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.
We are now carrying the V4 revision of the RoboClaw 2×60A motor controller from Orion Robotics. This new revision is similar to the original 2×60A version but has a new board design and some new features like USB connectivity. We expect to have an updated datasheet soon.
Read more on the product page.
Jacques Bitoniau built a custom control system for his quadcopter that replaces a conventional RC transmitter/receiver and features the ability to switch between two different operators for training purposes. In his system, the operator moves a joystick and a WiFi-equipped PC sends commands to a Raspberry Pi, which communicates with one of our Maestros to produce signals for a flight controller.
Jacques also wrote a C++ library for Windows, Linux, and Mac to control the Maestro using its serial interface. (You can now find this as a Recommended Link on our Maestro product pages.)
You can read more about Jacques’s control system in his forum post.
Featured link: http://forum.pololu.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7351
Arduino Yún is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT). It’s based on the ATMega32u4 microcontroller and on the Atheros AR9331, a system on a chip running Linino, a customized version of OpenWRT, the most used Linux distribution for embedded devices.
Like a Leonardo, it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connector.
Like any modern computer, it’s Wi-Fi enabled, it has a Standard-A type USB connector to which you can connect your USB devices and it has a micro-SD card plug, for additional storage.
For more information about the Arduino Yún, see the product page.
Writing a computer program to interface with a USB device from scratch can be tough. Luckily, many users of our Maestro Servo Controller who have tackled this problem have been kind enough to share their results with the community. Example code for interfacing with the Maestro is available for over a dozen platforms: Arduino, C, C++, C#, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Node.js, Perl, PHP, Python, Visual Basic 6, Visual Basic .NET, and Visual C++.
You can now find all of this, and more, in the new Related Resources section of the Maestro User’s Guide, which we added last week. The new section also links to tutorials, example projects, and commercial software that is integrated with the Maestro. We hope this will make your next Maestro project easier!
This bipedal robot is controlled by an Android smartphone through a game pad, voice commands, or sensor gloves. It uses a custom Android API, which the creators plan to make open source, and two Maestro 24-channel servo controllers connected to the smart phone via USB. One Maestro is used to read 12 digital and 12 analog inputs, and the other is used to control 24 servos.
This robot was designed and made by Seeberger Robotics & Design, a startup company based in Switzerland. You can see more of their designs on their website.
Featured link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG_S4LsHqUA
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
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 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
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