PiWars Robot

Bran McGaw designing our PiWars Robot
B designing our PiWars Robot

In the United Kingdom, there is a Robot Competition that is open to all kinds of groups of people, from individuals to School Groups or Scout/Guide groups. One of the very few requirements is that it needs to use a Raspberry Pi foundation product as its main controller.

We are entering a robot as a family, my wife Tamarisk, our two children (B and N) and myself.

This page is a collection of posts about our journey from applying for PiWars 2024, to where we are at the present day.

PiWars Robot Posts

  • Applied for PiWars 2024
    I have put my registration in for PiWars 2024 – Disaster Zone. PiWars is “The Raspberry Pi Robotics Competition”. PiWars is a Non-Destructive robotics competition run by members of the Cambridge Raspberry Jam. It will be held on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April 2024, in Cambridge UK. Full details can be found on their website, (there seems to be a USA one, you can view their site). Here is a little bit of an introduction to the UK PiWars challenge from the site: Pi Wars is an international, challenge-based robotics competition in which teams build Raspberry Pi-controlled robots and then compete… Read more: Applied for PiWars 2024
  • Drill motors for our PiWars Robot
    Nathaniel Poate of Team Shortcircuit Robot Bits supplied me with five drill motors, these are drill motors from cordless battery-powered drills. Three of them are 12 V, and the remaining two are 18 V motor and gearbox sets, these were given to me for use with robotics projects. I received an email back about our team entry for PiWars: Your team, McGaw’s, has been selected as a Reserve in the Beginner category. Here are some things to know about being a Reserve in Pi Wars. Mike Horne, Tim Richardson & David Booth of PiWars My 8-year-old son, as the chief designer has decided that… Read more: Drill motors for our PiWars Robot
  • PiWars blogroll
    For some reason a list of links to other peoples blogs is called a blogroll (I am not sure if links to sites made in software that is not blogging software is also a blogroll, but YMMV)… so here is my PiWars blogroll. Since I got accepted as a backup team, for PiWars 2024, I thought I should research the other teams… knowing your competition is a good start. There are a few points available for blogging about the process of getting to the competition (worth up to 1400 points), as well as making a video documentary about your robot… Read more: PiWars blogroll
  • PiWars Robot Traction System
    I still need B to give me more design hints beyond “Tank Tracks” for the PiWars robot design. However, I have been making progress with the design of the Traction System. A company called Vex Robotics sells a kit of parts to make up tank treads. The kit includes about 1.5 meters of tank tread links, four drive sprockets, four double bogey road wheels, two tensioner idlers and fixing hardware. The drive sprockets can also be used as idler wheels. The mounting hole for the sprockets is a square 0.125″ (on a side). Vex Robotics sell 1/8″ axle rod in… Read more: PiWars Robot Traction System
  • PiWars Suspension System
    Due to PiWars course for “Lava Palava – Escape the volcanic eruption!” containing at least one speed-hump, and the obstacles in “The Temple of Doom – Go on an adventure and tackle the obstacles in your way!” are unlikely to be flat, there should be some compliance in the drive and suspension system to allow the robot to keep the tank tracks in contact with the floor as much as possible. The East-Devon PiRates have an image with the dimensions for the speed hump on their page. It’s a minor segment of a circle, with a base dimension shown to… Read more: PiWars Suspension System

With Thanks to