Romi Chassis help for beginner

I am a senior looking for help with my tinkering. I don’t have a background in electronics or robotics, and struggling to learn what I need to know, to help a non-profit with an upcoming fundraiser. I want to build a basic bump-and-go device (ie: it travels forward until it bumps into something, then turns and continues.) It needs to support approximately 1 lb. of cargo. I am looking at the Romi Chassis. Are the little motors capable of supporting and transporting this weight? What are the minimal amount of componants I would need that aren’t included? Do I need to put my Arduino on this, or is it capable of achieving this without commands? Does it need to have sensors, or can I simply put “bumpers” on it? Thank-You!


The Romi chassis should be fine for an application like that, though depending on how your load will be distributed, you might want to consider get an additional ball caster kit, so you can have a ball caster supporting both the front and back of the robot. (The Romi Chassis Kits only come with one ball caster.)

Aside from the basic kit and perhaps an extra ball caster, you will also need six AA batteries as well as whatever other control electronics you want for your robot. We have a power distribution board, motor driver carrier, encoders, and a 32U4 control board (a single board with built-in power distribution, motor driver, and a Arduino compatible programable microcontroller) that were designed specifically for use with the Romi chassis. If you are new to electronics and robotics projects like this, then I recommend getting the 32U4 control board since that will allow you to get your Romi chassis up and running without any other electronics.

You will need to program your robot to behave like you described. If you use the 32U4 control board, you might be able to detect when you bump into something using its built in accelerometer, but we do not have a specific example program for that. With that in mind, it might be easier for you to get something working using external snap-action limit switches or force sensing resistors attached to the perimeter of your robot, but it will be up to you to figure out how you want to connect those to your electronics.

- Patrick

Also, I forgot to mention that we have a bumper switch kit specifically designed to mount snap-action switches to the front of the Romi chassis for applications like bump detection. However, please note it is designed to plug into a TI-RSLK Chassis Board for TI-RSLK MAX, not our Romi 32U4 control board, so it will still be up to you to figure out how you want to connect the switches to your other electronics.

- Patrick