Practical Dad, as he’s known on YouTube, has earned his title thanks to projects like this Raspberry Pi-powered robotic guinea pig named K-V. The only thing this guinea pig eats is electricity, and he listens pretty well to commands. To spice things up a bit, he opted to add remote controls to the project using SSH as the primary communication platform.
If you’re not familiar with SSH, we have a few guides handy to help you get started. First, check out this guide by Les for detailed instructions on using SSH to connect to computers remotely—this guide works for Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems. We also have steps handy for setting up an SSH Key to keep the connections secure.
As we mentioned, K-V, the robotic guinea pig, is powered by a Raspberry Pi. It doesn’t take too much to get this guy running around, as he’s built around a Pi Zero W. The W edition is necessary for the remote control as it adds the wireless functionality that gives it network access which is critical for implementing SSH.
In addition to the Pi Zero, Practical Dad uses a frame for the unit complete with wheels and motors to make the robotic pal locomote. Everything is housed underneath a cute cover that looks like a guinea pig. Because the Pi Zero has lower power consumption than bigger models like the 3B or 4B, K-V- is powered using four AA batteries.
In the demo, we see Practical Dad using a Raspberry Pi 3B to initiate the SSH connection. This is done using terminal, but it would also be possible to create a connection like this from another PC running Windows or macOS. The scripts used to control the motors for K-V’s wheels were written in Python.
If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project or maybe even recreate something like it for yourself, check out the original video shared on YouTube by Practical Dad and be sure to follow him for future projects.
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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.