I'm thinking of buying a 3pi robot


I’m thinking of buying a 3pi robot, so I just have a few questions.

  1. Can you add components without soldering?
  2. Can you wire wrap components on the expansion pcb?

well I guess I only had 2 questions.

yours truly

Hello Jeff,

Are you trying to avoid soldering altogether, or do you just want to set up your 3pi so someone else can reconfigure it without soldering? The former would be pretty tough (you could use the LCD header and jumper wires, I guess), but the latter shouldn’t be tough at all.

The board has some protoboard-style prototyping space on the front and middle of it. The expansion kit comes with a 2x8 female header, which once soldered in place, will let you connect future components via header pins or jumper wires. Here is a project where I used the 2x8 female header with male headers connected to Sharp distance sensors: pololu.com/docs/0J26/all .

The expansion PCB has a 0.1"-spaced protoboard-style layout. If you have the tools and experience to set up wire wrapping on protoboards, it should be the same doing it on the 3pi expansion board.

- Ryan

Hi Ryan,

I wanted to try and avoid soldering altogether.
The 3pi robot looks very nice and I definitly want to get a robot.

yours truly

What components do you want to add to your 3pi?

- Ryan

Hi Ryan,

Well I’m not really sure, maybe an ultrasonic sensor, or infrared emitters with detector for
detecting objects in 3pi’s path. Its not something that I would do right away, because Im
sure a can have all kinds of fun with making mazes for 3pi to follow and programing 3pi to
make different sounds and displaying messages on the LCD. Maybe I’ll program 3pi to make
sounds like R2-D2.

yours truly


Unfortunately, there isn’t going to be much you can add to the 3pi without soldering, but soldering isn’t difficult to pick up at all, and it’s a very useful skill for someone interested in working on custom electronics projects.

- Ben

Hi Ben,

I could probably learn to solder in a short period of time with practice.
I bought a copy of “Robot builders bonanza” but I don’t want
to try and build a robot from scratch. it’s a very good book
though. I want to buy a prebuilt robot to work with and add
sensors and more capabilities to it later on.

yours truly

If you’re familiar with C or confident you could pick it up quickly, then the 3pi robot would be a very good starting point. It takes care of the electronics and and mechanical side of things, allowing you to jump right into robotics by exploring the programming side first, and then you can add more to it later when you feel more comfortable. I definitely think that soldering is a technique you should learn if you want to make electronics/robotics a hobby.

- Ben

Hey Ben,

I have had educational training in C programming. And already have the software
and programmer because I have a board with a AVR 644p.


do it. they rock.


I’m thinking of using a 3pi for an upcoming project, but I’m not at all a programmer. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, so I’m hoping to get some feedback from people who would know if my plans are unrealistic.

I have to build several paper shooters - these are an effect for a show in which a ‘storm’ of paper happens over the stage. These sorts of things come up pretty frequently, and I’m tired of doing a custom unit for every effect. So I thought that now might be a good time to invest in something that can be reused and reprogrammed (and then rented out to other theatres in the future)

The motors would need to start and stop on command (wirelessly would be great, but at this point a physical wire is acceptable), the speed would need to be adjusted during the trial phase (not during the show), and the speed up and slow down should also be able to be tuned.

It’s the programming part that I’m pretty unsure of - I know that debugging can be a huge part of a project like this, and I have very little experience with it.

Thanks in advance!