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Robotics for beginners

Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:55 pm

Hello everyone,
I would like to ask for your help!!
I want to learn more about robotics and want to build a robot using Raspberry pi. Since I am a beginner in this area, I don't really know where to start, e.g I don't know if I should buy a starter kit or all the robot parts separately.
I am from Germany.
The robot needs to have:
- Camera
- Speakers
- Communication with the computer (sending frames/video stream, performing machine learning tasks such as object recognition, the robot should be able to drive by itself and to be controlled from the computer)
- I do not need drag and drop visual programming interfaces or existing apps for motion control. I want to program this by myself!!!! (I am a computer science student and experienced in programming).
- Sensors(such as line following, avoiding obstacles)
- Suitable for outdoor and indoor use
- Should be able to use Wifi and exchange data with my computer

A general idea of my project:
I would like to program the robot completely by myself:
- Moving:
Since I want to dive into this topic, I want to program the robot's moving with collision avoidance and stuff like this. I also want the robot to react to input, such as controlling its movement from my computer.
(but if you guys think it's too difficult for a beginner, I am fine with just the robot driving by itself or just controlling it from my computer)
- Machine learning:
I want to perform simple machine learning tasks, such as object/face recognition. That means the robot should be able to stream its surroundings on my computer with the objects/faces it could recognize.
Is it possible to load a pre-trained model on Raspberry Pi (it can be pretty big)? Would it be fast enough to provide results?

I've seen that many Raspberry starter kits provide interfaces for visual programming and even apps to control the robot. I don't need that, I want to do this stuff by myself.
Would it be possible to buy such a robot kit and like to load my code on raspberry pi and do all this communication stuff by myself without those helping apps? Or should I buy all the parts for such a robot separately? If yes, what exactly do I need to buy to build a robot like this?

Here's an example of a kit that I found on Amazon: ... s9dHJ1ZQ==
It has this drag and drop interface and motion control app. Maybe if someone once bought this kit, is it possible to ignore this drag and drop stuff and load your own code?
I'm sorry for my bad English!
Have a great day and thank you very much in advance!

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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Re: Robotics for beginners

Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:57 pm


My name is Ian - I am in the UK :)

It appears that we have the same goals! It's a shame that nobody has replied yet :|

I have purchased this sensor kit: ... g=mh0a9-21, and I am currently taking this Python course: via Udemy - it is easy to follow and understand and I have learned a lot (I'm 50% through)

I am very interested in object and facial recognition - hopefully if we both search for resources we can share what we find :)

How are you getting on with your journey?


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Re: Robotics for beginners

Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:06 pm

I found some resources on object/person detection :)

and here is a link to the software:

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Robotics for beginners

Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:40 pm

Both of you may find this site interesting, and for starting to program for robots, this site has a derivative of Scratch and can (as I understand it) download programs to Arduinos specifically to run robot control programs.

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Re: Robotics for beginners

Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:50 am

On the basis that you can't run before you can walk, can I suggest the CamJam EduKit robotics kit? It comes with almost everything you need for a basic robot. It's not up to everything you have suggested you want in your original post, but it will get you playing with motor controllers, motors, wheels, power supplies, etc. More information here:
There are worksheets to download to introduce you to robotics concepts with plenty of well-tested code. It's a "first step" rather than a full-fledged solution, but it will give you enough skills to eventually do what you wanted to do in the first place :-)
Michael Horne - @recantha
Raspberry Pi blog -

Cambridge Raspberry Jam
Follow the Cambridge Raspberry Jam on Twitter - @cambridgejam

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Re: Robotics for beginners

Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:30 am

Another source of ideas around object detection and route planning is FRC. The actually robots are much larger/more complex. However, many teams use Pis and openCV for object detection, since almost all games have vision targets and objects that need to be acquired, manipulated and typically placed. Many teams post their code.

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Re: Robotics for beginners

Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:01 am

Artificial Intelligence Online Courses Here:

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Re: Robotics for beginners

Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:35 pm

Hi mpospelova,

I have published a few articles on my blog how to build and program a Raspberry Pi powered robot car.
Maybe those posts will give you an overview and ideas how to build your own robot.

You will find my blog here:


My project I am working on: An autonomous driving car with the Raspberry Pi and a lot of sensors.

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