I have a simple robot which drives along a track and waters plants. After each watering mission, it should return to its dock for further instructions. The dock has a Raspberry Pi, while the robot uses an Arduino Pro Mini clone.

When the robot is at the dock, it connects to the pi using pogo-pins to form a serial connection.

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Sometimes, the connection is not good - one or more pins are not connecting.

What other ways are there to form a serial connection, or what would you recommend?

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    $\begingroup$ What is the pogo pin mating with? You could try adding a magnetic coupler that would keep tension on the pogo pins and then pull off when the bot drives away. There should be plenty of torque on your motors to disengage a couple 6 mm magnets. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2021 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ perhaps the communication link could be optical $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Mar 12, 2021 at 5:29
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    $\begingroup$ Some connectors have "insertion detection". One way to implement this is have extra pins on the left and right ends that are shorted together on the dock side (perhaps all 4 are grounded). On the robot side, the outer pins are grounded, and their neighboring detection pins have pullup resistors. When the robot fails to detect that both the left and right detection pins are grounded, it backs up and tries to make contact again. $\endgroup$
    – David Cary
    Mar 13, 2021 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible to tilt the pogo pins, allowing contact wiping surface cleaning between the pins as they are compressed against the bolt head opposite contact? ( pvdijk.com/pdf/21thiceccriticalaspects.pdf ) $\endgroup$
    – David Cary
    Mar 13, 2021 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ I really like that pin-shorting idea. if I keep those pins slightly shorter than the rest by 0.5mm or so, that should ensure that the robot presses right up against the port $\endgroup$
    – Kae Verens
    Mar 14, 2021 at 17:38


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