How to build a Raspberry Pi Robot – Part 0

Not sure about what to do with a Raspberry Pi? This tutorial will show you how to build your very own robot which can be controller via a smart phone. It will be a bit different from the other tutorials I have on here, it will be in many parts. The first part will focus on what we are going to build and what parts you need. The second part will be how to assemble the parts and the third part will focus on the software needed.

Does it sound good? Lets Go, lets build a robot using Raspberry Pi!

What you will need

Raspberry Pi Zero W

The computer chosen for this project is obviously a Raspberry Pi which surprises no one. However i choose the Raspberry Pi Zero W because it is the smallest, thinnest and the one which uses the smallest amount if current. An easy way to setup the Raspberry Pi with operating system can be found here.

Robot kit

Instead of building the robot myself I am cheating a bit and building my robot using a chassi bought on amazon. If you have access to a 3D printer at home I suggest you use the 3D printer instead of buying the chassi from a store.

Batteries for the wheels

One thing the robot kit does not include is the batteries which you need to buy or use batteries you already have at home. Rechargeable ones is to prefer.

Lipo Shim, Lipo Battery

Usually you do not care about how you are powering a Raspberry Pi. However when you want to build a robot you want everything to be run on batteries, including Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi does not support to be powered with batteries, that is where the Lipo Shim comes in as a rescue.


To be able to control motors from a Raspberry Pi we will use a chip which is called L293D. It is a very useful chip and can control up to 2 motors at the same time.

Distance Sensor

The first sensor and probably the easiest one to use is a distance sensor. It will enable the robot to in the future do things like avoid obstacles.


Somewhere on the robot all the components needs to be connected together and a breadboard is a perfect way to handle this.


It is not good practise to mount electronics directly on a surface. That is why I use distances to lift e.g. the Raspbery Pi up a few millimeters from the robot chassi.

Soldering iron

The last thing you need is a soldering iron. There are a lot of parts which you need to solder.

Complete list of parts

What’s next?

The boring part of gathering all the components and figuring out if I have all the components has now ended. Now it is time to assemble all the parts together. Finally!

You can find the next part here.