Resurrecting my GoPiGo2

I decided to resurrect my kids old GoPiGo for the holidays. The SD card was corrupted so I bought a 32 GB Sandisk and flashed the DexterOS version 2.5.1 on it.

The robot is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable. I am not able to ping dex.local or access the pi using a browser.

I know the IP address and I am able to ping and access the webpage for programming the robot.

I am trying to turn on the wifi dongle. RealVNC and Putty aren’t connecting to the robot. I don’t know how to turn on the wifi.


First things first:

The phrase “WiFi Dongle” says you have a Pi-2 or earlier.

Save yourself huge amounts of grief and upgrade to a Pi-3 B with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

I really don’t want to beat a dead horse, but it’s a known fact that the Raspberry Pi plus dongle was foredoomed to ignominious failure.

There are numerous articles both on these fora and elsewhere that lead to inescapable conclusion that it’s a pointless effort.

Save yourself hugs amounts of angst and upgrade.

Write back and let us know what happens.


Found this:

Another gentleman was having a similar issue with a 'bot for the daughter.


@sylvain.legault This forum is now “users helping users” and official support comes from

For the best help, suggest you send ModRobotics your question with details that you are GoPiGo2, with what Raspberry Pi model, what dongle, and the exact steps you took between


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Hi @sylvain.legault,

For the quickest responses, please email me at and I can bring your issue to our team.

It sounds like you have a Raspberry Pi 2. What version of the GoPiGo2 do you have? It should be printed on the bottom of the red electronic board.

Talk with you soon,


Here are the steps that I took to debug the GoPiGo2. Also I bought the GoPiGo2 off of the kickstarter with the monthly modules and challenges if you are interested in knowing more information. I am hoping that this information might help other people with similar problems.

  1. Flashed a new memory stick with Dexter OS 2.5.1
  2. Connected the GoPiGo to my laptop with the Cat5 cable.
  3. Ping dex.local -> No response
  4. Ping -> No response.
  5. Connect the GoPiGo to my router.
  6. Check my router for new devices connected to the router with a wired connection.
  7. Ping the GoPiGo IP address -> got a response.
  8. Used my browser to connect to the GoPiGo
    8a) Success. I am able to connect to the GoPiGo but there is no VNC Icon. I am not able to turn on the wifi dongle for the Pi2.
    8b) I am able to command the GoPiGo to move but it isn’t useful having it connected to the router.
  1. Connected to the forum and looked for other users that might have similar problems. I emailed the support team as recommended.

  2. as recommended I replaced the Pi2 with a Pi3. I am able to connect to the GoPiGo through the Pi WiFi and I am able to program the GoPiGo now.

I am a little disappointed that I had to replace my Pi. I wish it was able to keep the Pi2 with the dongle but I understand that when things get updated we don’t always keep backward compatibility.

Thank you


First of all, there is a way to keep the Pi-2, but you need to connect locally with keyboard, mouse, and HDMI, if I am remembering rightly. There are a few setup steps with dhcp.conf in /boot, etc.

As @cyclicalobsessive mentioned, the Pi-2 is a “supported” configuration, at least for now. However as I’ve heard from “the little birdies” it’s been a less than simple support experience and they’d really like to depreciate it in favor of the Pi-3 and upward as it’s essentially “plug-and-play” without all the extra effort.

So, my assumption was that you wanted to get your 'bot working and have fun with it - and upgrading the Pi is the fastest and easiest way to do that.

Later on, if you want the challenge, you can re-visit the Pi-2 and play with it.

You may want to ask the support channel if/when you might want to upgrade the controller board to accommodate the latest libraries and code since all the current development work is on the GoPiGo-3.

Maybe not necessary? I don’t know as I don’t have a GPG-2. The support channel is your best bet for that information.

What’s important now is that you have a working 'bot to mess with. All the rest of this is potentially in the future.

Let us know what happens and what progress you’re making.

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@jimrh. I did try to connect the raspberry pi 2 to my TV with the HDMI cable and a keyboard/mouse combo. I remember doing this with my Pi3 when I first started running it headlessly, if that is a word. I think I will convert the Pi2 to a retro Pi.

Thank you

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So, any updates?

How is your GoPiGo doing now?  And yes, “headless” is a word.  Especially in the world of robotics and the GoPiGo, “headless” is the way they’re most commonly used.

With regard to Putty, (assuming you have the IP address for the 'bot, usually if the WiFi is working), if you “touch” (create) an empty file called “ssh” in the /boot directory/partition and then reboot the 'bot two things will magically happen.

  1. The “ssh” file will disappear.
  2. SSH access to the 'bot will be enabled at the default IP address.

I believe the username is “pi” and the password is “robots1234”

If you cannot access the filesystem directly on the 'bot - which is by design in the Dexter OS releases - you can remove the SD card and create an empty txt file called “ssh” in the one visible partition on any Windows box.  Don’t forget to rename it from “ssh.txt” to “ssh”.

Once you re-insert the SD card and reboot the 'bot, the magic happens and you have SSH access.

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The new version of Dexter O/S (now called GoPiGo O/S), is officially live and is infinitely better than the older Dexter O/S releases.

If you’re using the Dexter O/S, go download the update.

Note that because it’s such a large jump in functionality, not to mention being based on Raspbian Buster, you cannot simply update in-place. This requires a complete re-flash to a new SD card.

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Do note however that GoPiGo OS does NOT support the GoPiGo2.

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Bonjour Sylvain

With DexterOS, you no longer get a VNC icon. The confusion most likely comes from having information from the kickstarter and applying it to newer products. DexterOS didn’t exist when the kickstarter for the GoPiGo2 happened. And GoBox itself has been completely redesigned since then too.

Apologies for this confusion. Glad you have it up and running now (btw, the Pi3 was a big step up compared to the Pi2 - much faster boot time, and better overall experience with the robot)


I got the GoPiGo2 running with the DexterOS. I was able to make it move using the command arrows on the website. Most of the instructions from the kickstarter was using Scratch. I am reading the Python information right now so I can program it. I have a little experience using Python from work but nothing related to a robot.

I did get the Rasberian for Robots on the Raspberry Pi 2 and I was able to connect it to my home network. The Pi2 is not connected to anything but I can use it to try programming.

I only have a few of the modules from the kickstarter so all I can do right now is use the ultrasonic sensor to create a car that will avoid obstacles. I need to think of other functions that I can do with it.

I’m going to keep the Dexter OS for now. I don’t have any plans on updating the GoPiGo to 3 unless I get bored and the GoPiGo3 has more features.

Thank you

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Works for me.

I’m actually not sure to what extent the new GoPiGo O/S even supports the GoPiGo-2.

@cleoqc, can you help here?  Will the Latest and Greatest GoPiGo O/S work with the GoPiGo-2?

If it turns out that the newest GoPiGo O/S does support the GoPiGo-2, than that would be the way to go.  It does everything Dexter O/S did, and a lot more.  I’ve played with both rather extensively - perhaps more so than I’ve used Raspbian for Robots - and I can tell you that the new GoPiGo O/S is a breath of fresh air.

Let’s hope the GoPiGo-2 can use it with a suitably current Raspberry Pi board.

As far as introductory programming is concerned - give the “Advanced Bloxter” a try. It’s quick, easy, takes care of all the fussy background details for you, and is a great sand-box environment for trying things out.  In my opinion, it’s ten thousand times better than Scratch since it was specifically designed and crafted for the GoPiGo.

Even now, programming things in Python and JavaScript (for browser interfacing), using Raspbian for Robots - I still hop over to the GoPiGo O/S to try out ideas in Bloxter to see if they’ll work - and then “cheat” by looking at the Python code it creates to get ideas!

So much so that instead of constantly swapping SD cards, I’m researching a way to dual-boot each of the two operating systems and switch back-and-forth between them.

Seriously!  You can do some pretty advanced things in Bloxter without ever firing up a Python shell.  Maybe it won’t get you a cold beer out of the 'fridge, but there’s a lot it CAN do with a little imagination.

I had mine wandering around, avoiding things, and even reacting to the button-presses on a home-made bumper I put on it when it smacked into a chair-leg or such when I was using the Dexter 2.5 O/S release.  If it turns out that you can use the GoPiGo O/S 3.0 release, everything you did in Dexter O/S transfers right over, so long as you save it to a USB card.

Let us know what happens.

No, it does not. The GoPiGo2 board is now considered a legacy board. Still supported but not being actively developed for.

@sylvain.legault since you mentioned the ultrasonic sensor, you might want to stick with Raspbian for Robots. Support for that sensor has been removed from DexterOS, starting with version 1.3, if memory serves me right. It’s been a while! The ultrasonic sensor has been replaced with a Time of Flight sensor (aka tiny laser) with higher accuracy.

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And don’t forget the googly eyes that come with it!

Silly, whimsical, but it’s all part of the fun.

Oh rat-finkies!!  That’s enough reason to upgrade to the GoPiGo-3 IMHO.  And hopefully you won’t have to update everything; most of the chassis parts, motors, etc. should still work.  Right @cleoqc?  Is the GoPiGo-3 controller board a plug-and-play replacement on the GoPiGo-2 chassis?

If it is, and you can get one, all you really need to do is update the controller board and get the new distance sensor - and a servo kit if you want - and you’ll be right up-to-the-minute ready to rock-and-roll.

Like my Raspberry Pi-1 model B board from way back.  26 pin GPIO.  Composite video out.  Not going to work with Windows-10 IoT, but still plenty good enough for a lot of things - and easier to work with than the Arduino!

Actually, (if I’m not mistaken), the Pi-Zero-W is essentially the original Pi-1 model-B in a smaller form-factor, with WiFi and Bluetooth tossed in for extra flavor.  I have one of those too though I can’t say I’ve tried it plugged into the GoPiGo!  That would be the “minimalist machine from Hell”!  Might even work.  Maybe later, if I go full-bore-lobster on masochism, I might try it.