DoodleBorg: a three-horsepower robot tank

PiBorg are an organisation making add-on boards for your Raspberry Pi. Recently they produced the biggest and most powerful Pi robot we’ve seen so far, using one (six, actually) of their motor boards: the resulting DoodleBorg is a three-horsepower beast powered by motorcycle starter motors. To all intents and purposes, it’s a small tank. With a dear little nobble on top for hitching things to.

The DoodleBorg has a Raspberry Pi for brains, and uses six of PiBorg’s PicoBorg reverse motor controllers, one for each wheel. It kicks out 2.1 KW – which is to say, around three horsepower, or more than my French teacher’s car had. (We’ve been discussing in the office what you might be able to do with such a mighty robot: Clive wants to run a Magdeburg hemispheres experiment without the horses; I want to pull a tractor trailer full of builders’ rubble – unfortunately, I happen to have one of those at the moment. Dave wants to set up a tug of war against a class of kids, and then stick his car in neutral and tow it around a field while shouting “Yee ha!”.) We’ve never seen a Pi look so insignificant in comparison with the robot it’s powering: we see lots of robots which are basically a Pi on wheels, whereas the Pi is completely lost in the body of this one. Best of all, the whole thing is sent commands via a PS3 controller.

Did I mention that we think it’s completely brilliant?

Raspberry Pi IV Beginners (a YouTube channel you should really check out) went to interview Team Borg about their metal monster.

(Yakkety Sax makes even the best things better: ten hundred internet points to Raspberry Pi IV Beginners for observing this.)

You can buy PiBorg add-on boards for your Raspberry Pi (the LedBorg is a particular favourite in our office) from PiBorg’s website and from Mod My Pi. If you end up making something even a tiny bit as cool as this, let us know. We like robots.