Pololu Blog (Page 16)

Welcome to the Pololu Blog, where we provide updates about what we and our customers are doing and thinking about. This blog used to be Pololu president Jan Malášek’s Engage Your Brain blog; you can view just those posts here.

Remote-controlled Zumo Robot

Posted by Jamee on 28 October 2013
Remote-controlled Zumo Robot

Forum user robo_proyect uses an IR sensor for RC control and an ultrasonic sensor for obstacle avoidance on his Zumo robot.

You can see more about robo_proyect’s robot in his forum post.

New Product: Pololu 2013 T-Shirts

Posted by Jon on 25 October 2013
Tags: new products

Do you like our Zumo Robot?
Does royal blue look good on you?
Do you like T-shirts that have robots on them?
Does the phrase “Push.” motivate you?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you might just be interested in our 2013 Pololu T-Shirt!

These royal blue T-shirts feature our Zumo robot and are available in small, medium, large, and extra large. They are made from 100% cotton, pre-shrunk.

Some of our favorite examples of when/where to wear this T-shirt:

  • In the delivery room!
  • During a mini-sumo competition!
  • During an actual sumo competition!
  • Inside your local hackerspace!
  • At your local robotics club meetings!

You can find these and last year’s shirts in our shirts category.

Katy Perry peppermint dress with Pololu parts

Posted by Grant on 23 October 2013
Katy Perry peppermint dress with Pololu parts

Halloween is just around the corner, and people are looking to make fun costumes. I recently took a couple of calls from customers who were looking to make Katy Perry-inspired costume dresses with spinning peppermints, following the instructions found on this RPF forum thread. Parts from Pololu used to make the dress included an enclosed 3-AA battery holder with a switch and a Solarbotics GM3 224:1 Gear Motor. However, we suggest substituting our 200:1 Plastic Gearmotor, which has similar performance but no back shaft that needs to be removed.

If you have a cool costume that uses our products, please feel free to share them in the “Share your projects” section of our Forum.

Featured link: http://www.therpf.com/f24/katy-perry-peppermint-dress-completed-i-think-189238/

Free Elektor magazine November 2013

Posted by Emily on 23 October 2013
Tags: new products
Free Elektor magazine November 2013

Get a FREE copy of Elektor magazine’s November issue with your order while supplies last. To get your free issue, enter the coupon code ELEKTOR1113 into your shopping cart. The magazine will add 6 ounces to the package weight when calculating your shipping options.

For other issues and more information, see our Free Elektor Magazine Offers page. All issues are now available for shipping worldwide!

Flipbot: A Wixel-powered RC robot

Posted by Ben on 23 October 2013
Flipbot: A Wixel-powered RC robot

Geoff from Tabletop Robotics wrote a tutorial on how to build a Flipbot, a basic differential-drive robot that can keep on going even when flipped upside-down. A Wixel serves as the brains of the robot, and a second Wixel in the remote allows the Flipbot to be wirelessly controlled. In addition to the Wixels, the Flipbot uses a number of Pololu products, including:

The accelerometer is used to determine when the robot is upside-down. Geoff’s tutorial has a full parts list and a diagram of how everything is connected; the complete source code is also available.

PiBot-B: mobile robot with a Raspberry Pi

Posted by David on 23 October 2013
PiBot-B: mobile robot with a Raspberry Pi

Thomas Schoch, of Essen, Germany, built a neat robot with a Raspberry Pi and a Zumo Chassis Kit. The PiBot-B is controlled by a custom iPhone app that communicates over WiFi to the Raspberry Pi, which is running lighttpd and PHP. A Python program uses the WiringPi library to send signals to an L293D motor driver that drives the two 100:1 Micro Metal Gearmotors in the Zumo chassis. The iPhone app displays video from the attached Logitech C300 webcam, and the robot has an integrated 8×8 LED matrix from Adafruit that indicates its state. In the future, Thomas plans to add sensors for obstacle detection and make the robot autonomous. We were impressed by several things:

  • PiBot-B is very tidy, thanks in part to the USB cables that were shortened and modified using liquid rubber.
  • The Raspberry Pi has only one PWM output so Thomas used two OR gates to select whether the left motor, right motor, or both motors receive the PWM signal.
  • The write-up has some great photos and informative diagrams.

The PiBot-B page is written in German, but it has a link at the top to translate it into English using Google Translate.

LED strips: easy to use and now more affordable

Posted by Emily on 18 October 2013

We are giving you one more reason to take your holiday decorations this year to the next level: we have lowered the prices on our LED strips!

Our 30-LED, 1 m strip has dropped from $34.95 to $24.95.

Our 60-LED, 2 m strip has dropped from $69.95 to $47.95.

Our 150-LED, 5 m strip has dropped from $149.95 to $119.95.

And if you are thinking custom lighting seems a little complicated, you will be surprised how easy it is to get these strips up and running with an Arduino. I show you how in this video where I am using the examples included in our Arduino library for addressable RGB LED strips to get started.

Clusterbot, a beginner robotics project tutorial

Posted by Grant on 17 October 2013
Clusterbot, a beginner robotics project tutorial

Lonnie Honeycutt made a nice tutorial on how to make a simple beginner robot that uses many parts that you can find on our website. The tutorial breaks down the construction of the robot into different parts and includes videos that help demonstrate how to build the robot. It also includes links to some of our products used in the robot, like the TB6612FNG Dual Motor Driver Carrier, Pololu Robot Chassis, and the Tamiya 70097 Twin-Motor Gearbox Kit. Check it out if you are looking for a project to get you started.

Here are links to three parts of the tutorial he has posted so far:

Part 1: Arduino robotics – motor control

Part 2: Arduino robotics – chassis, locomotion and power

Part 3: Arduino robotics – wiring, coding, and a test run

WALL-E controlled by a Maestro

Posted by Jamee on 17 October 2013

Forum user robo_proyect modified a WALL-E toy with a Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller for his first robotics project. Visit his blog (in Spanish) for more information on this and his other projects.

Featured link: http://forum.pololu.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7435

Free Elektor magazine October 2013

Posted by Paul on 15 October 2013
Tags: new products
Free Elektor magazine October 2013

Get a FREE copy of Elektor magazine’s October issue with your order while supplies last. This offer is only available for orders shipped to USA or Canada. To get your free issue, enter the coupon code ELEKTOR1013 into your shopping cart. The magazine will add 6 ounces to the package weight when calculating your shipping options.

For other issues and more information, see our Free Elektor Magazine Offers page.