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From Concept to Creation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Build a Smart Advertisement Robot

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

A smart advertisement robot is a highly capable robot that can use image processing and artificial intelligence techniques to analyze customer demographics and display targeted advertisements based on gender and age. However, the true aim of the robot is not just in its ability to create customized content, but in its autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance powers. The navigation technology is implemented to help the clients to reach their desired places easily, by just moving autonomously, with a clear view about the surrounding obstacles, and taking customers to the desired shop.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to provide a step-by-step walkthrough on building a smart advertisement robot, offering insights into selecting the right components and even repurposing parts from an old hoverboard. Our goal is to assist you in crafting a functional and visually appealing smart advertisement robot that can elevate your advertising endeavors. To simplify the process, we'll categorize the components into three primary systems: High-Level, Low-Level, and Power Systems, delving into the materials and functionalities that define each.

High-Level Systems:

The Brain and Eyes of the Robot

  • Raspberry-Pi 4 - Single Board Computer:

Acting as the central processing unit, Raspberry Pi is a small, low-cost, single-board computer the size of a credit card that allows people from different backgrounds and levels of expertise to experience and learn to compute. The minicomputer can connect with other peripheral hardware devices such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor [1].

- Navigation System:

  • 2D Lidar LD06:

Lidar LD06 is a laser radar device that can realize 360° laser ranging scan, it measures visual point cloud information, which can be widely used in map construction (SLAM), robot positioning and navigation applications, as well as intelligent equipment obstacle avoidance. The Lidar LD06 has a detection range of 12m with a measuring accuracy of 2mm which makes it a right fit for our autonomous robot SARA [2].

  • Ultrasonic Sensor:

The ultrasonic sensor is an electronic device that measures the distance of a target object by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and converts the reflected sound into an electrical signal. The sensor head emits an ultrasonic wave and receives the wave reflected from the target. Ultrasonic Sensors measure the distance to the target by measuring the time between the emission

and reception [3].

- Perception System:

  • Arducam 8MP camera:

This camera adopts 8MP IMX219 sensor for sharp image and accurate color reproduction. Widely Compatible: Windows, Linux. Applications: this tiny 31mmx31mm camera board can be installed in most hidden and narrow positions [4].


- Sensor: 8MP 1/4” IMX219

- Resolution: 8MP 3264H x 2448V

- Data Format: MJPG/YUY2

- Field of View (FOV):H=62.2°, V=48.8°

- Frame Rate: MJPG 15fps@3264x2448, 30fps@1920x1080; YUY2 30fps@640x480

- Power Supply: USB Powered 5V

  • Display Screen:

For an autonomous advertisement robot, the most crucial task of this robot is displaying Ads. These Ads are displayed on a 15.6 portable monitor that is characterized with its lightweight (around 1kg), with a full HD resolution and the ability to be powered via a 5V USB cable [5].

Low-Level Systems:

The Legs and Hands of the Robot

  • ESP32-S - Microcontroller:

ESP32 is a low-cost System-on-chip (SoC) Microcontroller from Espressif Systems. It comes in both single-core and dual-core variations of the Tensilica’s 32-bit Xtensa LX6 Microprocessor with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth [6].


  • WIFI module: ESP32

  • Processor: ESP32

  • Built-in Flash: 32Mbit

  • Antenna: Onboard PCB antenna

  • Peripheral interface: UART/GPIO/ADC/DAC/SDIO/PWM/I2C/I2S

  • WiFi protocol: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2

  • Frequency range: 2.4G ~ 2.5G (2400M ~ 2483.5M)

  • WIFI mode: Station / SoftAP / SoftAP+Station

  • Power supply: 5V

  • Logic level: 3.3V

  • Dimensions: 51.4mm x 25.4mm

- Drive System:

  • Odrive motor driver:

The Odrive Motor Driver is an advanced open-source motor control system that provides precise and efficient control over various motor types, including brushless DC (BLDC) and stepper motors. It provides accurate positioning by relying on its encoder feedback, in addition to velocity control and torque utilization. The Odrive Motor Driver operates at 15-58 V DC voltage range with 120A peak motor current and 70A continuous [7].

  • BLDC Hub motors:

The 6.5″ Hub Motor with Encoder is a self-contained 3-phase brushless motor with 6.5” wheel and solid rubber tire. Hub motor types are commonly used for Hoverboard style applications and ideal for mobile robotic platforms. The brushless motors require a motor controller capable of driving 3 phases. Three internal Hall-effect sensors provide positional feedback for the motor controller to determine position, speed and direction[8].

Power Systems:

The Heartbeat of the Robot

  • 36V Battery:

The 36v Li-ion battery is a high-capacity energy source known for its efficiency and longevity. It provides consistent power output, ensuring reliable performance for devices and machinery. Its lightweight and compact design makes it a preferred choice for portable applications, including robotics and electric vehicles.

  • DC-DC Buck Converter:

A DC-DC buck converter is an essential electronic device used to regulate and convert a higher-voltage DC input into a lower-voltage DC output. This converter is widely employed in electronics and power management applications to provide a stable and controlled power supply for various components and systems. It is used in SARA for providing the components with the specified operating voltage of each.

  • Power Monitor:

100A RC Watt Meter is a High Precision Power Analyzer. It measures the Power and Energy consumption of any battery-powered device. Also, it is easy to read, the LCD screen provides clear number readings, and the wattmeter will continuously provide real-time readings of amperes, volts, and watts after connection [9].

  • Power Relay:

A power relay is a device that uses an electromagnet to open or close a circuit when the input (coil) is correctly excited. They provide a high level of isolation between the control signal (coil) and the output (contacts). Power relays are reliable problem solvers when it comes to switching high currents.[10]

  • Electrical Distribution Box:

It serves as a centralized hub where incoming electrical power is divided into subsidiary circuits, providing a safe and organized way to distribute electricity throughout a facility or device.

  • Power Switch / Emergency Switch:

An emergency switch is a safety device used to quickly shut down the robot in case of emergencies. It is a manual component that is crucial in various industries and settings to prevent accidents, protect personnel, and mitigate risks. Essential safety components offer immediate control over the robot's power, especially in unexpected situations.

Innovative Ways to Repurpose a Hoverboard for Your Smart Advertisement Robot

In DIY robot projects, being clever with what you have is important. A smart way to get parts for your advertising robot is by using pieces from an old hoverboard. This method saves money and is good for the environment because you're reusing things that might have been thrown away.

Hoverboards are equipped with brushless DC motors, ingeniously built into the wheels. These motors are designed to bear the weight of a human, ensuring they offer robust torque and speed capabilities. Their built-in hall sensors allow them to operate in both velocity and position modes, making them versatile for various robotic applications. When paired with an ODrive motor driver, these motors can be integrated into a precise closed-loop system for both velocity and position control. This setup paves the way for accurate odometry, a crucial component for autonomous navigation.

But the hoverboard's utility doesn't end with its motors. Its battery, a 36V – 4000mAh lithium unit, can be repurposed to power your robot. This battery ensures a steady energy supply to the robot's diverse components. To further optimize power distribution, DC–DC buck converters can be used to derive fixed 12V and 5V supplies. And let's not forget the hoverboard's charger – a 42V 2000mAh power supply that comes with an auto cut-off feature for when the battery is fully charged. This ensures safety and prolongs the battery's lifespan, making it a valuable addition to your robot's power system.

The hoverboard comes with LED strips which can be repurposed for the robot. These LEDs can serve as visual indicators, adding both functionality and a touch of flair to your robot's design.

By using parts from a hoverboard, you're saving money and also promoting the idea of reusing and being creative in robot building.

[20/MAY ~ 2/June 2023]


[1]: C. BasuMallick, "Spiceworks," 26 August 2022. [Online]. Available:

[6]: R. Teja, "Electronicshub," 17 February 2021. [Online]. Available:

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