Pi zero, Picon zero robot project - wondering about power


I’m really keen to buy my first pi for a robot project with my boys. I’m planning a pi zero w + Piconzero differential drive robot with a lego chassis. I’d like to use just a single 4 x recharge AA battery pack to keep size down. Am I on the right lines?!

I assume the 4.8v will do to power the pi zero and the piconzero. But will I get into trouble with the motors? Could a motor thats too big damage the boards? Will it cause the pi to reset? I guess I’m looking for something like 2 x F-130 motors but geared and running on 5v.

I know a single 9v battery would do the trick but I don’t have a charger for those (maybe I should just buy one…)

What do you think??


Hi Will, I think you’ll run into trouble if you just run the whole lot from a 4.8v battery. That’s already pretty low for the Pi so any strain on the motors will probably reset it. You should probably run the Pi from a separate USB power bank and just power the motors from the 4.8v battery pack. That way the Pi won’t reset if the motors are under load.
As for a 9v battery, if you mean a pp3 type, they can’t deliver a lot of current and won’t last very long. More AA’s would be better but then you will have to regulate it down to 5v to power the Pi.


On motor controller topic.
I would discourage using picon zero with motors.
Had two boards:
-one would run burning hot just by switching on external powers supply.
-second would run erratically and keeps crashing(board itself would stop responding to commands from raspberry.

They were both superb as a servo controller (constant rotation) and added python library made python scripting a breeze but to this day I had no luck using it with motors on external power supply.