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Building a Custom JetBot with Jetson Nano

Take Nvidia’s JetBot platform to the next level by expanding the functionality of the Jetbot API by adding new sensors and drivers.

Nvidia’s JetBot Platform
After training your Jetson Nano to recognize how many fingers you’re holding up or whether you’re giving a thumb’s up or thumb’s down gesture, you might be wondering about the next possible project. Nvidia has developed a robotics platform that utilizes the Jetson Nano called the JetBot. It lets users control two motors via I2C and a PCA9685, along with viewing output on an OLED or via the web, and finally, it has support for a camera in order to perform computer vision tasks. On its own, the JetBot is a nice development platform to have fun with and experiment, but it lacks support for many important sensors and has limited capabilities for motor control.

Possible Customizations
Since I was planning on creating several robotics projects that rely on sensors besides a sole camera, I needed a way to interface them with the JetBot API and GPIO.

For most of them, communication is handled over the I2C bus, so integrating a pre-existing library, such as an Adafruit one, would be an easy way to add another sensor. I also wanted to use four motors with an L298N motor driver, which requires direct PWM control, rather than over the I2C bus.”

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