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R14, pi-top[4] rover - Construction

The video about R14


Rover R14 mechanics
Figure 1:
R14 is another tracked rover. The parts of the mechanics are made with a 3D printer. The central brain is a pi-top[4]

Parts list:

Part Pieces Online shops Remark
pi-top[4] 1 pi-top[4] on Central brain plus sensors
Standard servo for continuous rotation 2 Servo for continuous rotation on

Servo for continuous rotation on

Drive motors. You can modify any standard servo for continuous rotation.
Micro servo 1 9g Servo SG90 on

9g Servo SG90 on

Tilting the camera
USB camera 1 USB camera on Gearbest  
PLA filament 1 PLA filament on Gearbest 3D printing the mechanics
Diode 1 10x SB5100 100V 5A Schottky Diode on Gearbest Reverse polarity protection
White LEDs 1

Optional, brighter headlight.
Transistor BS170 1 BS170 on

BS170 on

Optional, brighter headlight.


Rover R14 electronics
Figure 2:
Central brain of R14 is a pi-top[4] (details about the computing "brick").
Thanks to the special socket, wiring of the vehicle is done faster than with any of my previous rover projects - the soldering iron is only used sporadically. Two standard servos for continuous rotation act as drive motors. These are connected to the 40-pin header on top of the case; the + 5V pin can deliver currents of up to 1.5A. The camera is tilted by a micro servo - this is also connected to the 40-pin header. The headlight is made of the LED modules from the "Foundation Kit", which are quickly connected with the cables included - R14 is my first rover with colorful lighting. Since the brightness of the LEDs is not particularly high, I soldered an additional module composed of 4 white LEDs. With that the electronics of R14 would be done, but the "Foundation Kit" also includes an ultrasonic and a light sensor, which I have also installed because wiring it up it is so simple.

Rover R14 circuit diagram
Figure 3:
Circuit diagram of R14:
The white LEDs are an option.

External power supply (option)

Using an external power supply is an option for skilled tinkerers! With the built-in battery, the rover runs for more than 2 hours, which is more than sufficient for normal operation.

Rover R14 power pole
Figure 4:
Power pole with anti twist mechanism for external power.
There is a diode soldered between the +12V and ground wire in reverse polarity to protect the rover from reverse polarity.

Rover R14 external power on socket
Figure 5:
The two wires for external power are soldered to the socket. The yellow cable is +12V, the brown cable goes to ground.
Details about the "pi-top maker achitecture (PMA)" interface are available on the pages of


The peripherals of R14 are controlled through a Python program that starts during boot process of pi-top OS. Through a website, the commands are forwarded to the Python program. For that reason, the web server Apache is installed on the pi-top[4]. Pictures from the USB camera are transferred by the program "Motion" that also runs on the pi-top[4]. To access the rover you must connect the pi-top[4] to your local WLAN. If all is set up, you simply have to point a browser to the ip address of your pi-top[4] to control the rover.


Circuit diagram, installation procedure of the software as well as the 3D files are part of the download package (2.9MB).

Test drive R14

You can take control of R14 in my RoboSpatium. Have fun!

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