Raspberry Pi Car (first project)

Hi All

I’m new to Pi (it arrived yesterday). I’m a developer by trade but have little to no knowledge on electronics. My current set of equipment is as follows:

  • Raspberry Pi 4B (8GB)
  • An official micro USB Power Supply
  • 16GB Micro SD Card
  • Raspberry Pi NoIR camera (V2) (this is working but the colour is all tinted purple).
  • Also got the [2.8 Inch Touchscreen for Raspberry Pi (XC9022) - but all I see is the top left corner of a much larger desktop so I put it on a shelf for now (if anyone knows how to configure it to view the full screen that would be great).

For now, I’ve added the Pi to my network and am using remote desktop to connect to it from my Mac and have been working on my python code which is going well.

My son and I want to build a Raspberry Pi car as a project (with face and hand recognition via the camera to get it to move).

I’m assuming I’m going to need a power source for the Pi that can make it mobile (something like the PiJuice). I’m also assuming I’m going to need a motor controller (and motors) and connecting wires and the like. I found this project link (PiJuice Robotic Project • Pi Supply Maker Zone) which seems to cover everything. But I’m not entirely sure if the setup I have currently will work with what I need to buy.

Was hoping to get some advice here around the PiJuice (before I buy it) and the controller (listed on the project link above). Will I be able to run the ‘pi’, the ‘car’ and the ‘controller’ off the PiJuice?

Also, the default battery for the PiJuice indicates around 4-6 hours of use, is there any benefit in getting a bigger batter for it?

Thanks in advance.


Hi David,

Welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

Yes, that’s normal for that camera the NoIR is short for No InfraRed filter. The normal version has an IR filter to prevent the purplish tint, but the upside of letting the IR into the camera sensor is much better low light performance.

Do you have a link to the specific one you’re using? I did a quick google, but I couldn’t find it. You’ll usually have to do some simple manual configuration to get those to work.

Re the car, this project is pretty similar:

And I recall Jim (@James46717 ) built a little Pi powered car a while ago for his grandkids to play with:

You can also get pre-built kits - so they’re worth a look at to copy. Core sell a few and you can get them from other places online too, eg.

If you’re just using the pijuice to power your Pi and will have separate batteries for the motors the standard battery will be plenty. If you’re trying to run everything off the pijuice, that’s a bit different. You probably could run everything off it like they do in that example project you linked, but it’s more a UPS just for the Pi. If you’re only using small motors and making a small cart like they are it’s probably fine, but if you want to make something faster/more powerful you might need to go a different route - so the short answer is, it depends!



Hi Oliver,

Thanks for your response, I’ll have a look at the projects you suggested.

Regarding my touchscreen display, this is the one I bought: 2.8 Inch Touchscreen for Raspberry Pi | Jaycar Electronics

It starts up, and accepts taps from the stylus - but it’s almost unusable since it’s only showing a small portion of the screen (it’s the top left so the menu is accessible - but I can’t really get anywhere with it).



Hey David,

When you have the screen turned on do you also have it connected to HDMI?
The command sudo ./LCD28-show should change the resolution if the document is correct.

PS: if you ever have to access a Pi remotely I’d go with VNC server, its super easy and saves you the hassle of wiring it up to another screen.



When I initially had the issue I was also connect to an HDMI monitor (but that screen was blank). I’ll try it again now that I’m running it headless. I’m currently using remote desktop to connect to the device so at the moment it does not have a monitor, keyboard or mouse connected -0 it’s on my network and connected to WiFi so it’s all working - would just be handy to have the screen available if I need to do something on the device (like switch WiFi networks).

Thanks for your feedback here - much appreciated.



Hey David,

As for the hand recognition, another option could be a gesture sensor: https://core-electronics.com.au/search/?q=gesture+sensor
Setting them up is quite a bit easier than training a model

As Oliver suggested I’d go with two batteries, one for the motors and one for the Pi. The 4-6 hours is based on the Pi running some remedial tasks with no peripherals, like motors sensors, etc.

If you have any other questions let us know!

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