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R19, Rover in a suitcase - Construction

The video about R19

About R19

Rover R19, based on a suitcase
Figure 1:
I had the idea of using a Raspberry Pi in a suitcase as a laptop for a long time. Install four wheels on the bottom and Rover R19 is ready. The so composed coding station should make it easier for me to create program examples for my series on physical computing.


The assembly instructions come without dimensions, because the robot was created following the rule of thumb and I just want to give you an impression of how to build your own suitcase robot. Using a larger suitcase is never wrong, because you will quickly find things to install in the additional space, as the possibilities offered by the Raspberry Pi are almost limitless.

Rover R19, bottom view suitcase
Figure 2:
My aluminium suitcase has the dimensions 32x7.5x21.5cm. You must cut openings and drill holes for the wheels on the bottom...

Rover R19, top view suitcase
Figure 3:
...and for the fold-out camera and at the point where the Raspberry Pi is mounted, on the top. The opening at the position of the Raspberry Pi 4 is supposed to improve the WLAN connection. Even so the side walls of the case are not made of aluminum, but of cardboard and plastic, the signal strength is noticeably reduced.
Servos, screen and Raspberry Pi are screwed on the suitcase, the cables, buttons and LEDs are attached with hot glue.

Parts list:

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Part Online shop Remarks
Suitcase Aluminium suitcase on

Aluminium suitcase on eBay UK

Aluminum suitcase on Amazon
Doesn't have to be made of aluminum, mine has the dimensions 32x7.5x21.5cm, bigger gives more room for ideas.
Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi on

Raspberry Pi on eBay UK

Raspberry Pi 4 on Amazon
Central brain. Model 4 has sufficient computing power for desktop applications, but in principle the robot also works with the less powerful predecessor models.
Raspberry camera module Raspberry camera on

Raspberry camera on eBay UK

Raspberry camera module on Amazon
USB cameras work, too, but the Raspberry camera offers a lot more software features.
Touchscreen 1024x600 Pixel Touchscreen 1024x600 on

Touchscreen 1024x600 on eBay UK

Touchscreen 1024x600 on Amazon
Higher resolution means more comfortable to use, but draw a higher current. Must work with 5V if powered by powerbanks.
Tastatur/Touchpad combination Bluetooth keyboard on

Bluetooth keyboard on eBay UK

Bluetooth keyboard on Amazon
Must fit in the suitcase!
Powerbank Powerbanks on

Powerbanks on eBay UK

Powerbank on Amazon
2 pieces with an output current of 2A are needed, one for the Raspberry Pi and the touchscreen, the second for the servos.
Standard Servo Standard servo on

Standard servo on eBay UK

RC servo on Amazon

Standard servo on DFRobot
Camera servo
Servos for continuous rotation 360 degree Servos on eBay UK

360 degree Servos on eBay UK

360 degree servo on Amazon

360 degree servo on DFRobot
4 pieces needed as drive motors. Note that standard size servos are required!
Omniwheels (Mecanum wheels) 48mm mecanum wheels on DFRobot If you don't need the special sideway movement, you can instead use wood or plastic discs (50mm diameter).
3mm nuts and bolts 30mm screws M3 on

Nuts M3 on

30mm screws M3 on eBay UK

Nuts M3 on eBay UK

M3 screws on Amazon

M3 nuts on Amazon
30mm thread length, cut the screws where they are too long.
Doupont / Jumper cables, female Jumpercables on

Jumpercables on eBay UK

Jumper cables on Amazon
Wiring the GPIOs.
Micro USB cable USB cables on

USB cables on eBay UK

USB cables on Amazon
Power supply of Raspberry Pi and servos.
Shorter is better.
If a Raspberry 4 is used, you'll need a USB cable type C!


Rover R19, electronics
Figure 4:
The electronics id based on 4 standard servos for continuous rotation with Omniwheels attached to the output shaft.

Rover R19, Touchscreen
Figure 5:
The 18cm (7 inch) touchscreen with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels has an HDMI interface, via which the sound is also transmitted to the two small speakers. The touch function is connected via USB.

Rover R19, Powerbanks and keyboard
Figure 6:
Two power banks provide electric energy, each of them must deliver 2A. One power bank supplies the Rasperry Pi 4 and the touchscreen with electrical energy (the 2A are just enough), the second power bank feeds the servos.
The keyboard / touchpad combination is connected to the Raspberry Pi via Bluetooth.

Rover R19, LEDs and pushbuttons
Figure 7:
Five LEDs and two pushbuttons make it possible to quickly write a software examples on "Physical Computing" and check whether everything works as it should.

Rover R19, Raspberry camera module
Figure 8:
The Raspberry camera module is attached to a fifth servo so that is can be folded out in order to transmit images in robot mode, when the case lid is closed.

Rover R19, circuit layout
Figure 9:
Circuit diagram

Software / Download

The circuit diagram and the Python scripts for controlling the robot via browser interface are included in the download package (430kb). A more detailed description of how the scripts work and how the web server must be configured can be found in the chapters on Physical Computing.

Test drives

Have a look at my RoboSpatium to see what robots are currently available for a test drive. Have fun!

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