Posts by Brandon (Page 2)

You are currently viewing a selection of posts from the Pololu Blog. You can also view all the posts.

Nick Moxley's DIY racing simulator

Posted by Brandon on 14 May 2014

Nick Moxley made a DIY seat mover (with two degrees of freedom) and shared his build on our forum. This racing simulator is powered by two of our Jrk 12v12 USB Motor Controllers with Feedback and controlled from the popular XSimulator software. The picture below shows Nick’s jrk motor controllers, which he modified by adding heat sinks for additional cooling.

This is one impressive build that I highly recommend checking out, especially if you are interested in making your own DIY racing simulator. You can find details about the parts he used (including where he found some of them) as well as many pictures documenting different parts of his build in Nick’s post on the Inside Sim Racing forum. A shorter version of this can be found in Nick’s post on our forum.

New products: Colored miniature tank tracks

Posted by Brandon on 17 April 2014
Tags: new products

We have expanded our selection of miniature tank tracks to include a variety of colors. The new tracks are identical in function to the black miniature track links, but now come in blue, red, and yellow. Track links of different colors can be combined to create fun and interesting patterns to give your robot some added character.

These miniature track links work great for small indoor robots, especially on carpet, and they are compatible with a variety of injection-molded sprocket sets such as:

L3-G0: the full-size, LEGO R2-D2

Posted by Brandon on 14 April 2014
L3-G0: the full-size, LEGO R2-D2

Shawn and Lara Steele, known on the Pololu forum as kresty, built a functional, full-size, LEGO R2-D2 named L3-G0. L3-G0’s design is based on plans from the R2-D2 Builder’s Club, and it is made from around 16,000 LEGO bricks. It weighs roughly 30 kg (65 lbs) and can travel at a speed of 8 km/h (5 mph). The astromech has a fully functional rotating dome with multiple blinking lights. The dome is rotated using our 80mm wheel fitted with a high-traction sticky tire and powered by one of our 37D gearmotors. L3-G0 is controlled using a 9-channel RC transmitter and features an Arduino along with dedicated motor controllers and sound boards. Electric scooter motors were used for the drive wheels. The astromech also uses Pololu motor controllers and voltage regulators, as well as a SparkFun MP3 Trigger for audio. Continued…

New product: 130-size, high-power brushed DC motor

Posted by Brandon on 3 April 2014
Tags: new products
New product: 130-size, high-power brushed DC motor

These new 130-size motors are great for applications that require a lot of power in a small package. They are a generic alternative the Solarbotics RM2 motors, which have the same form factor and nearly identical performance. With a free-run speed of 17,000 RPM at 3 V, they are great for upgrading projects driven by lower-power 130-size motors. For example, see this post from last year about upgrading flywheel NERF guns. This motor is also compatible with our larger Pololu plastic gearmotors (228:1 offset, 120:1 offset, 200:1 90-degree, and 120:1 90-degree) and Solarbotics plastic gearmotors (GM2, GM3, GM8, and GM9).

For more information see the Brushed DC Motor: 130-Size, 3V, 17kRPM, 3.6A Stall product page.

Brandon's dead reckoning robot

Posted by Brandon on 25 March 2014
Brandon's dead reckoning robot

For the recent LVBots dead reckoning competition that was hosted here at Pololu, I decided to make a robot based on the Baby Orangutan robot controller. This post details my robot and some of the considerations made while I went through my design process. If you would like more details about the competition rules and how it was judged, see the LVBots dead reckoning rules (23k pdf).

I started by choosing my parts and making sure that my robot, which would later be named “Baby Blues”, would be able to function in the way I wanted. I decided on using the Baby Orangutan because of its integrated motor driver and compact size. Continued…

Maestro-controlled Pan, Tilt, and Zoom (PTZ) dome camera

Posted by Brandon on 18 March 2014

Pololu forum member Dev255 modified a PTZ dome camera system to be controlled by an old Xbox joystick using a 24-channel Maestro servo controller. The Maestro reads 5 potentiometers on the Xbox joystick, along with some buttons, and correlates the readings to a speed and direction value. This data is converted to the Pelco D protocol that is used by the camera and gets sent to the camera from the Maestro. The LEDs on the joystick are used to indicate the program status. He also uses the Maestro to control a 4×20 character LCD display shown in the video below.

For more information on this project, see Dev255’s original forum post.

New product: SparkFun Inventor's Kit - V3.1

Posted by Brandon on 6 February 2014
Tags: new products
New product: SparkFun Inventor's Kit - V3.1

We are now carrying the latest version of SparkFun’s Inventor’s Kit (V3.1), which adds a mini screwdriver and replaces the translucent red breadboard from version 3 with an opaque white one that is easier to read. Version 3.1 includes everything else that was part of the previous version, such as the Arduino-compatible RedBoard and all of the additional components needed to build the 15 basic electronic circuits detailed in the guide.

For more information see the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit – V3.1 (with Arduino-Compatible RedBoard) product page.

New product: SparkFun Weather Shield for Arduino

Posted by Brandon on 28 January 2014
Tags: new products
New product: SparkFun Weather Shield for Arduino

Do you want to build your own weather monitoring station? This weather shield from SparkFun might be what you are looking for. In the form of an Arduino shield, this easy-to-use weather board can measure relative humidity, temperature, barometric pressure, and luminosity.

For more information, see the SparkFun Weather Shield for Arduino product page.

New NEMA 17 stepper motor with optional integrated lead screw

Posted by Brandon on 16 January 2014
Tags: new products

We have added a compact, powerful new NEMA 17-size stepper motor to our wide selection of stepper motors. This 42×38 mm stepper motor is available with a standard 5 mm D-shaft for general-purpose use, but perhaps more exciting is the version with a 28 cm threaded rod, which turns it into a linear actuator capable of precision open-loop position control. This latter version has the stainless steel lead screw built right into the stepper motor, so there is no need to deal with extra hardware such as shaft couplers and set screws, and the copper alloy traveling nut with mounting holes is included. Raise your next project to new heights with the precision (40 µm per full step) and control of a stepper motor!

Please see the product pages for more information:

For other options, you can take a look at our full selection of stepper motors.

New product: Hydra Smart DC Power Supply

Posted by Brandon on 10 January 2014
Tags: new products
New product: Hydra Smart DC Power Supply

The Hydra is a triple-output power converter from CH Robotics designed to make it easier to get the power you need for your next project. The Hydra can quickly give you access to three independent, software-configurable DC output voltages to power your system. The easy-to-use Smart Power Supply Control Software makes it quick and simple to configure and control the Hydra’s outputs from your computer via USB. Bench-top power supplies can be large and bulky, but the Hydra fits in the palm of your hand and can also be configured from a user-programmable microcontroller via serial. This flexibility makes the Hydra a great fit for a large variety of projects, whether you are building an industrial system or a small mobile robot.

For more information, see the Hydra product page.