Is dual power possible?

I got my GoPiGo and finally had some time to put it together. After a few hickups, I was able to make it go and I like it a lot - thanks for such a great project.

One problem I had was batteries running out and Pi turning off without a chance to shut it down properly. So I have a question about powering the GoPiGo - the answer is probably no but I thought I should ask anyway.

As far as I know, BrickPi can be powered simultaneously both by USB (for Raspberry Pi) and battery pack (motors, sensors). I don’t see this option on this page: is this an undocumented possibility for GoPiGo?

BTW, on the page I just mentioned, the third image, Custom Supply shows VCC top and GND bottom, close to the ON/OFF switch. But according to the Attach Connect Power and Test assembling step, it seems they should be the other way, VCC towards the ON/OFF switch. If this is the case indeed, can you please update the Custom Supply image to reflect the correct pins? Thank you!

Hi Claudio,
The GoPiGo can indeed be powered with a USB power supply for the Pi and batteries for the motors. We didn’t include this option because you won’t be able to use the GoPiGo as a robot and it would be tied up with the USB cable.

Sorry for the mistake with the power connector, we will change it ASAP. Thanks for letting us know about it.


Thanks a lot for your answer, you guys are great!

The reason I asked is that when I got the BrickPi I also got one of those USB battery phone chargers that works great with the Raspberry Pi and it is light enough that can sit on the robot without adding too much weight. This way the robot can still move around and the Pi doesn’t shut down if the motors are draining the batteries.

I am happy to hear this is possible, I will try it tonight. I don’t see any jumper on the GoPiGo that needs to be set so I assume there is nothing special that needs to be done, just power the Pi using the USB charger and the GoPoiGo using the batteries.

Thank you!

Hi Claudio,
That indeed sounds like a nice solution to the shutting down problem.

We have usually seen the motors almost unable to move with the GoPiGo when the battery goes down and we usually have the Raspberry Pi running for 5 to 10 minutes more before it turns off, that gives us enough time to shut it down properly.