1. Overview

A top view of the Orangutan SV-328.
Pololu Orangutan LV-168.

The Orangutan SV-168, SV-328, and LV-168 robot controllers are complete control solutions for small robots. These units all have the same form-factor and nearly identical peripheral hardware with matching pin assignments. This makes the versions interchangeable in most situations, and typically allows the same code to run on any controller.

Note: This guide refers to these controllers as “Orangutans” unless a distinction needs to be made between the versions.

The Orangutan SV-168 and LV-168 are based on Atmel’s ATmega168 AVR microcontroller, which runs at 20 MHz and features 16 Kbytes of flash program memory, 1024 bytes of SRAM, and 512 bytes of EEPROM. The Orangutan SV-328 is based on the ATmega328P, which runs at 20 MHz and features twice the memory of the mega168: 32 Kbytes of flash program memory, 2048 Kbytes of SRAM, and 1024 bytes of EEPROM. The mega328 is essentially a drop-in replacement of the mega168.

Because the user has direct access to the microcontroller, any development software for Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers, including Atmel’s free AVR Studio and the WinAVR GCC C/C++ compiler, is compatible with the Orangutan. An in-circuit programmer, such as our USB AVR programmer, is required for programming the Orangutan. We provide an extensive set of software libraries that make it easy to interface with all of the integrated hardware. These libraries come with a number of sample programs that demonstrate how to use the various components on the Orangutan. These robot controllers are also compatible with the popular Arduino development platform.

Common Orangutan Features

  • overall unit dimensions: 2.15" x 1.9"
  • 2 bidirectional motor ports
  • programmable 20 MHz Atmel ATmega168 AVR microcontroller (16 KB flash, 1 KB SRAM, 512 bytes EEPROM) or ATmega328 (32 KB flash, 2 KB SRAM, 1 KB EEPROM)
  • 8 general-purpose I/O lines, 6 of which can be used as analog input channels
  • 2 additional analog input channels (ADC6 & ADC7) can be accessed on the board
  • removable 8-character x 2-line LCD
  • buzzer tied to one of the mega168’s hardware PWMs
  • 3 user pushbutton switches
  • 2 user LEDs
  • user potentiometer optionally jumpered to ADC7

Features Specific to the Orangutan LV-168

  • An integrated step-up regulator allows for 2 – 5 V input voltage, making the LV-168 ideal for powering low-voltage, high-current motors and 5V peripheral electronics from 2 – 4 NiMH cells.
  • The discrete, low-voltage H-bridge can supply a continuous 2 A per motor channel (5 A maximum).
  • A temperature sensor optionally connected to ADC6 gives limited feedback about board temperature.

Features Specific to the Orangutan SV-168 and SV-328

  • An integrated 5V switching regulator can provide up to 3 A from an input voltage of 6 – 13.5 V, allowing you to power servos and other high-power peripherals for which the battery voltage would be too high.
  • The TB6612FNG dual motor driver can supply a continuous 1 A per motor channel (3 A maximum) and supports ultrasonic PWM frequencies (up to 80 kHz).
  • Battery voltage self-monitoring is optionally connected to ADC6 through a voltage divider.