by Danny Staple

The robot “Big Ole Yellow” has been sat on a shelf since Piwars 2019 gathering dust. That means none of it has been powered on, so some inspection and testing is needed before we can start working on it. The current initiatives list has Up and Running as the first step.

Today was getting some basics in place to start testing this.


The WiFi settings were still for another network. I needed to change them. Using the same headless techniques as shown in Learn Robotics Programming 2nd Edition I took out the micro-sd from the robot, and using my laptop, added a file called wpa_supplicant.conf to the boot partition with my new network settings. When the Raspberry Pi boots, it will use this to replace the existing settings.

Operating system refresh

I’ve opted for now not try and refresh the operating system, although I will set up scripts to populate packages on the SD card if that still works.

The thoughts on this are:

  • The picamera package changes make this sound like it will be a drag on time. I will eventually need to cross this bridge though.
  • I may find my hand forced by package downloads.
  • If I need to, I’d love to make time to go down the packer route and programmatically build the image.

This may be premature, as I need to verify the hardware and software onboard are mostly working first.


Next - can I charge the USB battery pack. This robot uses a bright red Anker PowerCore 10000 (paid link). It charges via a USB micro. It has 4 level indicator lights.

Plugging it in shows 2 fully lit lights, the 3rd blinking, so it could still charge.

After 24 hours, it charged to the full 4 lights, so this power pack is still good.

Anker PowerCore 10000 fully charged

Next Steps

Tomorrow I want to get into the electronics on this robot. I’ll verify them and the connections before trying to turn any of it on.

See the rest of my 2024 piwars blogs