Raspberry Pi Pico drives StoRPer modular DIY robot rover

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Jo Hinchliffe)

The Raspberry Pi has such a deep relationship with robotic rovers that you can still find regular competitions for them, like Pi Wars. Today, however, we're showing off a cool DIY robot rover kit, known as the StoRPer, created by Jo Hinchliffe, that you can build at home. It has an open source design and is powered by one of our favorite microcontrollers, the Raspberry Pi Pico.

According to Hinchliffe, the kit is mainly a chassis with a custom-designed PCB. You can add or remove components as desired to customize the robot rover. It includes 3D-printed mounting components, but you can order them if you don't have a 3D printer to print them at home.

The design was inspired by an all-wheel drive toy car from the 1980s called the Stomper. This is where the StoRPer gets its name and the idea for its AWD support. Although you can purchase premade units from Hinchliffe, the project is open source, so anyone can modify it as much as they like.

The PCB acts as a chassis for the rover and includes four individual drive motors. The motors, Pico and wheels must be purchased separately. You can get a closer look at the kit, which starts at $16 (USD), and hardware over at the StoRPer page at Tindie. There, you can also look at the upgrade options.

Hinchliffe explains that some sample code is available for StoRPer that enables it to move forward. It's written in MicroPython and provides just enough information to program your own directions and moves. Hinchliffe also wants to experiment with mecanum wheels, which can be used for omnidirectional travel.

To take a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project in action, check out the details at Tindie. You can also see a demo video of StoRPer over at Hinchliffe's YouTube channel. Be sure to follow him for more cool projects, as well as any updates to this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer 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.