How to build a Pi Cap Robot

Find out how to build a Pi Cap Robot

pi cap robot

We have another great community project, this time by Clément Didier. With this tutorial, you will learn how to build a Pi Cap Robot. The Pi Cap Robot can be navigated by simply touching the controller. The controller is created with Electric Paint and is then connected to the Pi Cap, which controls the motors of the Pi Cap Robot.

You can follow Clément’s work on Twitter here and check out the Pi Cap Robot in action here.

Materials To begin you will need:

1x Pi Cap
1x Electric Paint 50ml
1x Electric Paint 10ml
1x L298N
4 motors and 1 chassis
1 battery pack for the motors
1 battery for the RaspberryPi
1 tube of electric paint
cardboard, wires, crocodile clips

Step 1 Connecting to the GPIO pins

For this project, Clément decided to use the GPIO pins of the Pi Cap. He used a male header and soldered it to the GPIO breakout pins on the Pi Cap, as shown on the first image on the right. He then connected 4 female headers to the pins that connect to the L298N.

Clément then connected the 4 motors and the power supply or battery pack (+12V, GND) to the L298N. For the Pi Cap the connections were as following:

  • 12 to IN3
  • 13 to IN4
  • 15 to IN1
  • 16 to IN2

The GND of the Pi Cap is also connected to the GND of theL298N.

Step 2 Painting the controller

The next step was to paint the controller with Electric Paint. The buttons were outlined with masking tape and after the paint was applied, the masking tape was removed. Once the paint had dried, it was connected to the electrodes of the Pi Cap with crocodile clips. The connections were as following:

  • Right to E2
  • Forward to E0
  • Back to E6
  • Left to E4

Step 3 Running the motors with the Pi Cap

The last step was to run the motors when the buttons are touched. The code is written in Python and you can download the code on Clément’s site here. After everything was connected, the Pi Cap Robot can be navigated by touching the paint on the controller.

It’s a cute robot and we thank Clément for his contribution!

If you want to share your ideas with us too, please send us an email at or contact us either via Twitter or Instagram.