Monday, 10 September 2018

The Pi Wars Challenge Begins

In a moment of madness we've submitted an application for the Pi Wars 2019.

So we're committed to building a working robot for next March - whether we're accepted or not - since we'll hopefully be on the reserve list.

Since the reboot of Robot Wars a couple of years ago, robots have been a popular theme in our household with both our boys (now 5 and 8) building and battling robots from lego, or playing with the Hexbug robot wars toys.

So - we're a robot family.

We've played with the the Arduino and Raspberry Pi a little bit - and I did build an Arduino robot kit last year and got it to do some simple obstacle avoidance - but nothing to the level we're going to need for Pi Wars.

My wife recently organised a technology day for kids during the summer holidays with one of the tasks to build a Raspbery Pi Google AIY Voice Kit. As part of her research she found out about the Pi Wars competition and suggested we enter a robot for next year.

The seed was sown ....

The Good News:

  • I've been developing software for nearly 30 years, so the process of writing software isn't a problem. 
  • We own a Raspberry Pi
  • We've got lots of technical lego for prototyping.  
  • We have a spare PS3 controller lying around. 

The Bad News:

  • None of us have any experience in electronics. 
  • None of us have any experience in mechanical engineering. 
  • Basically we don't know what we're doing! 

Time to start learning. 


  1. Re: The Bad News - you are in the right state of mind to learn those! No better way than being motivated and joining group of people with same/similar interests!
    I'm looking forward your blog post *after* the competition and how much you're going to put down what you learn in the process! :)

  2. Great decision.
    Are you going to use the AIY hat to control your motors?

    1. No. We're keeping that project intact for future technology days. I got a 4tronix Robohat controller to drive the motors and supply the power to the pi. Haven't tried it out yet. Currently using a simple L298 driver for testing.

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