Raspberry Pi Spider Bot Detects Edges to Prevent Falling

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Disastrous-Cry-6452)

There’s nothing like spending an afternoon putting together a fantastic Raspberry Pi robot kit. Still, there’s also nothing quite like losing all of your work by accidentally destroying your new bot. That’s where maker Disastrous-Cry-6452 comes in with this clever, edge-detecting upgrade for the SunFounder PiCrawler kit.

The kit includes everything you need to build your AI-powered spider bot, but there’s nothing to stop it from walking right over the edges to its demise. To remedy this issue, Disastrous-Cry-6452 has created a system that checks for edges and prevents the robot from proceeding forward if the leg cannot establish contact with level ground.

We reached out to Disastrous-Cry-6452 for extra details on how the detection system works. They explained that SunFounder’s default library handles the walking protocol, while a Robot HAT with a speaker provides audio output. When it detects that the foot has moved too far, it says “Danger!” using SunFounder’s text-to-speech library.

Disastrous-Cry-6452 has attached a couple of IR sensors to the front legs of the PiCrawler. The output level changes depending on how close obstacles are to the sensors. If the output is too high, the distance is considered unsafe, and the library module steps backward is initiated.

To see (and hear) this cool mod in action, check out the original thread shared to Reddit by Disastrous-Cry-6452.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.