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Free Step-By-Step Videos and Tutorial Pages Below!

Goal:

Create a first Raspberry Pi robotics project that doesn’t require soldering, does not require any 3D printing, is relatively low cost, high-quality, that can be controlled via an iOapp, and that forms a platform that can be expanded with even more features over time.

I designed this project for my University students, specifically for those who were new to programming and robotics. All commands and programs that you’ll need can be found in the tutorials, below, so you won’t need to write any programs – you can just follow the steps in these videos! However, the tutorials also explain what’s going on, so you can learn how things work, if you’d like, and build skills to customize and further expand your bot.

What You’ll Need For These Tutorials:

The tutorials present two options:

Cheap, Small, No Solder OptionRequire Soldering, More Powerful, More Expensive
Raspberry Pi Zero WH ~$14Raspberry Pi 3 A+ ~$25
- or -
Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (more ports than you need) ~$35
Protective case for Pi Zero ~$5Protective case base for Pi 3 models ~$5
WaveShare DC Motor HAT ~$13Adafruit DC Motor & Stepper Driver HAT Mini Kit ~$23
** Note: Adafruit Crickit HAT for Raspberry Pi was not shown in the tutorials. More expensive, but highly recommended. No soldering (or toothpicks) required, most expandable (can easily add lights, sound, capacitive touch), very high quality & well-supported ~$35
wooden toothpicksSoldering iron & solder (costs vary - see Adafruit's great guide)

Additional parts needed for either choice, above:

You’ll also need

Want more info on selecting parts? Here’s a more comprehensive parts guide.

The video also assumes that you’re running on a home Wi-Fi or similar network that just requires a password (no userID). If not, here’s some advice on running your Raspberry Pi when your Wi-Fi network requires both a userID and password.

GitHub Repo

Includes all of the code (Python3, Pi service scripts, Swift) you’ll need for tutorial follow-along, making for easy copy/paste or download and run:

Tutorials

Look for the titles below in the playlist at: http://bit.ly/iOS-Pi-Robot. I haven’t linked to individual videos in this playlist because if I update a video, I need to replace it entirely (YouTube won’t let authors substantially edit uploaded videos while keeping the URL, but the playlist URL won’t change). The Web Pages below are good follow-along companions to the videos, because you can simply copy and paste commands.

Step 1: Setup the Pi Without a Keyboard or Mouse (assumes you’re using a Mac)

Step 2: Installing CircuitPython on the Raspberry Pi

Step 3: Setup the Motor HAT

If you are using the Adafruit DC Motor and Stepper Driver Hat Mini Kit

If you are using the Waveshare Motor Driver Kit (no solder option, Pi Zero form factor)

Step 4: Assemble and Test the Mini Round Robot Chassis

Step 5: Install and test the mosquitto MQTT Broker on a Raspberry Pi (this is the software tool that will allow the Pi to accept commands sent to it over the Internet).

Step 6: Creating an iOS App to Control Your Robot

Coming Soon:

Did You Build It? Win a Sticker!

Tweet a photo / video of your work with the hashtag #iOSCodeCrush. Each week we’ll randomly choose a hashtag poster to receive an ultra-cool “My Mac Builds Apps” laptop sticker.

Want to Learn More?

Curious about additional content?

  • To Learn to Build Apps (zero to full-stack course with over 100 videos for < $25): “Learn to Program Using Swift for iOS Development” is a video-centric course ideal for flipped-class or online learning. Over 100 videos take students with no assumed programming experience through a “full stack” experience that ends with a “Yelp-like” restaurant review app that uses Google log-in, shared data via Google Cloud Firestore and Firebase Storage, photos, maps, and more. The entire product is just $25 online. [share with professors, faculty friends, and self-learners]
  • To Lead in Tech: The award-winning text “Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology” is updated each year, is used by over 300 programs, and is only $29.95 for an online version. [share with professors, faculty friends, and self-learners]
  • Subscribe to the YouTube Channel: I regularly post all sorts of YouTube tutorials on topics including Making, iOS App Development, Excel Use, Inspiring Tech Luminaries, and more. Other social media links are above-right on this page.
  • Follow and Explore: I am also active in Twitter and other social media. You’ll find links to Twitter, Instagram, GitHub, and more in the icons at the top right of this page. Send a note if you found the shared material helpful. And please do share with others. I love it when students and faculty learn from my work.

Thanks & Keep Hacking!

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