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Pololu Dagu Rover 5 and Raspberry Pi


Hi everyone,

 I'm totally new in this and because of that I have just one simple question.

 I would like to create a robot which would be controlled using smart phone. I have decided to use following components:
  • Dagu Rover 5 Tracked Chassis with Encoders : pololu.com/catalog/product/1551

  • Pololu RP5/Rover 5 Expansion Plate RRC07A (Narrow) Solid Black : pololu.com/catalog/product/1531

  • Raspberry Pi (to connect smart phone and Dagu Rover platform)

    Is this all that I need of the components or is there something else that would be useful to add? Do any know is this my idea using this components possible?




You will need some type of motor controller to control your motors. However, since this is your first time building a robot, you might try starting with something simpler and work your way up to something this ambitious. A good starting point might be our 3pi or Zumo robots.

- Zeeshan


Thanks a lot,

I now have new list of components:
Platform - robotshop.com/dagu-rover-5-4 … assis.html
Expansion slot - pololu.com/catalog/product/1531
Motor controller - robotshop.com/dagu-4-channel … ler-2.html
Raspberry Pi
Additional 5V power for controllers (motor controller and Raspberry Pi)
Is this list of components correct? Is all this components can be connect to each other? Do anyone have some suggestions?

I have one more question:
Is possible to directly connect smartphone to Raspberry Pi via USB for controlling? Which options for directly communication of Raspberry Pi and smartphone (Android) i have? Wifi? Bluetooth?



It would be difficult to make a USB connection between a smartphone as a controller and the Raspberry Pi, but see these posts Android MaestroSSC USB Project. Wifi is easier.



I am currently attempting the same type of project as you…

I just received my Dagu Rover 5 Tracked Chassis with Encoders this week, and found out I need a motor controller, so I just ordered one of the Pololu TReX Jr Dual Motor Controller DMC02 that I’ll use to control the motors on the rover…

I also have a Micro Maestro 6-Channel Servo Controller that I will hook up to the motor controller that’s on its way…

I also have a raspberry pi and a Samsung Galaxy S3 that I will be using as well…

I have already successfully used both the pi and the galaxy phone to communicate with the maestro servo controller via USB connections, so I can control servos from the phone or from the pi, but now I will be trying to get control of the motors on the new Dagu Rover… I plan to have the Raspberry pi serve up a PHP web page with pushbuttons that will send commands through the USB interface to the maestro, which will then send them to the motor controller to make the Dagu rover move around…

If you’re still working on your project, keep an eye on this thread and I’ll post my progress…



I’m not sure how the phone fits into his project plan… I plan on using the phone’s web browser to connect to a web page served by the pi, which I will use to control the rover movement. I could also write an Android app for the phone with its own GUI, which sends commands to the pi, which then sends them to the maestro controller, but for now, I plan on using the phone as an interface to a PHP web page on the pi…

Using one of the new USB OTG cables, I plugged the maestro micro 6-channel servo controllers into my Samsung Galaxy S3, and the phone recognizes it, and sets it up as a serial device that you can send commands to via /dev/ttyACM0, so you could actually control the rover directly from an onboard smartphone if you wanted to…



I was responding to the OP’s original question:

I don’t known how to make that connection, as both devices are USB hosts. It is conceivable that a USB OTG cable could be used, but I’ll bet that the RPi doesn’t support it (yet, anyway).



I didn’t start yet with programming not a single of components. For now I ordered all this staff and I wait for it.

I think that’s for me is best to start down-up programming. First to connect and program motor controller, than to program Raspberry Pi and established connection with motor controller. After that I will start program Android app and try to connect it with Raspberry Pi.

To avoid any confusion, when I say to directly connect mobile phone and Raspberry Pi I mean exactly that to get USB cable and to connect one side in mobile phone and second side of the cable to Raspberry Pi. On that way I had an idea to use USB to sent commands and, also, to charge mobile phone from central power unit.




I’d suggest the Pololu TReX Jr Dual Motor Controller DMC02 to control the motors from your RPi. It’s easy to get the serial communications working between it and the Rpi, using the GPIO pins on the RPi. Once you get the motors moving, you can move on from there…

Here’s a link to my project on here: Dagu Rover 5 and Raspberry Pi



 Thanks on advice but I already ordered all components and I'm pretty sure that I would not have any problems in communications between RPi and motor controller. I impatiently waiting for parts to arrive and to start working on it.

 Thanks again on sharing your project information. We should be in touch for future.



Hi all,

After few months I final got all components for my robot i I start to work on it. I setup RPi and I’m ready to run my motors but I’m not sure how to connect motors to motor controller and motor controller to RPi.
This is my opinion:

  1. RPi to motor controller: I want to generate PWM signal on RPi GPIOs and to connect to PWM GPIO on motor controller board. Also I will generate a direction signal on RPi GPIOs and connect to GPIO on motor controller board. Can I use one GPIO for PWM and one GPIO for direction for two motors on same side of platform?
  2. Motor controller to motors: I want to connect white connector of motor to adequate connector on motor controller board. What to do whit 4 black GPIO connector from motor? What it’s propose for those connectors? Is that connector I need to connect to GPIO for encoders on motor controller board?



What motor controller are you using?


Hi chrisptx,

All components that I use are described in third post of this topic. But, again:

  1. Raspberry Pi
  2. Dagu 4 Channel 5-12V, 2A Brushed DC Motor Controller
  3. Dagu Rover 5 4WD Tracked Chassis w / Settable Ground Clearance


I’m using a Pololu motor controller, so I’m afraid I can’t help you out. Good luck with your project!