Creating Crazy Robotic Librarians

May 26, 2019
python robot Education


I’ve given this talk at PyConWeb 2019.


Slides available on speakerdeck.


The Adafruit CRICKIT HAT for Raspberry Pi is a fantastic way to control servo and DC motors from Python. Add a little Tornado to the mix and you have the makings of a very exciting web-based robotic project.

The Robotic Librarian will be controlled from a web-browser, where the controller can select the desired book. The robot uses it’s motors to move on a track behind the books. The physical position of each book is known by the robot and that is how it knows how far to move along the track to position itself behind the desired book. Once it reaches it’s location it uses another motor to push the book of the shelf. Besides selecting a specific book one can also ask it to retrieve a random book of it’s own choosing. The most important feature though is when you initiate crazy mode. In this mode it will repeatedly throw books off the shelve in random order until it has thrown all books off the shelve.

This project was used as a fun way to introduce robotics to my seven year old daughter. Through this project she is able to learn about the difference between servo and DC motors. See small simple snippets of code that can control these motors. And throughout the learning process is made fun by making something fun and silly to show friends and family.