Pololu Blog (Page 3)

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.

New products: LSM6DS33 accelerometer/gyro and LIS3MDL magnetometer carriers

Posted by Kevin on 11 January 2016
Tags: new products
LSM6DS33 3D Accelerometer and Gyro Carrier with Voltage Regulator.
LIS3MDL 3-Axis Magnetometer Carrier with Voltage Regulator.

We’re getting 2016 started with the release of two new products: an LSM6DS33 3D accelerometer and gyro carrier and an LIS3MDL 3-axis magnetometer carrier.

As with other ST sensors, these chips can be configured and read through I²C or SPI interfaces, and our compact breakout boards incorporate voltage regulators and level shifters to make them easier to use with 5 V systems. Compared to the inertial and magnetic sensors we’ve used previously (most recently the LSM303D accelerometer and magnetometer and the L3GD20H gyro), these two new ICs offer different combinations of capabilities: the LSM6DS33 integrates an accelerometer and rate gyroscope into a single package, while the LIS3MDL is a standalone magnetometer.

LSM6DS33 3D Accelerometer and Gyro Carrier with Voltage Regulator, bottom view with dimensions.
LIS3MDL 3-Axis Magnetometer Carrier with Voltage Regulator in a breadboard.

For more information about these boards, see their product pages at the links below.

Pololu and LVBots CES Open House 2016

Posted by Ryan on 4 January 2016
Tags: lvbots
Pololu and LVBots CES Open House 2016

Are you attending CES or in Las Vegas this Thursday evening? You can join Pololu and LVBots on January 7 any time from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for CES Open House 2016! Like last year, LVBots members will be showcasing their robotics and electronics creations, Pololu will be giving tours of our manufacturing and other operations, and you can present your company or your projects. We will provide pizza. Registration and other details are on the LVBots Meetup page.

VertiGo robot drives up walls with propellers

Posted by Ryan on 29 December 2015

VertiGo is a novel robot designed with one main goal: the ability to drive on floors and walls, even if the walls aren’t perfectly flat. To accomplish this, it uses tiltable propellers for propulsion rather than motorized wheels. The propeller tilting is controlled by two Pololu Jrk 21v3 USB motor controllers with feedback. Students at ETH Zurich made this robot in collaboration with Disney Research Zürich.

You can visit the VertiGo website for pictures and project news.

Closed December 25 and January 1

Posted by Ben on 23 December 2015


We will be closed for Christmas on Friday, December 25 and for New Year’s Day on Friday, January 1, so orders placed after 2 PM Pacific Time on the 24th or 31st will be shipped on the following Monday. Additionally, FedEx Ground does not ship on the 24th (tomorrow).

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

New products: Raspberry Pi Model A+ and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Posted by Kevin on 16 December 2015

We now have three "Pi"s! …No, I’m not talking about our 3pi robot.

In addition to the Raspberry Pi Model B+ we’ve been carrying, we now offer the smaller Raspberry Pi Model A+ and the more powerful Raspberry Pi 2 Model B as well. Check out their product pages for details about each version and how they compare to each other.

Raspberry Pi Model A+.
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

Raspberry Pi Model B+.

As with the B+, the A+ and 2 B are compatible with our Raspberry Pi expansion boards, including our A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller with Raspberry Pi Bridge and our MC33926 and DRV8835 motor driver add-ons.

The Purdue Tuggiteers' spring 2015 senior design project

Posted by Jon on 11 December 2015
The Purdue Tuggiteers' spring 2015 senior design project

For their senior design project in the spring semester of this year, a team of Mechanical Engineering students (the Tuggiteers!) from Purdue made a remotely-controlled plane-towing vehicle that uses one of our step-up/step-down regulators. The team shared with us this video of their final review, which demonstrates the vehicle approaching, connecting to, and towing a single-engine aircraft:

This next video captures their vehicle’s first test. An on-board camera allows you to get a 1st-person view of the latch actuating and gripping the aircraft wheel:

We are always excited to see our parts getting used in cool projects, and we were especially excited to see this because it looks way easier than doing it the usual way:

Ben, pushing a plane (before he started Crossfit).

Pi Wars 2015

Posted by Ryan on 8 December 2015

There is a nice recap on the Raspberry Pi blog of the Pi Wars 2015 competition that was held last weekend on December 5th, 2015. It is a robotics competition held in Cambridge, UK that focuses on robots controlled by a Raspberry Pi. I noticed a lot of Pololu parts on the robots in the videos. Just a few examples are wheels and tracks, motors, and reflectance sensors. I didn’t see any A-Star 32U4 robot controllers in the videos, but I think that would make a great controller for a robot in the next competition because it can be used as a Raspberry Pi expansion board!

You can check out the Pi Wars 2015 post for more details.

Patrick's mini sumo robot: Covert Ops

Posted by Patrick on 4 December 2015
Patrick's mini sumo robot: Covert Ops

Hi, my name is Patrick. I am an engineering intern at Pololu and am studying at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to earn a mechanical engineering degree. I decided to build a custom robot to compete in the recent LVBots mini-sumo competition here at Pololu. It was my first competition at LVBots. I started out by watching a compilation video of the previous sumo competition at LVBots since I had never competed in a mini-sumo competition before. My goal was to create a robot that could out maneuver other robots and had as few vulnerabilities as possible. To achieve this goal, I decided to build a robot that would be high speed and able to push opponents from both sides of the robot with a lot of force. The result of my efforts is the robot I call Covert Ops. Continued…

New product: G2 High-Power Motor Driver 18v17

Posted by Kevin on 2 December 2015
Tags: new products
New product: G2 High-Power Motor Driver 18v17

The Pololu G2 High-Power Motor Driver 18v17 is now available, joining its 24v13 sibling in our second-generation family of high-power motor drivers.

This discrete MOSFET H-bridge can supply a brushed DC motor with up to 17 A of continuous current at voltages between 6.5 V and 30 V. Compared to its predecessor, the G2 driver handles a little more current and offers features like reverse-voltage protection, current sensing, and current limiting. For more information, see its product page.

New products: 3.3V, 5V, 6V, 7.5V, and 9V Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V22Fx

Posted by Ben on 1 December 2015
Tags: new products
New products: 3.3V, 5V, 6V, 7.5V, and 9V Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V22Fx

This post is a few weeks late, but I am following up on my original D24V22F12 12V regulator introduction to let you know that we now have 3.3 V, 5 V, 6 V, 7.5 V, 9 V, and 12 V versions of our new D24V22Fx family of step-down voltage regulators. These regulators all have typical efficiencies of 85% to 95% and can deliver continuous currents over 2 A in typical applications.

The new D24V22Fx regulators are priced lower than the older D24V25Fx family that they will be replacing. The two designs have the same size and similar current capabilities and input voltage ranges, but they do not have the same pinout and are based on different internal circuits, so there are fundamental differences in operation. In particular, these newer D24V22Fx regulators have much lower dropout voltages and provide a “power good” signal, and the newer design allows for higher output voltages (e.g. 12 V).

See the product pages for any of the D24V22Fx regulators for more information on these new regulators, or visit our voltage regulator category to see all of our regulator options.

New Products

5:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor MP with Extended Motor Shaft
MP3 Trigger V24
Wixel Shield for Arduino, v1.1 + Wixel Pair + USB cable
Addressable RGB 8x8-LED Flexible Panel, 5V, 10mm Grid (APA102C)
5:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor HPCB
Addressable RGB 16x16-LED Flexible Panel, 5V, 10mm Grid (APA102C)
Wixel Shield for Arduino, v1.1
Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2
DRV8880 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier
700:1 Sub-Micro Plastic Planetary Gearmotor 6Dx21L mm
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