10 Amazing Project Ideas using RoboDK and Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi version of RoboDK opens up some amazing applications for both industrial and educational robot users!

The Raspberry Pi is an amazing tool. If you’ve never heard of the Raspberry Pi before, it is basically a tiny computer which can be used to develop embedded applications. Over the past 7 years, it has become the go-to development board for many hobbyists and educational technology users.

However, the Raspberry Pi is not just for education. Since the 2019 model (the 3B+) was released, it is also making its way into industrial applications. It is now robust enough for anyone to use!

RoboDK has a Raspberry Pi version which supports this powerful little platform.

There are hundreds of great projects for the Raspberry Pi itself… but what can you do with RoboDK and Raspberry Pi together?

Here are 10 amazing project ideas for RoboDK + Raspberry Pi both for industry and education.

Why Raspberry Pi With RoboDK?

The project ideas below tap into some of the inherent benefits of both the Raspberry Pi and RoboDK. Together, they make a very powerful, flexible tool for robotics both in industry and education.

The 5 overall benefits of using RoboDK + Raspberry Pi are:

  • Cost — Raspberry Pi is a very cheap bit of technology. Combined with RoboDK, it allows users to get started with robot programming at a much lower cost than buying an industrial robot.
  • Python — Both Raspberry Pi and RoboDK are based around Python (the “Pi” stands for “Python”). Python is an incredibly simple, powerful, and flexible programming language for both beginner and advanced programmers alike.
  • Size — One of the huge benefits of the Raspberry Pi is its tiny size. This is perfect for both industrial and educational settings, both of which often suffer from a lack of space.
  • Ease-of-Use — We believe that RoboDK is the easiest offline programming package for beginners with a very small learning curve. The Raspberry Pi is also designed so that anyone can use it. Together, this makes for extremely easy robot programming.
  • Flexibility — RoboDK is one of the most flexible robot programming options available as it can be used with a huge number of different robots. Similarly, the Raspberry Pi is probably the most flexible embedded development board available in the world today. What a perfect match!

5 Incredible Project Ideas For Industry

The industrial uses of the Raspberry Pi still remain largely untapped. Although hobbyists have known about its power for a long time, it is only in the last year that industrial users are starting to take notice. There are even industrial-grade models being released.

If you are using robots in industry, it would be a mistake to ignore the Raspberry Pi.

Here are 5 incredible projects for using RoboDK + Raspberry Pi in industry:

1. Robotics Training Workstations

Robot training is in high demand just now. Both companies and their employees realize that robotic programming skills are vital for the future of many businesses. A Raspberry Pi running RoboDK makes for a very cheap, easy-to-use training workstation for robot programming. You could easily kit out a whole training room with them.

2. Dedicated Robot Programming Workstation

Many of our users have a dedicated computer to run RoboDK. This is especially common if their robot requires regular or constant reprogramming — such as with NASA’s inspection application. But, you don’t need a whole computer to run RoboDK. A Raspberry Pi makes for the perfect compact, low-cost robot programming workstation which can be run continuously.

3. Sensor Hub for Robot Applications

Sensors are a vital component of many robot applications. Some sensors can be plugged directly into the robot controller but many more require an external computer to handle the I/O. The Raspberry Pi excels at sensor I/O. It can be used to interface with many different sensors ranging from simple switches to advanced computer vision. There’s even an extension board which supports industrial communication protocols.

4. AI “Brain” for Robot Decisions

Artificial Intelligence is still relatively new in industrial applications. But, we are starting to see it creep into industry. AI is far beyond the capabilities of most robot controllers… but not the Raspberry Pi! There are already AI add-ons, which you could add to RoboDK through the API.

5. Easily Transportable Demonstration System

Demos are a pain in the neck. Trade fairs and conferences usually involve carrying lots of heavy robotic equipment and then spending hours to set the robot up when you get there. Imagine if you only had to bring a Raspberry Pi with a screen to show off your robot applications. It’s possible with RoboDK!

5 Excellent Project Ideas for Education

We have already seen many educational establishments embracing the Raspberry Pi as a tool for learning. With RoboDK, you can apply the same benefits to robotics learning.

Here are 5 excellent project ideas for using RoboDK + Raspberry Pi in education:

1. Robot Programming Learning Workstation

One difficulty with teaching programming is that it requires computer workstations, usually one per student or trainee. This can get quite costly even if class sizes are small. The Raspberry Pi is cheap enough that purchasing one per student is very possible. It is then easy to install RoboDK on all of them.

2. Real Robot Replacement

There are many great educational kits that teach people about robot programming. However, most of them require you to buy a robot for each pair of students or trainees. This can skyrocket the price. Imagine if you could program hundreds of industrial robots from a cheap, tiny computer! RodoDK together with Raspberry Pi makes this possible.

3. Consistent Class Platform

One problem which can occur in technology education is that students often need to use their own computers (if they have one). This stops education being a level playing field as each computer will have a different setup and specifications. With the Raspberry Pi, you could pre-install RoboDK to all of them. Thus, every student would have exactly the same platform.

4. Competition Platform

A lot of robotics learning these days are in the form of competitions. This is a very motivating way to learn about robot programming. Moreover, it can produce some amazing developments from students or trainees. However, competitions require a consistent hardware platform. This is possible with RoboDK and Raspberry Pi.

5. Research and Development Platform for Robot Arms

Research and development is an essential part of robotics learning. RoboDK combined with Raspberry Pi allows students or trainees to test out their research outputs on a huge variety of robot arms. This will ultimately improve their learning.

What Project Ideas Do You Have?

There is an infinite number of potential projects for RoboDK and the Raspberry Pi, whether you are using robotics in industry or you are in education.

What Project Ideas Do You Have?

Tell us in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or in the RoboDK Forum. Also, check out our extensive video collection and subscribe to the RoboDK YouTube Channel.

About Alex Owen-Hill

Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at CreateClarifyArticulate.com, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.

View all posts by Alex Owen-Hill

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