Question(s): Raspberry PI3 Rasbpian for Robots

I am working on the project, “Use Google Cloud Vision On the Raspberry Pi”. My goal is to do real-time image analysis in Google Cloud Platform. I have a few questions about setting up the SD card with the necessary software and the camera setup. I am new to this, so bear with me here.

I have an RP3 already, which came with an SD card and has Raspbian installed. I saw the instructions that Rasbpian for Robots can be installed on an existing SD card and I would not have to purchase one with this on it. My questions are as follows:

First, when I first setup my RP3 with Rasbpian, the SD card did not have to be plugged into my macbook Pro and then changed over to the RP3. My question is, will I need to take out the existing SD card from my RP3 and then download the RP for Robots software via usb to sd card reader, or can I just go on source forge by way of my RP3 and download the image directly on the existing SD card in my RP3 without having to go back and forth from my macbook to my RP3? I am concerned that if I remove the SD card already in there that something will mess up, which is why I ask. Of course, I may be misunderstanding the process, which is why I am asking.

Second, regarding the camera, since I am not using the GoPIGo, but just the RP3 to do image analysis, can I use the camera found here: [camera v2] (, or is there another one that I would need to use for this project?

Any advice/insight on this appreciated.
Many thanks.

A little confused on your question. So you cannot write an operating system, such as raspbian for robots, onto the RPi from the RPi. That would be like performing open heart surgery on yourself. Not going to work.

There should be no issue removing your sd card from your piThere is very little risk writing to your sd card. If you like take the card out before the writing is done or something like that, yah, something could go wrong. Just remember to power it off before doing that of course.

Pretty much the worst thing that could happen is you’d have to retry writing the OS to the card. I’ve written to my sd cards countless times and never had issues.

The instructions here are pretty good.

In the instructions you’ll use a program called etcher to write to the sd card. It will ensure that everything is safe. If for some reason (it happens) your pi doesn’t boot, don’t freak out. Your Pi is fine it’s just the OS on the card is corrupted or something. You could retry downloading the OS and rewriting. If you have any issues ask.

Yes, the camera should work just fine. The GoPiGo is a hat for the Raspberry Pi. All the computation is still done on the RPi.

Have fun with the super awesome google cloud! :slight_smile:

Thank you for the helpful reply. I feel better about approaching the project based on your advice.

All the best.


A couple of notes,

  1. you don’t need Raspbian for Robots for this project if you don’t own a GoPiGo. As @graykevinb already stated, it’s just an add-on to the Pi. The Google Cloud Vision API only requires the Pi and the Pi Camera.

  2. if you choose to rewrite your card, do remember that a complete overwrite means you will lose whatever work you may have done already. I may be stating the obvious, but I would rather do that than risking any work being lost.


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Many thanks for the reply. Since I may get GoPiGo later, I just went ahead and used etcher to download Dexter OS, CINCH , and RP for Robots (as shown in YouTube tutorial). Will there be an issue if I did this? I mean, if at first I am just using it to test the camera with GCP, etc., will I need to rewrite the card?

Also, I already had Rasbpian on my SD card to begin with when I got my RP3. Will that data still be saved to the card, or will I have to re-download that also?