Is GoPiGo usable witout WiFi?

I teach an introductory programming in Python course in a prison. The prison staff isn’t excited about WiFi, so the computers in the prison computer lab don’t have WiFi cards.

Is the GoPiGo is usable exclusively by downloading programs through the Ethernet (or USB) port?

Hi @etellman! First I want to say what your doing is the most amazing way I’ve heard of using the Raspberry Pi. Keep up the good work! :smiley:

I’m not sure on how prison WiFi rules work. I know you said WiFi isn’t allowed, but what about a hotspot created from the GoPiGo? If that’s not allowed skip down to Option 3. No point reading the first two options.

Option 1

There is multiple ways to do this. You could manually set it up, but that is hard. The easiest way would be to use Cinch
It on boot, no setup required creates a hotspot. You then connect and can use ssh, vnc, or the method described in the link.

Option 2

Also there is DexterOS. It is a lot simpler than normal Raspbian. In fact all it really does is create a hotspot on boot and serve a webpage you connect to. You then can program in python.

Option 3

If what I described still violates the rules
Then your still in luck!!!
You can plug the robot into the computer directly with ethernet. You’ll need Raspbian for Robots and a PC with windows. Technically possible with a Mac or Linux, but a complete pain. Stick to windows unless you have a lot of free time to kill. :wink: Anyways it is all documented here:

Thanks for the quick and helpful response. I’ll have to go with option 3, since the controlling computers have had their WiFi cards removed before they were installed in the facility.

But we do have Windows, and option 3 looks pretty straightforward. I’ll purchase a robot and give it a try.

Hello @etellman

Option 3 will indeed work but it’s a bit of a pain to have your robot tethered by cable (it can become unplugged when it reaches the end of the cable, and the cable will get tangled around obstacles). It really depend on how and where you use the robot.

A better project in your case might be the GrovePi. It stays on your desk and can attach many more sensors than the GoPiGo.

Since you’re teaching Python and not a graphical language, there might be a way around the tethering. You’ll need the ethernet cable to code and transfer the program and start it. But if you add a sleep(10) at the beginning of each program, it will give your students enough time to unplug, and free the GoPiGo so it can run free. Your computer will not have any communications with the GoPiGo during a run, but you can save data and information to a file, and access the file after the run. Feasible for sure!



I was picturing something like what you describe. I can have students download a program, unplug the cable, and set the device free to wander. It will be the same sort of challenges NASA faces when sending a robot to fend for itself on Mars. :^)

I already ordered a GoPiGo, but I’ll check out the GrovePi as well. A pleasing variety of gadgets would be good.

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OLD THREAD - Thought for anyone following the same path:

Suggest buying one of the Grove Button and have the program wait for two presses of the button before starting, and stop when another press is detected.

DI has a convenient mounting kit on sale too.