Raspberry FPV Robot Security Drone

Being small, and compatible with a range of cameras (such as its own camera module and many USB webcams), the Raspberry Pi makes a great security cam. You may have already seen it in action performing just this task, or have tried out some motion-detection software.

But what if the Pi itself could move around?

That’s the idea behind this first person view (FPV) device, christened the ZeroBot Pro by its creator, YouTuber Max Kern. Controlled remotely using Node.JS and socket.io and a JavaScript/HTML interface on your mobile device, the drone’s motors are controlled over PWM with pigpio, a C library for the GPIO. It also features an MJPG streamer for the FPV and a dedicated Raspbian image.

Under the hood, a Raspberry Pi Zero W is powered by 2x ICR18650 Lithium Cell 2600mAh batteries. A Raspberry Pi Camera Module is attached, while the device is driven by DC gear motors and a Mini DC Dual Motor controller. An analogue to digital converter (ADS1115) is used to calculate the correct voltage for the load, with an MT3608 Voltage Regulator. Finally, a TP4056 USB Charger is connected, making the device fully rechargeable. There’s also a heatsink on the Pi’s SoC for efficient heat dispersal. For low-light control, a pair of LEDs are utilized.

Holding all of this together is a 3D printed chassis and wheels (with optimized designs to reduce warping), which you’ll find full details for at Thingiverse. Ninjaflex rubber filament is used for the drone’s tyres, meanwhile. Full instructions for this build can be found at Max Kern’s Hackaday page and features some interesting highlights. Among these are the ability to take photos with the device. The user interface is a fully web-based experience, using Apache as a server. And the UI is pretty useful, enabling toggling of the LEDs, full control over the drone, a camera button, and temperature and voltage information. A safe shutdown feature is also included in the build. Meanwhile, the ZeroBot Pro is also configured as a wireless access point, enabling its use in areas without a wireless router.

Pretty impressive, we think you’ll agree. The ZeroBot Pro is a great toy for around the home and garden, whether for security, or keeping an eye on pets, wildlife (or loved ones…).


Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley spends a lot of time with Raspberry Pis and scours the web looking for interesting DIY electronics projects and news for ElectroMaker. He's currently trying to show his 7 year old son how to get to grips with Scratch, but so far to no avail.


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