $127

    Sensors and Servo Experimenters Pack

    You get a fully built and tested Robot Core board and hookup wires. You will also get a 5 pack of sensors and a servo. Happy robot building!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $136 or more About $136

    Two Boards

    You get 2 fully built and tested Robot Core boards and hookup wires. Perhaps, get one for a friend?

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $807 or more About $807

    The Class Pack

    You get a dozen fully built and tested Robot Core boards and hookup wires. This is a perfect combination for STEM in the classroom. From automated green houses, robots and even solar trackers, these boards can do it all. Extra resources and support for educators will be provided to get you started.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A Super Sweet Custom Robot

    You want me to build you a custom robot? Really?! Okay, but you will need to fork over some cash. Included is a quality aluminum, 2 wheel robot base seen in the video, it will have a production Robot Core v1.2 board, A Raspberry Pi 3 and two additional Robot Core control boards included. (3 Total) Perhaps a few boards for other projects? Charger included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)