Raspberry Pi Pico Animates Babbage the Bear

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Wayne, RamblingGeek)

The Raspberry Pi community is a passionate one with a deep affinity for the brand. When maker and developer Wayne, aka RamblingGeek, reached out to us with their latest project, it wasn’t surprising to see that they, too, are a huge fan of the company. Today we’re sharing their newest creation which has brought the Raspberry Pi mascot, Babbage the Bear, to life using none other than a Raspberry Pi.

Wayne has dubbed the creation Babbage Bot. If you’re not familiar with this cute little teddy bear, this is an official product you can buy from Raspberry Pi. It’s named after Charles Babbage who is credited as the first to have conceptualized the idea of a digitally programmable computer.

Babbage Bot is still in the early phases of development so there are some limitations around what he can do. At the moment, he’s restricted to simple movements in the arms. They’re currently capable of moving up and down thanks to a couple of servos. Adding additional ranges of motion would require more motors and most likely the use of a controller board.

There isn’t too much hardware used in this project. There’s a Raspberry Pi Pico driving the operation, two servo motors, and a couple of sticks that go into the arms and attach to the servos. It’s not clear if a battery is used in this project or if the Pico is powered by a cable but a good long-term solution would surely be to make Babbage Bot mobile with a battery of some sort.
At a purely mechanical level, this projects is super simple and we love that. Sometimes we don't need to stuff a project full of APIs and complexities. By using less hardware the project is accessible to all, and the Python code is abstracted enough for most users to get stuck into.

The code used in the project is available on Wayne’s RamblingGeek website. You can check it out there and also keep an eye out for future updates as there are plans in the works to add new features. Wayne suggests new features like four-directional head movement and possibly a speaker that would enable him to speak using ChatGPT.
We’re excited to see Babbage the Bear get some love and especially tickled to see his belly full of Pi.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.