Pi-Puck, the Raspberry Pi extension for the e-puck 2 education and research robot
If you remember, the e-puck robot was born in 2004 from a joint project involving two researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. It is a small mobile robot designed to encourage teaching and research in robotics, using a customizable, open-hardware and open-source platform.
Two years later, they released e-puck 2. This more recent version has a more powerful processor and new modules for seeing the world in a new light (To F sensor, brightness, presence, etc.). Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible, it has everything it takes to delight developers of both connected and unconnected robotics applications.
The small educational and research robot has just got better with the release of a new extension, devoted this time to the collaboration between e-puck and Raspberry Pi!
Pi-Puck extension for e-puck 2: more computing power, more sensitive
By adding the Raspberry Pi Zero W to your e-puck 2 system, you will get more computing power, more possibilities for the robot to interact with its environment and more memory, without sacrificing its wireless communication functionalities which have in fact been amplified.
After installing the extension and the Raspberry Pi board, the board will act as an I2C master, and the microcontroller integrated into the e-puck robot as an I2C slave. rPi will handle high-level operations while the e-puck 2 microcontroller handles motor and sensor control.
The e-puck’s functionalities have been significantly improved:
- Connection to the wireless network
- Computation of complex control algorithms
- Real-time image processing, etc.
Technical specifications of the Pi-puck extension
- Raspberry Pi Zero W (rPi) connection to the robot: I2C
- Camera connection to the rPi: USB (up to 15 fps)
- 1 digital microphone
- 1 speaker
- 3 RGB LEDs
- USB hub connected to the rPi with 2 free ports
- USB cable to the rPi UART port (can also be used for charging)
- 2 chargers: 1 for the robot battery, 1 for the auxiliary battery on top of the extension
- Charging contact points in front for automatic charging (external docking station available)
- Several extension options: 6 I2C channels, 2 ADC inputs, power, SPI, UART to e-puck 1, 2, FT903
- Several LEDs to show the status of the rPi and the power/chargers
- Compatible with e-puck 1 and 2