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I am building a small wireless controlled robot using the Arduino and the raspberry pi. It works by the user wirelessly connecting through to the raspberry Pi (using vnc or some other form wirelessly) and using the user inputs to send a command to the Arduino which controls the motorised wheels. SO for example if the user presses the up button, a 'W" command is sent from the Raspberry Pi to the Arduino which then reads it and pushes the wheels forward.

I was looking to use one of the new Arduino-Raspberry Pi bridges to connect the two to make it easier to use, but I am not too familiar on how they work. Had a few question such as:

1) How exactly do they work (connection wise)?

2) is it possible to write one python code in the raspberry pi that when run can load the specific ino code into arduino?

3) which bridge would be the most suited for my project? (eg: Arduberry, alamode, gertduino, etc?)

Sorry really new to the raspberry pi and need to find a solution soon so any help would be awesome.

Cheers

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1) How exactly do they work (connection wise)?

Physically they all sit on the GPIO sockets of the Pi, sitting on top of the pi. The Gertduino and AlaMode seem to have the same form factor as the Pi which makes them a little more appealing to me but I guess then is personal choice.

Communication appears to differ but it will use Serial, SPI or I2C. I would imagine that you'd be able to choose an alternate one but not read enough about them to know for sure. Serial appears to be fairly simple, and it would be easy to debug, however you might struggle if you wanted to receive data on the Pi without the communication being initiated by the Pi. I2C would overcome this as you can run it in multi-master mode.

2) is it possible to write one python code in the raspberry pi that when run can load the specific ino code into arduino?

As you can call external programs with python I would say that even if you have to resort to this mechanism then it would be possible. You can turn on the debugging in the Arduino IDE to see what it actually does, then either script it or make the calls from your python program.

3) which bridge would be the most suited for my project? (eg: Arduberry, alamode, gertduino, etc?)

I'd go for either the gertduino or alamode purely on looks particularly the matched form factor.

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  • Thanks Nick, this has been really helpful. I was really keen on buying the gertduino for that reason, but my lecturer gave me a arduberry to borrow for the project so probably will stick to that. Thanks again. – BuddingEngineer Jul 31 '14 at 8:52
  • You're welcome, hope your project goes well. – Nick J Adams Jul 31 '14 at 9:01
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Have you thought about using the Raspberry Pi to control the robot directly, instead of adding the complexity of having the Pi talk to the Arduino?

Python allows you to control the GPIO pins of the Pi, and as long as you connect a suitable motor driver (to protect your Pi), you should be fine.

If you want to connect the Pi to the Arduino, then you could also look at doing this using Serial communications and wouldn't need the complexity of a bridge - just need a logic-level converter to convert the 5V of the Arduino to the 3.3v of the Pi

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  • Hey, that was exactly what I am doing atm but there are times when my robot goes over bumps and stuff and usb connections gets severed for a bit causing the whole robot to freeze which is why i was looking at these. – BuddingEngineer Jul 31 '14 at 8:55

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