Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
    A New Twist on Raspberry Pi Zero Robots: Small Motors and Gearboxes

    The world of Raspberry Pi Zero robots never fails to impress, and [Shane] has taken it a step further with his latest creation. Instead of the usual approach of directly driving the wheels with bigger motors, he decided to experiment with small motors and gearboxes, giving his robot a unique twist.

    Unlike their larger counterparts, the N20 motors used in this project are smaller and more affordable. They also offer faster speed and often come equipped with gearboxes, making them ideal for reducing speed to a more manageable level. [Shane] took advantage of these features by using the motors to drive the wheels through specially designed 3D printed gears, enabling tank-style steering.

    To power the entire robot with a single LiPo battery, [Shane] designed his own Pi Hat. This custom circuit board converts the voltage to 5V and incorporates a couple of H bridge chips to control the motors. While it adds complexity, this solution ensures that the robot functions effectively without requiring multiple power sources.

    Although this build showcases the creativity and ingenuity of [Shane], it may not be suitable for beginners due to the requirement for a custom Pi Hat. However, this doesn’t mean that aspiring robot builders are out of luck. There are alternative options available that offer a more straightforward and affordable approach.

    By exploring online forums and communities dedicated to Raspberry Pi robotics, beginners can find recommendations for off-the-shelf Pi Hats or motor driver boards that simplify the build process. These alternatives often come with comprehensive documentation and community support, making them accessible to enthusiasts of all skill levels.

    In conclusion, [Shane]’s innovative use of small motors and gearboxes in his Raspberry Pi Zero robot demonstrates the endless possibilities that can be achieved through experimentation. While his custom Pi Hat adds complexity, beginners can still embark on their own robot-building adventures by opting for more user-friendly alternatives. So go ahead, dive into the exciting world of Raspberry Pi robotics and let your creativity soar!


    Can I use different motors for my Raspberry Pi Zero robot?

    Yes, there are various motors available that can be used for your Raspberry Pi Zero robot project. The choice of motors depends on factors such as size, cost, speed, and torque requirements. The N20 motors used in [Shane]’s project offer smaller size, affordability, and faster speed, but you can explore other options that suit your specific needs.

    Do I need a custom Pi Hat for my robot?

    No, a custom Pi Hat is not a requirement for building a Raspberry Pi Zero robot. While [Shane] designed his own Pi Hat to power the motors and control voltage, there are off-the-shelf alternatives available. These ready-made motor driver boards or Pi Hats simplify the wiring and power requirements for your robot, making it more accessible for beginners without compromising functionality.

    Where can I find resources and support for Raspberry Pi Zero robotics?

    There are several online forums, communities, and websites dedicated to Raspberry Pi robotics. These platforms provide valuable resources, tutorials, and even project sharing opportunities. Some popular sources include the official Raspberry Pi forums (, the Raspberry Pi subreddit (, and various robotics-focused websites such as and