Assembly Guide for SparkFun JetBot AI Kit

This Tutorial is Retired!

While the hardware assambly instructions for the original (beta) version of the Jetbot are still valid; the software instructions are not. Please refer to our latest tutorial, linked below:

View the updated tutorial: Assembly Guide for SparkFun JetBot AI Kit V2.0

Contributors: Evan_Double_U
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5. Software Setup Guide from NVIDIA

Attention: The SD card in this kit comes pre-flashed to work with our hardware and has the all the modules installed (including the sample machine learning models needed for the collision avoidance and object following examples). The only software procedures needed to get your Jetbot running are steps 2-4 from the Nvidia instructions (i.e. setup the WiFi connection and then connect to the Jetbot using a browser). Please DO NOT format or flash a new image on the SD card; otherwise, you will need to flash our image back onto the card (instructions below).

Your SparkFun Jetbot comes with a Pre-Flashed micro SD card. Users only need to plug in the SD card and set up the WiFi connection to get started.

  • The default password on everything (i.e. login/user, jupyter notebook, and superuser) is "jetbot".
  • We recommend that users change their passwords after initial setup. These are typically covered on the first boot of your Jetson Nano as detailed in the NVIDIA Getting Started with Jetson Nano walkthrough

Software Setup

The only steps needed to get your Jetbot kit up and running is to log into the Jetbot and setup your WiFi connection. Once that is done, you are now ready to connect to the Jetbot wirelessly. If you need instructions for doing so, you can use the link below.

However, please take note of our instructions below. You will want to skip steps 1 and 5 to avoid erasing the image on the card or undoing the hardware configuration.


  1. Skip step 1 of Nvidia's instructions: It references how to flash your SD card, so feel free to skip to Step 2 - Boot Jetson Nano.
Note: Following Step 1 will erase the pre-flashed image and make a lot of extra work for yourself.
  1. Skip step 5 of Nvidia's instructions: This step should already be setup on the pre-flashed SD card.
    • If in the future, you need to update your notebooks, you can follow Step 5 - Install latest software (optional) to download the repository (don't download it into the home directory and skip the last command line instruction of the forth step).

Get and install the latest JetBot repository from GitHub by entering the following commands

git clone
cd jetbot
sudo python3 install
Note: Running sudo python3 install in the command line will overwrite the software modifications for SparkFun's hardware in the kit.


In the event that you accidentally missed the instructions above, here are instructions to get back on track.

Re-Flashing the SD card

If you need to re-flash your SD card, follow the instructions from Step 1 Nvidia's guide. However, download and use our image instead (click link below).

Note: Don't forget to uncompress (i.e. unzip, extract, or expand) the file from the .zip file/folder first. You should be pointing the "flashing" software to an ~62GB .img file to flash the image (sparkfun_jetbot_v01-00.img) onto the SD card. Not every unzip utility can handle this large of a file! The Windows 10 'Extract All' command has been found you work as well as 7Zip and Winzip.

Alternatively, there are other options for flashing images onto an SD card. If you have a preferred method, feel free to use the option you are most comfortable with.

Re-Applying the Software Modifications

If you have accidentally, overwritten the software modifications for the hardware included in your kit, you will need to repeat Step 5 from Nvidia's guide from the desktop interface (if you are comfortable performing the following steps from the command line, feel free to do so).

Skip steps 1 and 2: Plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Then log in to the desktop interface (if you haven't changed your password, the default password is: jetbot).

Follow step 3: Launch the terminal. There is an icon on sidebar on the left hand side. Otherwise, you can use the keyboard short cut (Ctrl + Alt + T).

Follow step 4: However, before you execute sudo python3 install you will want to copy in our file modifications to the jetbot directory you are in.

  1. Begin by downloading our files (click link below).
  1. Next, extract the file.

  2. Next, replace the files in the jetbot folder. The file paths must be the same, so make sure to overwrite files exactly.

Click on the icon that looks like a filing cabinet on the left hand side of the GUI. This is your Home directory. From here, you will need to proceed into the jetbot folder. There you will find a jetbot folder with similar files to the ones you just extracted. Delete the folder and copy in our files (you can also just overwrite the files as well).

  1. Now, you can execute sudo python3 install in the terminal.

Follow step 5: Finish up by following step 5. Now you are back on track to getting your Jetbot running again!

Note: If you need to install the Python packages for the Qwiic devices (i.e. the OLED and SCMD motor driver), use the following command in the terminal: sudo pip3 install sparkfun-qwiic.