Waveshare's UGV Rover Aims to Provide a Platform for Artificially Intelligent Raspberry Pi Robotics

Driven by a Raspberry Pi 4 or Raspberry Pi 5 connected to an Espressif ESP32-based control board, the UGV Rover is a six-wheeled AI-bot.

Hobbyist electronics specialist Waveshare has launched a new rover kit that aims to deliver a wheeled platform for on-device robotics and computer vision experimentation, powered by a Raspberry Pi 4 or Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computer: the UGV Rover.

"The UGV Rover is an AI robot designed for exploration and creation, with excellent expansion potential, seamlessly connecting your imagination with reality," Waveshare claims of its latest creation. "Suitable for tech enthusiasts, makers, or beginners in programming, it is your ideal choice for exploring the world of intelligent technology."

The UGV Rover base itself, brought to our attention by CNX Software, is a sleek black all-metal six-wheel robot, of which four wheels are motorized, designed to be driven by a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B or Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computer connected to a control board with its own Espressif ESP32 module. There's an integrated TDK InvenSense ICM20948 nine-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), support for an optional lidar sensor, and a front-facing five megapixel camera with LED lighting.

It's this camera, coupled with an audio interface board for voice control, that drives Waveshare's claims of the UGV Rover being an ideal platform for computer vision projects. For those who need something more flexible, an upgraded model dubbed the UGV Rover PT moves the camera from the front of the chassis to a servo-controlled two-degrees-of-freedom pan-tilt mechanism on its top β€” with a Weaver-style mounting rail for additional accessories.

"Easy to be controlled remotely via UGV Rover Web Application without downloading any software," Waveshare claims of the machines, "just open your browser and start your journey. Supports high-frame rate real-time video transmission and multiple AI computer vision functions, the UGV Rover is an ideal platform to realize your ideas and creativity!"

The UGV Rover is currently available to buy on the Waveshare store, starting at $244.99 without Raspberry Pi or pan-tilt module β€” batteries not included.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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