Dundee student resurrects Doctor Who’s K9 with a Raspberry Pi

Gary Taylor from Dundee’s Abertay University found an original, but water-damaged, K9 BBC TV prop in his University’s lab and, because he is an enormous Doctor Who and robotics fan, wanted to resurrect it. This formed the basis for his final year dissertation: “Creating an Autonomous Robot Utilising Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Ultrasound Sensors for Mapping a Room”.

Though only the shell survived the water-damage, caused by a hole in the Lab’s roof, Gary decided to fill the insides with new robotics equipment and also a Raspberry Pi 3 to control it. With the aid of an Arduino Mega to control the motors and sensors, the Pi was the central brains providing a remote control interface over Bluetooth and saving the environment-sensing data to a SQLite database. You can see the block diagram for the set-up at the bottom of this post.

In the end, the project was too complex to complete and, after several test runs, he was unable to get the autonomous part of the project working (Ultrasonic sensor unreliability is the cause here, I reckon) but the mobile phone-over-Bluetooth remote worked very well.

You can read more over on the Electronic Engineering Journal.

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