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.

New products: Universal mounting hubs for 1/4″ shafts

Posted by Brandon on 3 December 2013
Tags: new products
New products: Universal mounting hubs for 1/4″ shafts

Are you having trouble mounting things to 1/4″ motor shafts? These new versions of our universal mounting hubs fit most 1/4″ shafts, including round and “D” shafts. Similar to our existing universal mounting hubs for 6 mm shafts, these hubs are sold in packs of two and come with two set screws each (4 total) and the appropriate Allen wrench. These new hubs are compatible with our NEMA 23 stepper motors and come in two different versions: the Universal Aluminum Mounting Hub for 1/4″ shaft, with #4-40 mounting holes or the Universal Aluminum Mounting Hub for 1/4″ shaft, with M3 mounting holes.

Free Elektor magazine December 2013

Posted by Emily on 3 December 2013
Tags: new products
Free Elektor magazine December 2013

Get a FREE copy of Elektor magazine’s December issue with your order while supplies last. To get your free issue, enter the coupon code ELEKTOR1213 into your shopping cart. The magazine will add 5 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!

New product: Ultra-high-torque giant servo HD-1235MG

Posted by Ben on 2 December 2013
Tags: new products
New product: Ultra-high-torque giant servo HD-1235MG

As you might have noticed from some of our recent blog announcements, we are steadily working on expanding our selection of hobby servos, and the latest example is Power HD’s new giant-scale (also called 1/4-scale) 1235MG servo. When compared to the popular, standard-size high-torque 1501MG servo, it is easy to see why this is called a “giant” servo:

What you get for the increased size is increased power — a huge 560 oz-in (40 kg-cm) of torque at 7.4 V or 490 oz-in (35 kg-cm) at 6 V. Previously, if you needed more torque than our high-performance standard-size servos could deliver, our only options were the Torxis monster servos; now, the 1235MG servo helps fill that power gap.

For more information, see the 1235MG servo product page.

We have included this servo in our Black Friday sale (along with the rest of our Power HD servos) for 25% off, but the sale ends tonight at midnight (PST), so you need to hurry if you want to get it at the sale price!

Laser-cut chandeliers by Nicole Ketchum

Posted by Arthur on 2 December 2013
Laser-cut chandeliers by Nicole Ketchum

While our laser cutting machines can only cut two dimensional parts, there are easy ways to make three-dimensional designs out of flat, laser-cut parts. A simple way to achieve this is to create slots in the vector design to allow the two parts to slide together perpendicular to one another. Some may remember this technique from childhood arts and crafts; this easy tweak allows parts to be easily assembled and disassembled.

These Chandeliers by Nicole Ketchum were created using our 3 mm acrylic with a slot width of 1/8″. You can adjust the width of the slot depending on how snug you’d like them to fit. Since Nicole’s chandeliers are meant to be hung out of reach, a really snug fit wasn’t needed. With the holidays right around the corner, these could spruce up any room of your home!

For more details on using slots to fit acrylic parts together, be sure to check out Nicole’s project in our Custom Laser Cutting Gallery. More details about our custom laser cutting service can be found here.


Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F distance sensors on sale

Posted by Paul on 29 November 2013


Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F distance sensors on sale

We just got a bunch of these in, so we are making them a late addition to our Black Friday sale for just $6.95 (50% off), no coupon required: Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F Analog Distance Sensor 10-80cm.

Black Friday deals abound!

Posted by Ben on 29 November 2013


Pololu shipping department on Black Friday (November 29) 2013.

Our Black Friday sale is in full swing and it is a little crazy around here. If not for the lack of snow and elves, one might be excused for mistaking our manufacturing and shipping departments for Santa’s high-tech workshop, with motor drivers fresh from the oven and that new-Zumo smell wafting through the air. Thanks to their tireless efforts, our stock levels are so far holding strong, and orders are making it out at a record pace. If you have already placed an order, thank you! If you are still trying to decide if you want to take advantage of our amazing deals, don’t wait too long—the sale ends Monday night.

Pololu Robotics and Electronics Black Friday Sale 2013


In related Black Friday news, Pololu distributor Banana Robotics is having a Black Friday – Cyber Monday sale with some great deals!

Banana Robotics


And fellow purveyor of cool electronics stuff, Adafruit, is having their biggest sale ever today, with free stuff plus 10% off:

Adafruit Black Friday Sale

Three new high-performance Power HD servos

Posted by Ben on 27 November 2013
Tags: new products

We are now carrying three high-performance servos from Power HD that offer an excellent combination of strength and speed for their size.

Power HD Low-Profile Digital Servo 1207TG – This servo is very fast and strong, despite being much shorter than a standard-size servo, making it great for applications with tight space constraints.


Power HD Digital Servo 8312TG – Much stronger than the 1207TG while nearly as fast, this servo is great for applications that require both high speed and high torque. All of the gears are made of titanium-shielded aluminum.


Power HD High-Torque, High-Voltage Digital Servo 1218TH – With a whopping 290 oz*in (21 kg*cm) of torque, this is our strongest standard-size servo, and unlike most hobby servos, it has an operating voltage range of 6 V to 7.4 V. Like the 8312TG, this servo has gears made of titanium-shielded aluminum.

All three of these servos feature coreless motors, all-metal gears, and digital control electronics, and all of them support pulse frequencies up to 333 Hz. For our full selection of Power HD servos (which are on sale right now for Black Friday for 25% off!), see our servo category.

Black Friday Sale details revealed; doorbusters start at midnight tonight (08:00 UTC)!

Posted by Paul on 26 November 2013


Our Black Friday sale is back, and this one is our biggest yet. We are discounting hundreds of products by 30% to 60% and offering an additional 11% to 15% off orders over $100. The sale coupons and price changes become active in just over 6 hours. We hope these deals give all you robotics and electronics enthusiasts out there a happy start to the holiday season! For coupon codes and sale information see our Black Friday Sale 2013 page.

Video: Introducing the Zumo Robot for Arduino

Posted by Emily on 25 November 2013

Our Zumo Robot is a great platform for getting into robotics with your Arduino. The Zumo was designed with Mini Sumo competitions in mind, but that’s not the only thing you can do with it. This video gives an overview of the Zumo’s features and some ideas on what you can do to make it your own.

Quaternion-based AHRS using AltIMU-10 & Arduino

Posted by David on 19 November 2013


Quaternion-based AHRS using AltIMU-10 & Arduino

Pololu forum user Camel recently posted the Quaternion-based AHRS using AltIMU-10 & Arduino. This is an Arduino program that can read data from our AltIMU-10 sensor board, compute the orientation of the board, and output it over serial. It uses quaternions internally to represent the rotation, but can output Euler anglers, a rotation matrix, or a quaternion. The MinIMU-9 v2 is just an AltIMU-10 without a pressure sensor, so the code can be made to work with a MinIMU-9 v2 by commenting out a few lines.

The AHRS program is part of the Firetail UAV System, an open source UAV autopilot system that is currently under development. You can follow the the project’s progress on its blog.