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Customer Reviews
  • T.L.
  • Jul 03, 2024
I'm a huge fan of the Omni Directional robot car that features a Banana Pi PicoW S3 from Adeept. This is my fourth or so Adeept Robot kit and like the others it was easy to follow the tutorials and get everything working.

- Banana Pi PicoW S3 (WIFI, Bluetooth)
- Mecanum Wheels (allow for the omnidirectional movement)
- 3 Line Finders (together as one unit to properly follow along a line -- ie 0 1 0 where each sensor detects the presence of the line)
- Onboard buzzer
- 4 servo controllers (uses 1 for the project to control the neck)
- 4 WS2812 "Neopixels"
- Ultrasonic module
- LCD display
- IR receiver and remote
- LED Matrix

This was my first use of a Banana Pi PicoW S3. It has an Espressif ESP32S3 on board. The board is setup to work with CircuitPython a flavor of python for microcontrollers. I did end up using Arduino with the board as well which I'll talk to later but CircuitPython makes it very easy to get started as it acts as a drive you can edit the code directly on. On top of that the popularity of the platform means a lot of additional libraries exist making upgrades feasible.

In the associated zip for the car they have assemble instructions, lesson documents, and associated code for using each element of the car. The assembly is pretty straightforward just requiring some care when attaching the wheels as the configuration to work is described in the document and any other setup will cause the car to behave erratically (the wheels are the key to the omni-directional movement).

The lessons are nice as you can see pretty easily how each of the individual elements come together to work. For example the line finder one is pretty useful as you can calibrate (via screws) each of the line finder units individually until you get it working great so you know later on the robot will be fine.

In addition to the lessons and their code there is the robot control code. There's logic for the IR remote to control the car in each direction and also the ability to control the code over its own access point (it uses the ESP32S3 in access point mode). I was able to send commands to it to control via a socket connection which was neat. They have an app you can download to control the car as well via that connection.

In addition I was able to modify the car myself to add some neat features. It wasn't too hard to add support for controlling the car via my voice using a offline voice recognition module over i2c. You'll want to make sure if connecting a cable to i2c you confirm the pinout of the sensor connecting. Pin 20 is SDA, Pin 21 SCL.

For control of the car via Arduino there isn't a built in guide but if you're able to read the schematics it's not too difficult. Some things to keep in mind: you need to use tweezers to hit the boot solder points while pressing reset to program the board in Arduino (you can use the Espressif Arduino core), the board uses the generic "ESP32S3 Dev Module" within Arduino so you need to refer to the pins on the ESP32S3 vs the board pins when programming that way.

So yeah, it's a great car with a lot of space for upgrading. The car is neat in regards to how you can control its direction. I'd highly recommend it.