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.
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.
In related Black Friday news, Pololu distributor Banana Robotics is having a Black Friday – Cyber Monday sale with some great deals!
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.
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.
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.
As smartphones and tablets become more popular and more advanced, they drive the rapid development of progressively better and cheaper inertial sensors, and we’ve come to expect a new 3D compass/accelerometer chip from ST every year or so. We’re catching up again with their latest technology (for the time being) with the release of our LSM303D 3D compass and accelerometer carrier.
The LSM303D offers a number of improvements over its predecessors, including a wider maximum magnetic sensing range (up to ±12 gauss). It also features a more unified I²C interface and adds support for SPI communication. Our carrier board includes a 3.3 V voltage regulator and level shifters that make it easy to use with 5 V systems. For more information, see the product page.
We are now carrying the Raspberry Pi Model B, Revision 2.0!
In case you haven’t heard of the Raspberry Pi, it is a popular credit card-sized computer that can run Linux. It was designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in order to provide an affordable platform for experimentation and education in computer programming. The Raspberry Pi can be used for many of the things that a normal desktop PC does, including word-processing, spreadsheets, high-definition video, games, and programming. With its 0.1″-spaced GPIO header and small size, the Raspberry Pi also works as a programmable controller in a wide variety of robotics and electronics applications. We have seen a lot of our customers do neat things with the Raspberry Pi, and we have featured several of those projects on this blog.
Related past posts featuring the Raspberry Pi:
For more information on the Raspberry Pi, see the product page.
Our 75:1 HP micro metal gearmotor is now available with an extended motor shaft that works with our recently released optical quadrature encoders. If there are other gear ratios that you would like to see available with extended motor shafts, we would love to hear about it.
When properly modified for continuous rotation, hobby RC servos become an inexpensive, compact, easy-to-use actuator system for robotics projects, and servo manufacturers are increasingly answering the growing demand for such products with servos designed specifically for robots. One example is Power HD’s new AR-3606HB continuous rotation servo, which offers open-loop speed control rather than the closed-loop position control you typically get with a servo. It is the fastest and strongest continuous rotation servo we carry (up to 71 RPM and 93 oz*in of torque), with performance well suited for driving a small robot.