Raspberry Pi Pico Powers Surveillance Robot with LabVIEW Interface

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Mohammad Reza Sharifi)

The Raspberry Pi Pico might be small, but it sure can drive some big ideas. Today we’ve got a cool surveillance robot to share with you, created by maker and developer Mohammad Reza Sharifi. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve featured plenty of his work in the past, including this PS4 controller-operated drone and this robotic car that uses OpenCV to read hand gestures for steering.

In this project, he’s using a system called LabVIEW that makes it easy to design custom interfaces and programs with visual assets. The robot has a custom-made chassis and four wheels. It’s fitted with a smartphone on the front for a live video feed. All of these can be operated using a custom GUI Sharifi created using LabVIEW.

The Pico surveillance robot communicates with a laptop using Bluetooth. This laptop is running LabVIEW which hosts the GUI. To steer the robot, just click the navigation buttons on the interface. As it moves around, the video feed will be updated in real-time so you can see exactly where you’re going.

Sharifi was kind enough to share a complete parts list for the project so anyone who wants to recreate it can do so. As we mentioned before, it’s using a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. In addition to the Pi, it uses an L298 motor driver to control the wheels, an HC-05 Bluetooth module for wireless support and has a smartphone mounted to the front for its camera.

The software for the robot was written in MicroPython. It’s responsible for handling the input from LabVIEW and translating the data into commands to locomote the robot. If you want to explore the code, Sharifi decided to make it totally open source. You can check it out over at GitHub to see exactly how it works or maybe even download for yourself to try at home.

If you want to see this Raspberry Pi project in action, we highly recommend checking out his YouTube channel. Be sure to follow Sharifi for more cool projects, as well as any future updates on this one.

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.