Waveshare UGV Rover is Powered By a Raspberry Pi

Waveshare UGV Rover is Powered By a Raspberry Pi


The Waveshare UGV Rover is an open-source educational and commercial platform that can be used for remote exploration, object recognition, autonomous navigation, and more. The Rover is built around a Raspberry Pi and can be configured with A Pi5 or Pi4B. There are also two additional boards within the rover, one is an ESP32 power driver and control board that controls the wheel the Pan-Tilt module, and many other things. There is also an audio board that handles all the Audio processing tasks. The Pi sits on top of these two boards, sends out the control commands, and does the AI and Image Recognition tasks if configured.

The rover has a 2mm thick aluminum body and six 80mm shock-absorbing tires, but it gets a four-wheel drive system controlled by the ESP32 sub-controller. The sub-controller also handles sensors, LiDAR, cameras, and more.

Previously we have written about other rover modules like the Turtle Rover, the Makeblock MBot Neo Rover, the open-source Tele-Robotics platform and more feel free to check those out if robots like this interest you.

ESP32 powred sub-controller

ESP32 powred sub-controller

The ESP32 powred sub-controller supports different communication protocols, including serial port, HTTP request, and ESP-NOW. The module supports ESP-NOW meaning it can communicate with other nearby rovers while allowing 4G/5G module expansion for communication. other than that the sub-module performs basic tasks like high-frequency PID controller, high-frequency inverse kinematics calculations, position interpolation, Pan-Tilt angle control, OLED screen control, read data from IMU, and battery voltage sensor.  Additionally, it can automatically achieve the camera vertical stabilization function.

Waveshare UGV Rover Audio Controlee and Processing Board
Audio Controlee and Processing Board

The audio driver board is specifically designed for a robot’s main controller, with a built-in USB interface that works well with various motherboards including Raspberry Pi 4B and Raspberry Pi 5, among others. It utilizes the SSS1629A5 audio control chip, that ensures a hassle-free plug-and-play interface. Additionally, it has an APA2068 audio amplifier chip to drive the speakers on the rover. Moreover, it integrates FE1.1S USB 2.0 HUB and CH340 chips, facilitating seamless data transfer from serial peripherals like Lidar to the main controller via a USB cable, without burdening the resources of the main controller excessively.

Now we know about all the features but we don’t know about the console mechanism of the rover for that the company provides a web interface through which you can control the rover with a PC, phone, or tablet.

Waveshare UGV Rover Specifications:

  • Core Control & Processing
    • Raspberry Pi 4B or 5 for computer vision and machine learning
    • ESP32 sub-controller for dedicated tasks
    • High-frequency PID controller for precise movement
    • Closed-loop speed control for consistent wheel speeds
  • Movement and Navigation
    • 6-wheel, 4-wheel drive for superior terrain handling
    • High-torque motors with encoders for accurate motion
    • IMU for orientation and balance sensing
  • Sensing & Feedback
    • Pan/tilt servo system with feedback for camera control
    • OLED screen for system status
    • Battery voltage monitoring for power management
    • Audio system: speaker, microphone, audio jack, text-to-speech
  • Connectivity
    • Fast networking on Raspberry Pi (Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5)
    • ESP32 with 2.4GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, and ESP-NOW support
    • Optional 4G/5G for expanded communication range
  • Camera & Expansion
    • Pan-tilt module with 360°/120° motion, 5MP camera, stabilization
    • Mounting plate for LiDAR, battery, or custom devices
    • Optional rail and servo for tactical upgrades
  • Control & Power
    • Wireless gamepad for remote operation
    • Hotspot auto-creation for network flexibility
    • 3x 18650 UPS module for reliable power
    • Optional battery set
  • Construction
    • Sturdy 2mm aluminum chassis
    • Shock-absorbing 80mm tires
    • High-brightness LED for low-light vision

The UGV Rover boasts additional AI capabilities such as object, gesture, and face detection, motion tracking, vision line tracking, color recognition, and auto-targeting, all powered by multi-threaded computer vision. Additionally, the company plans to offer Ngrok tutorials, although they won’t provide accounts or servers. Compatibility extends to Debian Bookworm, ROS2-HUMBLE-LTS, and JupyterLab, with forthcoming guides and tutorials for all software features.

Waveshare offers customizable options for the UGV rover, allowing users to order without a Raspberry Pi if they already own one and to include the Pan-Tilt Module. Power plug options include US, EU, and UK variants. This Raspberry Pi 4/5-based robot promises enjoyable experiences, although documentation might be more comprehensive for other models like the SunFounder PiCar-X 2.0.

The UGV Rover PT PI5 AI Kit or UGV Rover PT PI4B AI Kit, including the Pan-Tilt Module, can be found on Amazon for $292.99 (including shipping). Waveshare also offers a UGV Rover base kit (without Pi or Pan-Tilt Module) for $244.99 in their store. More details can be found on there Wiki page.

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About Debashis Das

Tech Content Creator | Hardware Design Engineer | IoT Enthusiast | Digital Storyteller | Video Creator | From crafting digital dialogues at Semicon Media to orchestrating online engagement at Electronics-lab.com, my journey is about making tech talk interesting and accessible. In the quiet corners of the day, I advocate for easier tech education, one tutorial at a time. Let's connect and keep the digital dialogue going!

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