Nov 132015
CamJam Edukit 3

CamJam Edukit 3 robotics kit is launched today. It’s an entry-level robotics kit aimed at beginners, but I’ve had quite a lot of fun with it, and haven’t even used all the bits yet. It’s been put together by Jamie Mann from the PiHut, and Mike Horne and Tim Richardson from CamJam.

As with other CamJam Edukits, there is a progressive series of worksheets to help guide you through how to make the various pieces do what they’re designed for. You can find those here. Here’s what the kit looks like straight out of the box…

CamJam Edukit #3 - kit contents

CamJam Edukit #3 – kit contents

Hardware Contents

The hardware includes…

  • 2 wheels
  • 2 geared motors
  • 1 ball castor (with mounting bolts)
  • 1 170pt breadboard
  • 1 ultrasonic distance sensor
  • 1 line-following sensor
  • 2 sticky pads
  • 1 motor controller board (2 motors bidirectional)
  • 1 battery box (holds 4 x AA)
  • 4 resistors
  • Jumper wires
  • A very nice box, which I used as a chassis

No Soldering Required

Notably they’ve had the motor wires pre-soldered (and heat-shrink encased), so that the kit can be used without the need for any soldering. This opens up robotics tinkering to the vast number of people for whom soldering is a barrier to entry.

Where Can I Buy One?

If you’d like one of these, you can buy them from the Pi Hut priced at £17 + shipping.

You will need to add your own batteries and Raspberry Pi.

So How Did My Robot Turn Out?

I didn’t try out the sensors because I had another idea I wanted to try out. Watch the video and see how it went…

I used a Wii controller + nunchuk and was very pleased with the outcome. The slalom you see there was my first attempt. As you can see, I quickly got used to it and it was reasonably controllable.

Buy Edukit #3 from the Pi Hut priced at £17 + shipping.

  15 Responses to “CamJam Edukit 3 Robotics Kit”

  1. A nice beginners robot kit. However even with some improvements , I have found that they get boring after a short time.

    I would like to see more advanced Kits for the experienced
    Hobbyist and Uni. Students (in England they now use the American expression Students for Pupils) using RPi 2’s for serious robot experimentation. I.E. obstacle avoidance and route planning via Camera and perhaps developing an in-house positition determination HW+SW for indoor navigation.

    • Don’t forget this is intentionally a basic, inexpensive beginner’s kit. You’ll notice I ‘made it my own’ by adding Bluetooth dongle, battery and Wiimote/Nunchuk. You could do pretty much anything with it. Choose any chassis you like, add a camera, wifi with streaming video, have it tweet photos etc.

      I wasn’t overly interested in the line-follower/distance sensor things myself, which is why I made it into an R/C vehicle instead. The challenge there was to make it easy to control.

      • I meant no criticism of the project as such, but I wanted to show a need for a bigger chassis with 4 motors with encoder to get a real base up for an autonomous robot.
        Building a decent chassis seems to be quite expensive. But I am working on this.

  2. Alex, I’m also successfully using a Wiimote to control a robot but there are a few things you did in your video which I would also like to be able to do.
    1. How did you get the Wii handshake to run automatically at startup ?
    2. How did you set up the LED and then get it to turn on and then off once the handshake was complete ?
    I have a RPi camera on my robot and I was thinking of using the LED on that. My robot streams video using Dave Jones Picamera and there is functionality to turn the LED on and off.
    3. How did you get the nunchuk working ? I’m currently using the normal Wiimote but would eventually like to use the Classic Controller ?

    Any chance of you sharing your code ?

    • 1. I was using an older distro (pre-Jessie) which allows you to add the name of a python script to /etc/rc.local and have it run at startup

      2. Just used RPi.GPIO and wired the LED to a port, switching it from the script.

      3. I’m afraid I’m not able to publish or share that code just yet. But there is an easy way to read the nunchuk using the CWiid library if you dig into it a bit.

  3. Awesome video thanks for sharing! Please could you point me in the right direction re where to get the Bluetooth dongle?

  4. What battery pack did you use

  5. Hey Alex,
    Just wondered if the nunchuck code is released soon as you said it was released soon a year ago.

    • I don’t think I said I would be releasing it soon. I said I think it WON’T be available soon. It was written for a commercial product which is yet to materialise and I am not currently in a position to share it. Sorry :(

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