Cover image for Yukon & Omnibot 3000


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Meet the Omnibot 3000, a Pimoroni Yukon powered Omnibot 2000. This is a work-in-progress project, so somethings may change!

Omnibot 2000 Refurbish

I recently bought an original 1984 Tomy Omnibot 2000 from Ebay. I’ve always wanted one of these since I was a kid, and I finally got one. I’ve been working on a project to replace the original electronics with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 powered Yukon by Pimoroni, and to add some extra features.

First of all the robot needed a good clean. I took it apart and cleaned all the parts.

Inside the Omnibot

Inside the Omnibot

Inside the Omnibot

Pimoroni Yukon

The Pimoroni Yukon is a RP2040 powered high power, modular microcontroller. It has 6 slots that can be used to add modules, such as motors, servos, LED Strips, Audio and more.

The Yukon has an XT30 connector for power, and can be powered by a 2S LiPo battery. It intelligently monitors power usage and can prevent components from being damaged by over-current.

Yukon Pinouts and dimensions

Yukon diagram

Yukon diagram


Yukon Modules

Yukon Photo

Omnibot Photo

Yukon Modules

The Yukon has 10 different types Moof modules (as of the time of writing):

  • Serial Bus Servo
  • Quad Servo Regulated
  • Quad Servo Direct
  • Custom Module (add your own components)
  • Dual Switched Power Outlet
  • Dual Motor / Bipolar Step
  • Big Motor + Encoder
  • Bench Power Step-down DAC
  • Audio Amp Mono
  • LED Strip

For this project I’ll be using 3 different modules:

  • Dual Motor / Bipolar Step - to control the robots motors
  • Audio Amp Mono - to play audio
  • LED Strip - to control the robots eyes and LED Strip

Upgrades - LED Strip

The original Omnibot had a pair of red LEDs in the front of the robot. I decided to replace these with a pair of WS2812B LEDs, and wired these together and inline with a larger LED Strip. The longer trip has adhesive on the back, so I stuck this to the inside of the dome; this creates an amazing effect when the robot is running.

Because the new eyes are LEDs, I can change the colour of the eyes, and make them flash, or fade in and out. These are essentially the first two addressable LEDs on the LED strip.

Upgrades - Audio

The original Omnibot had a cassette player in the head, which was used to play audio. I decided to replace this a Yukon AudioAmp module. This means we can play any sound that can be stored on the Yukons 16mb of internal storage. I’ve used the original small speaker on the front of the robot, and this is connected to the AudioAmp modules output terminals.

Upgrades - Motors

The original Omnibot had a pair of DC motors, which were used to drive the robot. These motors are housed in a nice gearbox and provide power to the robots wheels. These work fine to I connected the 4 wires to the Yukon Dual Motor module. Because the wires were quite short, I soldered some longer wires to the motors, and connected these to the Yukon.

The MicroPython Code

The best part of this project is bringing the robot to life with some MicroPython code. I’ve written a couple of simple test programs to test out each function of the robot, and will combine these in to an Omnibot class to make it easier to control the robot.

Next steps

This project has only just got started. I’m planning to add a few more features to the robot, including:

  • A Raspberry Pi 5, connected to the Yukon by UART
  • A camera module (or possibly two camara modules), this will enable some neat features such as object detection, face recognition, and more.
  • A small OLED screen, to display the robots status

Some stretch goals are to:

  • 3d print some new hands (in the original style), but that can be controlled by servos.
  • add a Microphone, to enable voice control and speech recognition
  • add speech output via the UART to the Yukon

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