Pololu Blog (Page 34)

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.

Understanding battery capacity: Ah is not A

Posted by Jan on 12 November 2010
Understanding battery capacity: Ah is not A

My earliest electronics projects and my first robot were powered by regular alkaline batteries, and I didn’t think about current or the capacity of those batteries. The batteries were prominently labeled “1.5V”, and I was happy in my understanding that putting four in a battery holder got me to 6 volts; when the motors slowed down, it was time for new batteries. When I began designing my second robot, I found some 12V, 1A motors (what a “1-amp motor” might mean is a topic for another post) and promptly wasted many hours dragging parents and teachers to Radio Shack and car parts stores looking for a 12V, 1A battery. Continued…

Introduction to Jan's blog

Posted by Jan on 12 November 2010
Introduction to Jan's blog

My name is Jan Malášek, which is a Czech name, so the “J” is pronounced as an English “Y” (if you care, we can go over the last name in person, or you can consult your local Czech person). I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, spent five years in school in Massachusetts, and then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to work on Pololu. I recently turned 30, and I’m still not the millionaire I had hoped to become at age 23 and then by age 25. Hitting 30 means it has been twenty years since I got started with electronics and ten years since I routed the first circuit board that said “Pololu” on it. Continued…

Jrk 12v12 TV Lift

Posted by Ryan on 3 November 2010

This news report from the Philippines shows a custom TV lift using a Pololu Jrk 12v12 made by “gadget kid” Francisco Estrada III.

mbed.org m3pi cookbook

Posted by Ben on 21 October 2010
mbed.org m3pi cookbook

This mbed.org cookbook page will help you get started using your m3pi robot with an mbed development board as your high-level robot controller.

Featured link: http://mbed.org/cookbook/m3pi

3pi PCB skeleton

Posted by Paul on 21 October 2010
3pi PCB skeleton

Alex Louden has released an open-source template for custom 3pi expansion boards for use with the Eagle PCB design software. The picture shows an example expansion with an mbed microcontroller, Xbee, and accelerometers.

Featured link: http://alexlouden.com/2010/3pi-pcb-skeleton/

Interfacing a FrSky telemetry receiver with a Baby Orangutan.

Posted by Paul on 15 October 2010
Interfacing a FrSky telemetry receiver with a Baby Orangutan.

Forum user erik46 wrote up a document (523k pdf) showing how to read FrSky telemetry data and display it with a Baby Orangutan. The whole setup is small and light enough to clip on to an RC transmitter. For more information, see his forum post.

iPhone-controlled 3pi Robot.

Posted by Ryan on 20 July 2010
iPhone-controlled 3pi Robot.

In this project, a WiFi module is connected to a 3pi robot, allowing it to be controlled by an iPhone. Here is a video of the robot in action:

Featured link: http://forum.pololu.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2816

Obstacle Avoider

Posted by Paul on 14 June 2010

This simple obstacle-avoiding robot by forum user TomatoWire is based on the Maestro and uses continuous-rotation servos and distance sensors. The robot is programmed using the Maestro’s internal scripting language, without the need for an additional microcontroller.

Featured link: http://forum.pololu.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2756

AIRbot

Posted by Ben on 21 May 2010
AIRbot

AIRbot is a robot that can be controlled by a cellphone and can send images back to the cellphone. It uses a yellow RP5 tracked chassis, a transparent clear RP5 expansion plate, and a qik 2s9v1 dual serial motor controller along with the AIRcable S.D.K. and the AIRcable OptiEyes. The source code (both AIRcable and Nokia) and circuit diagrams are freely available.

Featured link: http://wiki.opensensors.org/airbot

Automatic Infrared Light Source Tracking HD Camcorder

Posted by Ben on 26 February 2010
Automatic Infrared Light Source Tracking HD Camcorder

In this project, an HD camcorder sits on a pan/tilt mount controlled by a Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller. A Wiimote is used to track an IR light source. Here is a video taken from the mounted camcorder:

Featured link: http://helifreak.com/showthread.php?p=1868143#post1868143