Pololu Blog (Page 21)

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.

Sample project: Wixel USB Joystick

Posted by Kevin on 12 September 2013
Sample project: Wixel USB Joystick

We’ve published a new sample project that shows you how to use the Wixel and its Joystick App to convert a non-USB joystick into a USB device. This guide walks you through the whole process: all you have to do is make the right wiring connections and configure the app on the Wixel; no programming is required.

Check out the project page to see how we converted a Tandy Deluxe Joystick and learn how to adapt your own input device with a Wixel!

Related post: Joystick App for Wixel now available

Wirelessly-controlled robot with PIC and nRF24L01+

Posted by Jamee on 10 September 2013

In this video, Amjad Al-Ahdal demonstrates his wirelessly-controlled robot with multiple modes that he programmed in C. The robot contains a PIC18F2455 microcontroller, an nRF24L01+ transceiver, a SN754410 motor driver IC, a Pololu wheel and encoder set, and two 100:1 Micro Metal Gearmotors. Its controller has a homemade keypad, another transceiver, a 9DOF sensor, and a serial 16×2 LCD screen.

Featured link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1oRE5TTVFU

The Robot Quartet

Posted by Kevin on 10 September 2013

The Robot Quartet is an art installation by Andres Wanner that features four marker-equipped 3pi robots working together to create drawings. The robots receive identical commands and draw repetitive patterns on the same surface.

You can see more pictures of the completed artworks on Andres’s website.

Featured link: http://www.pixelstorm.ch/pro_robotquartet.php

Node.js module for Maestro servo controllers

Posted by David on 9 September 2013
Node.js module for Maestro servo controllers

The node-pololumaestro project is a module for the Node.js platform that allows you to control a Maestro USB Servo Controller over its serial interface from a Node.js program. This module provides functions like maestro.setTarget(0, 1500) and internally takes care of assembling the bytes of the serial command for you. The module was written by Owen McAree and was recently expanded by achingbrain. We always like to see our customers helping each other through projects like this!

Featured link: https://npmjs.org/package/pololu-maestro

Four new NEMA 23 hybrid stepper motors

Posted by Paul on 6 September 2013
Tags: new products

We have expanded our selection of NEMA 23-size stepper motors:

Three of the steppers are in a new 57×56 mm size. We are carrying three voltage/current options: 7.4V, 1 A/phase, 3.6V, 2 A/phase, and 2.5V, 2.8 A/phase.


We have also added a new 4.5V, 2 A/phase option to our selection of larger 57×76 mm stepper motors, at an intermediate point between the 8.6V, 1 A/phase and 3.2V, 2.8 A/phase motors.


We carry one other NEMA 23-size motor in a 57×41mm, 5.7V, 1 A/phase configuration, as well as many other stepper motors.

Adding audio to an m3pi with a SpeakJet

Posted by Jamee on 5 September 2013

In this video, Jerry Guttman shows off his Pololu m3pi Robot combined with the SpeakJet Phraselator Speech Development System. The SpeakJet chip was developed by Magnevation and allows for speech synthesis and robot sound effects.

Featured link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYWQB12Ibsw

Small things in the pipeline

Posted by Ben on 4 September 2013

Here’s a sneak peek at some encoder wheels we are developing for our micro metal gearmotors:

Closed Monday, September 2

Posted by Paul on 1 September 2013


We will be closed on Monday, September 2 in observance of Labor Day. Orders placed after 2 PM Pacific time on Friday, August 30 will be shipped on Tuesday, September 3.

New product: SparkFun Inventor's Kit - V3 (with RedBoard)

Posted by Paul on 30 August 2013
Tags: new products
New product: SparkFun Inventor's Kit - V3 (with RedBoard)

The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit has everything you need to construct a variety of circuits that will teach you how to use an Arduino-compatible RedBoard to read sensors, display information on an LCD, drive motors, and more. No previous programming or electronics experience is necessary, which makes this a great way for beginners to get started with embedded systems. The V3 version includes a RedBoard and detailed instructions for building 15 educational circuits with the kit components.

This replaces the older SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino with Retail Case.

For more information about the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit, see the product page.

ServoScribe Setup and Tutorial

Posted by Paul on 30 August 2013

In this video, Brian Patton demonstrates how to program an animatronic robot using a Maestro Servo Controller. He covers basic configuration using the Maestro Control Center and shows how to sync voice with servo motion using software from his company Robodyssey.

Featured link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yop9Zk2HJMU