Thank you for any input in advance! Also I am not totally sure this is the right place for this question. If not then I apologize but couldn't think of a better place to post it.

I am working on a project that requires several small motors communicating with a phone / raspberry pi / camera in order to perform functions in a regulated order.

Without too many details (hopefully)

1.A wheel advances 1 rotation (roughly) to deliver an item onto a conveyor.

2.A picture is taken of the item

3.data is parsed on the raspberry pi or some kind of computing device

4.depending on the input from the image the conveyor moves the item bi directionally.

5.Process repeats.

Although I have figured out how I want to build most of this (in terms of teh physical structure, the little motors I want to use etc.) I am not sure how to accomplish the communication between all the various parts of the machine / robot. IE the brains of the operation. Ideally something that can choreograph all the movements I mentioned, receive data from a camera or smart phone / app, send instructions to the motors on when to act etc.

Any expertise you can share would be highly valued. I am a novice, and an enthusiast only. Although this project may take on a commercial scale eventually I am essentially working on a prototype and it may only end up ever being something I do as a hobby / for fun anyway.

Thank you!


I can't comment yet your question, I don't have enough reputation, so I apologize for commenting here!

I think that you need to specify a few things so that we can fully understand your problem:

  • You mentionned a "phone / raspberry pi / camera", as you used "/", are those objects all required or not ? Because the camera seems necessary but not the raspberry pi and the phone (this depends on the global aim of the project)!
  • You explain that there are some small motors, but have you chosen them or not ?
  • Do your question concern also the choice of motors ?

I would just advise you to do some system engineering in order to have a top-down view of what is expected with this project. In this kind of projects you need to carefully list the requirements and the interfaces of each component (this approach may also answer a lot of your questions).

To give you some clues, your motors may requires an electronic board (like an ESC for brushless motors, a driver for steppers, etc) to be controlled by a computer. The raspberry is capable of generating PWM commands (usually the kind of signals used to command a motor driver) but with such a slow frequency that we usually don't use it to control motors (this depends on your requirements), if you can't use it you will need a servo-controller like one of these. Then if you use a raspberry pi to communicate with this board, a basic bus like USB may be enough. If you need to have a phone app to remotely supervise all, you will need to use the Wifi... etc

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