Setup the Software – Raspberry Pi

Accessing the Analog to Digital convertor chip

The Raspberry Pi has several ways to access the outside world. As well as the digital pins that directly connect to the CPU, there are two other interfaces, SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) and I2C (Inter-Intergrated Circuit) that allow connection of a variety of devices without using too many connections. The chip on the driver board that converts an analog voltage to a digital number uses the SPI interface. This is not turned on as standard but it’s easy enough to do via raspi-config, a utility pre-installed on all versions of Raspbian since almost forever. You can use either the command line or the GUI interface. You will need to reboot your Pi after you have made the change.

See for instructions on the command line program.


ChickBot Raspberry Pi Geany IDE on programming menuUsing the programming software for the Raspberry Pi based ChickBot

The latest version of Raspbian Jessie from May 2016 comes with everything you need – which is the Geany IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

You can easily check if you have Geany by going under the main menu top left, go to the Programming menu which should show the entry for “Geany” or “Geany Programmer’s Editor” – as shown on the right.

Once you’ve got the IDE talking to your ChickBot you can try out the starter programs in Program your ChickBot This will allow you to make alterations to existing programs or creating new ones from scratch. We also have The Vault with lots of code fragments and full programs for you to try out and experiment with.


Pre May 2016 Raspbian Jessie? – installing the Geany IDE software.

If you have your Pi up and running from pre May 2016 but still a version of Jessie (which was released 28th Sept 2015 ), all you need to do is install Geany.

For the command line jockeys, this is as simple as:

sudo apt-get install geany

For the more graphical orientated, here’s a short video of using the Add / Remove Software option from the Preferences menu:

Pre Sept 2015 Raspbian Wheezy? – installing the Geany IDE software.

We’ll add instructions shortly, but highly recommend upgrading via a new image.