RoboButler 3000

RoboButler 3000 after its headlamp upgrade on 10th August.

This is a project by Jim and Bob to make a drink-carrying robot for EMFCamp 2014. A stripped down version of the RoboButler 6000 but Software Upgradable.

See also subpages: RoboButler 3000/Parts and RoboButler 3000/Links


It needs to be able to carry a beer crate (that is, 24x beer or coke bottles) over a grassy field and probably a bit of mud as well. It should have headlights and a horn and a pan/tilt camera.

A beer crate is approx 240x240x400mm (measured from a Fritz-cola cardboard crate)

Current status

RoboButler 3000 drives and is controllable via WiFi.

Software and notes

Android & Python code is at

MBED code is currently stashed on; it'll be copied into the github repository as soon as I figure out how to.

To do list

  • SSL connection to Android app (this is unnecessary once we get the Pi connected, though)
  • Better controls on the Python side
  • Ability to shut down over CAN (currently we only start up, and though we can switch off drive, the system still draws about 0.3A. This would involve switching the relay back to the joystick unit and 'pressing' the power button again to reduce standby power.


Crappy photo of the wheelchair motor

Bob has two wheelchair drive trains (motor, gearbox and wheel) and the original speed controller and joystick unit. These have been tested and work well. The communication protocol between the speed controller and joystick is believed to be CAN-based.

They are of the type shown on this page: - 24V, about 300W.

This page also has some info:

Jim has 4x Hawker PC680 17Ah 12V lead acid batteries. These are approx 74 x 166 x 180 mm and weigh about 7kg each.

Jim also has two spare Android phones and a IOIO board which could be useful for GPS / GSM / Wifi / Camera / Accelerometer.

Bob has a BeagleBoneBlack and a few i2c accelerometer / gyro devboard. Bob has a couple of SRF radios which can be used for connecting to the badge network for comms with badges.

EMF have sponsored a 24V 7A battery charger to charge the robot quickly on site.

Controlling the motor controllers

See Dynamic controls motor controller

Stupid ideas

  • Jim should have an ankle bracelet which beams out tons of IR so the robot can follow him around the field.
  • It should be called Benton.
  • There should be stereo cameras on board which are fed back over wifi and displayed in red/green 3D anaglyph.
  • There should be a mounting point for an umbrella.
  • Ability for the robot to be 'called' and sent on errands from a TiLDA badge