Getting StartedΒΆ

The PiCar project is a miniature four-wheeled car powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 board. This lab-scale autonomous research platform is easy to build and modify. A camera and LIDAR mounted on the car allows for complex computer vision algorithms.

PiCar GitHub   Table of Contents

The PiCar GitHub Repository contains all the software and hardware source files required to duplicate the car, including:

  • Chassis 3D printing, and CAD sources.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 breakout PCB to connect peripherals and draw power from LiPo battery (v1).
  • Source code for intergrating sensors like the encoder, IMU, Lidar and camera
  • Source code for controlling the PiCar, networking, computer vision, etc.

The purpose of this documentation is to create a full fledged, clear formal guide for using the PiCar project. It will also serve as a place for showcasing results.

Where to begin:

1. A good place to start is to think about what you want your robot to do. The PiCar is intended to be a inexpensive way to build a robust mobile robot capable of running complex algorithms.

2. Usage -> Mechanical has a list of parts you would need to build the PiCar. It also contains instructions on how to assemble the PiCar.


For your particular project, you may not need all the parts to assemble the PiCar.

  • If the Dromida Buggy is not available, you may consider buying other similaryly sized (1/18th scale) chassis.
  • If you are looking for having higher computational power, you could replace the Raspberry Pi with something like the NVidia Jetson TX2.
  • You may not need the Current Sensors for your project.
  • You could substitute the TFMini Lidar with a more powerful one like the YDLidar F4 or a less powerful one like the SR05 Ultrasonic sensor.

3. On the software side of things, we currently use Python 3 as the primary programming language for the Raspberry Pi. Arduino uses Arduino C. If you are unfamiliar with any of these hardware or software, the Tutorials section is a great place to start. The PiCar GitHub Repository contains all the code and also houses this documentation.

4. Once the PiCar has been assembled, the Usage secrtion has information about how the different modules work and how they can be controlled. It also has information about the PiCar Module or Class that is used for controlling any aspect of the PiCar.

5. If you would like to add your results to the Results page, kindly let us know. For contributing directly to the project, either by fixing or updating the codebase or documentation, kindly submit a GitHub pull request.