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.
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:
- Digital Capabilities: a digital garden
- Controlling a Maestro in C using a Raspberry Pi
- Dagu Rover 5 controlled by a Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi Telepresence Rover
- Raspberry Pi-based State Poster Project
- Raspberry Pi – Real Time Control via Android HTML5
- Using a Maestro to control a quadcopter
- PiBot-B: mobile robot with a Raspberry Pi
- Wireless Servo Widget
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.
These basic boards conveniently break out the VBUS, GND, D-, D+ and ID pins of USB Mini-B and Micro-B connectors to a set of five 0.1″-spaced pins, making it easy to power your project from a USB port or to add a USB connector to your breadboarded USB microcontroller. The compact USB Mini-B Connector Breakout Board measures 0.55" × 0.85", while the even smaller USB Micro-B Connector Breakout Board measures 0.44" × 0.5" (including the USB connectors).
With the release of the new RC Switch with Digital Output and the new RC Switch with Small Low-Side MOSFET, our RC switch family overhaul is now complete. These compact modules convert hobby radio control pulses to digital on/off signals for use in RC switch and simple RC adapter applications. These products replace item #752 and item #1210, which have been put on clearance and will be discontinued when the remaining stock is gone.
For more information about these products and the rest of our RC switch family, see our RC Switch category.
- New product: 4-Channel RC Servo Multiplexer
- New product: RC Switch with Medium Low-Side MOSFET
- New product: Pololu RC Switch with Relay