30kmph Bluetooth skateboard from the Raspberry Pi Guy

We are immensely fond of tutorial-maker extraordinaire Matt Timmons-Brown, who you may know as The Raspberry Pi Guy, and we treasure his widdle brain. Matt, please wear a helmet consistently next time you use this skateboard monster thing.

This is a beautiful build, with a Bluetooth-connected Raspberry Pi Zero controlling the speed of the brushless motor that drives the board. Matt’s using a Wiimote to control the speed, and terrifying the residents of Cambridge into the bargain.

The metal boxes underneath the skateboard that Matt’s made to house the battery and electronics are, in a way, the most important part of the build. When you’re tooling along at 30kmph, the last thing you want to do is to grate your lithium-ion battery on the tarmac at speed.

Matt visited Pi Towers to show us what he’d made, and Gordon had a go. You’ll want to turn the sound on.

Beautiful build, Matt – thanks for sharing!


Andrew avatar

Thirty thousand miles per hour in an unsafe speed to skateboard at, in my opinion. Matt should stick to 30 km/h or at most 30 mph :)

Dougie Lawson avatar

All it needs is a flux capacitor and a speed boost to 88MPH (141.62Km/h).

iRubens avatar

Great project, I like the simplicity of circuit/software… But how does he deal with raspi turn on/off and related SD corruption in case of brutal shutdown?

Shannon avatar

I love it! Great job!

Roger avatar

Sad to see the elementary safety precautions just ignored.
Fit a hard-kill switch attached to a lanyard attached to you, so when you do come off you don’t leave an unguided missile running loose.

Alex Bate avatar

I believe, as with other skateboard builds using a Pi, that you have to hold down the buttons on the Wiimote to make it go. If you came off, letting go of the Wiimote would have the same effect as a kill-switch.

Liz Upton avatar


Jim avatar

Not really. A physical kill switch will always cut the power. If there’s a fault with the software [at all levels, the operating system, the libraries etc.] you could be left with the controller in your hand with nothing pressed but the skate board driving full speed. Given you’d also be in breach of road traffic law by riding it on public roads, it all could have dire consequences.

AndrewS avatar

“Given you’d also be in breach of road traffic law by riding it on public roads, it all could have dire consequences.”

It’s okay, he had another Pi keeping watch for Traffic Wardens ;-) https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/meter-maid-monitor-parking-protection-pi/

Steve avatar

Awesome recorder playing there. Was that Ben and Alex? Certainly made me chuckle :-)

Brandon avatar

Is it possible for you to make a build tutorial on this? Would love to try it out!

Barry avatar

Interesting build, 10k range as well not too shabby.

tesla avatar


K avatar

wrong: 30KMPH
wrong: 30kmph
wrong: 30 kmph
correct: 30 km/h
Notice space between number and unit.
Notice slash instead of p – because p is pico.
Notice lowercase – because P is peta, H is Henry, M is mega, K is Kelvin.
KMPH means Kelvin mega peta Henry. km/h is kilometers per hour.
So easy.

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