Saturday, 31 March 2018

Welcome to the blog!

Hello. This is just a quick blog post to say Hello and welcome to our blog.
This blog will be used to track the progress of our Pi Wars team: 4K and the plug sockets.
This team is made up of 4 year 9 students from The Bishop's Stortford High School.
They are Nabil Shah, Declan Corr, William Worthy and Luca Campbell. We hope you enjoy reading and watching our progress as we build and program our robot.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Pictures and new library features.

Hello again,

As it is the half term you can expect to see more posts from me as I have more free time to work on the robot's code.

For a start, I have added the feature for it to be able to turn 90 degrees which will be useful on many courses. Secondly, I have tested the servos and they are working enabling us to properly start on the autonomous challenges. I have also added a simple function in the library to quickly zero the servos.

Also, team member Declan Corr has been working in sketch up to create an attachment for the robot which will be used in the challenges with balls.

Finally here is an updated picture of the robot. The first one in quite a while.

Remember to see all the code go to

William Worthy

Friday, 9 February 2018

Github and Python library

Hello all,

William here. Just a quick update again. Since getting our robot moving again I have been hard at work writing a library to collect all of our robots functions (pan tilt, motors, sensor) into one easy to understand library to enable the less python literate among the team to be able to program the robot.

Also, I have created a GitHub repository for all our code which can be found here:

Our next step is receiving our new servos for the pantilt module and soldering the sensor to the pico hat hacker we have added. There should be a new update with videos and pictures of the updated bot coming soon.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Robot Is Working!!!

Hello, we are back again!

We are continuing from where we have left off! We have achieved very little, since we last posted , however, we are coming to the end our journey, in terms of completing the robot!
We have got the robot driving and have been able to use the new controller with it. Will Worthy (The head of our team) is now teaching the rest of us on how to use Python libraries and is guiding us on keyboard inputs and sensor stuff etc. We are also adding material to our GitHub accounts.

See you in a few days!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Motor controllers


Since our last blogpost we have got our ultrasonic working. Hooray! It turned out we were using the wrong power pin.

Also we have been experiencing problems with our original choice of motor driver- Explorer phat. Therefore we have chosen to change to the Adafruit motor driver. This will allow us to control each wheel independently which should be useful.

Next step to rewrite our code!


Gloppin Boopin Pals,

As you can tell, we are very indecisive. Yet again we have decided to change our sensor  to the US-100 (if we can get it working). This is a serial sensor which will allow us to get closer to the wall in the Minimal Maze, however, if we cannot get this to work we will be reverting back to the Sharp Infrared 4-30cm Sensor (see Sensor Choice for picture and more information). Hope you had a great Christmas and Holiday period!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Sensor choises

Good Day Fleshy Mammals,

Since our last blog post, we have been busy finalising our equipment choices since our shopping spree posted previously. Our main aim has been to select a usable distance sensor to use with our robot, as required for tasks such as the minimal maze. After furiously routing out weaklings through a hastily typed up notepad document, we eventually decided on our previous favourite, the Sharp 4-30 centimetre.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Equipment Updates

Equipment Updates

Hello. Since our last post our team members have been very  luck in the Pimoroni black Friday yarr booty twitter challenges. This has left us with £45 of vouchers which we are using for the team!

With this we have decided to buy one main thing. A pan tilt hat.
Picture Stolen from Pimoroni
Our thinking behind this purchase is primarily for the maze challenge. We hope that it will enable us to turn our sensor mounted on the hat to enable us to work out which way to go. This should make the maze challenge easier because we are using one sensor instead of our original 3 or encoders on the motors. By the way the sensor we are using (primarily because we had it spare) is the Sharp GP2Y0A41SK0For a ultrasound and we will update you later on the choice.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Mammoth Blog Post

Mammoth Blog Post

A lot has happened since we first accepted our place in Pi Wars 2018 so this is a blog post to record it all.

First of all we wanted our robot to be as cheap as possible and this explains our choices of parts for the bot. First of all we are using 4 50:1 motors and an explorer phat we already had. We are also using a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a zero lipo to power it all.

With this in mind our first job was designing the chassis. We wanted something small which would hopefully give us an advantage in the maze and so we came up with our initial idea.

This robot is a 13x13 square and the sensor at the front is an ir distance sensor.
By this point we had spoken to the DT department at our school and we were told we could use the laser cutter so we needed a design with the holes in and so the following was created.

This retains the 13x13 cm design and has the holes for all the screws. Notice the lack of holes for the motor wires, that comes back to haunt us.
So we then visited DT to cut out the design on the laser cutter. We returned with the chassis and then began working on attaching everything to it and now we have this.

As you can see it is a bit messy at the moment but it is now time for code.

The only bit of code we have so far is for control with a keyboard and to do this we followed this guide here:

And our next piece of code will be autonomously stopping when a wall is sensed.

That is all for now.

Thank You for reading