The DiddyBorg V2 is a big kit for big people, a powerful robot kit for almost any Raspberry Pi hobby robot lover, though not really for total beginners.

The PiBorg team have a history of making top-quality Pi robot kits, the new DiddyBorg is no exception.

DiddyBorg V2 Robot Kit

DiddyBorg V2 Robot Kit

DiddyBorg V2 Robot Kit

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The DiddyBorg V2 is a six wheel robot built on a robust acrylic and metal chassis. It’s controlled by a Raspberry Pi (not supplied) and the ThunderBorg: dedicated robot controller that controls multiple robot motors and has I2C pins for adding Raspberry Pi compatible sensors etc…

These Raspberry Pi boards are stackable so you can add more motors etc…, and can handle the current from appropriate robot batteries to power both the and Raspberry Pi the motors itself.

It’s a nice piece of kit on its own, and the DiddyBorg V2 does a great job of giving you a glimpse at its power.

Diddyborg V2 Kit Build Instructions

Includes comprehensive build instructions for the DiddyBorg V2 at DiddyBorg v2 – Build Instructions.

Construction of the robot is fairly easy: put in a few screws, solder a few wires, connect up to the Raspberry Pi/ThunderBorg and it’s done.

Will take a couple of hours max to build the DiddyBorg V2 and setup the software on your Raspberry Pi.

PiBorg recommends using a full-size Raspberry Pi model rather than a Zero or A+. It would technically work with either of those but it doesn’t have the mounting points on the chassis.

Customising your DiddyBorg V2 Robot

Although there are no immediate mounting points for, say a Raspberry Pi Zero, there are plenty of extra mounting points along the chassis for sensors and such which can be connected to the Raspberry Pi directly or via the ThunderBorg.

It works well as a remote-control robot but with these extra sensors and a Raspberry Pi Camera Module, you can turn it into a true automaton.

Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2

Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2

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All the code is done in Python and allows for a lot of control over how the DiddyBorg functions.

Some of the code examples might seem intimidating to first-time robot builders, but they are explained pretty well so with a bit of trial-and-error even Python beginners should be able to cobble together code to make the robot do what they want.

It does mean though that advanced robot hobbyists have a greater level of control over the DiddyBorg V2 than they might do with other robot kits. And due to the quality of the DiddyBorg, it would serve well as a base for a bigger robot project or even just a test bed for other builds.

High Performance Robot

With six powerful motors and a sturdy base, the DiddyBorg is a very stable and powerful bit of kit.

It won’t zip off at the mere touch of a controller, and this means it also has a fair bit of torque behind the wheels. The motors can be finely controlled with differing power requirements, so its speed can vary depending on how you need to use it, which is very nice.

While we miss the full-metallic builds of older PiBorg kits, the acrylic chassis is a bit easier to work with and still extremely strong. It can take a small hit or a tumble and still work just fine, making it perfect for testing, while still being excellent as your actual main robot.

It’s not something we’d recommend for beginners, though – PiBorg has other, simpler robot kits anyway which may be better suited to that. However, as a lot of Raspberry Pi robot kits skew towards being beginner-friendly, it’s nice to see something aimed at a more veteran audience who would appreciate it at the (relatively) low price.

Originally published in The MagPi Issue 70 : The official Raspberry Pi magazine! The above article includes modifications from the original article. License CC BY-NC-SA 3.0