4.a. What You Will Need

The following materials are necessary for getting started with your 3pi:

  • 4 AAA batteries. Any AAA cells will work, but we recommend NiMH batteries, which are rechargeable and can be purchased from Pololu or at a local store. If you use rechargeable batteries, you will also need a battery charger. Battery chargers designed to connect to external series battery packs, such as the iMAX-B6AC, may be used with the 3pi’s battery charger port.
  • AVR ISP programmer with 6-pin connector. The 3pi features an ATmegaxx8 microcontroller, which requires an external programmer such as the Pololu USB AVR programmer or Atmel’s AVRISP series. The 3pi has a standard 6-pin programming connector, so your programmer will need to have a 6-pin ISP cable for connecting to the target device. (You will also need whatever cable your programmer requires to connect to a computer.
  • A desktop or laptop computer. You will need a personal computer for developing your code and loading it onto the 3pi. The 3pi can be programmed on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, but Pololu support for Macs is limited.

You might find the following materials useful in creating an environment for your robot to explore:

  • Several large sheets of white posterboard (available at crafts or office supply stores) or dry-erase whiteboard stock (commonly available at home/construction supply stores).
  • Light-colored masking tape for joining multiple sheets together.
  • 3/4" black electrical tape to create lines for your robot to follow.