Pololu Blog (Page 68)
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 have just released a joystick app for the Wixel that allows you to turn a Wixel connected to a computer into a USB joystick, with the Wixel’s analog and digital inputs representing joystick axes and buttons. The app and its documentation can be found in the Wixel User’s Guide, and its source code has been added to the Wixel SDK.
We’ll soon be publishing a sample project that shows you how to use a Wixel running this app to convert a retro joystick into a USB device, so stay tuned!
Update (12 September 2013): The Wixel USB Joystick sample project is now available.
Related post: Sample project: Wixel USB Joystick
As part of our continuing efforts to make better quality products at lower prices, we have dropped the prices on some of our smallest dual motor driver carriers and made the first quantity price breaks at just five units for an even better deal! We hope this will make them more compelling alternatives to old motor drivers like the L293D or SN754410.
Our DRV8835 carrier has dropped from $5.95 to $4.49.
Our DRV8833 carrier has dropped from $6.95 to $4.95.
And finally, our TB6612FNG carrier has dropped from $8.45 to $4.95. This especially steep price reduction is made possible in part by upgrading the TB6612FNG carrier to use a new reverse protection circuit and all ceramic capacitors (which also allow for a lower profile). The new version of the board is pictured to the left, but we are still transitioning from the old version, so you might receive either one until we complete the transition. For pictures of the original board and details on the status of the transition, please visit the product page.
Our universal mounting hubs are now available in versions with mounting holes sized for M3 screws (not included). These aluminum hubs allow you to mount custom wheels and mechanisms to 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, and 6 mm shafts. Each set of two hubs includes the required set screws and an Allen wrench for securing the hubs to motor shafts.
We have released a new machined aluminum bracket that lets you securely mount our 37D mm metal gearmotors to your project. The bracket has six holes on its face that line up with the 37D gearbox’s mounting holes, and it has three tapped holes on the bottom. Nine M3 screws are included for securing the bracket to the motor and mounting surface.
Our new QTR-3A and QTR-3RC reflectance sensor arrays pack three IR emitter and receiver (phototransistor) pairs onto a board measuring just 1.25″ × 0.3″ (32 mm × 8 mm). With the sensors mounted on a 0.375″ pitch, these sensor arrays are great for sensing 3/4″ black electrical tape when used as minimal detectors on line-following robots!
The SparkFun Starter Kit for RedBoard is an easy way to get started building entertaining and educational circuits with SparkFun’s RedBoard, an Arduino clone that is compatible with the Uno R3. The kit includes a RedBoard along with various types of sensors and indicators. A downloadable guide features example projects to introduce you to the world of embedded electronics.
We are excited to release this new video for our Maestro Servo Controllers! Get some ideas for cool things you can do with the Maestro, and see how easy it is to get started with our custom software. This is the first of many fun new Pololu videos to come! Let us know what you think or what other products you would like to see in action in the comment section below.
Products featured in this video:
- Maestro Servo Controllers
- Power HD High-Torque Servo 1501MG
- SpringRC SM-S4303R Continuous Rotation Servo
- Rechargeable NiMH Battery Pack
- Pololu RP5/Rover 5 Expansion Plate
- Emily’s T-shirt
Projects featured in this video:
- Simple Hexapod Walker
- Mars Rover from Beatty Robotics
- Brian Patton’s PsychoRowRow featuring talking robots from Robodyssey
Lunokhod, which means “Moon Walker” in Russian, was built for a space museum in Prague and is a miniature version of the first remote-controlled moon rover. It uses 8 of our 298:1 micro metal gearmotors and an Arduino Nano and can be remotely controlled by museum visitors. The rover was built by Beatty Robotics; you are can learn more about it on their blog.
We have released three new step-up regulators that can boost input voltages as low as 0.5 V and have typical efficiencies between 70 and 90%. Unlike most boost regulators, these offer a true shutdown option that turns off power to the load. They also automatically switch to a linear down-regulation mode when the input voltage exceeds the output, making them great for powering electronics projects from 1 – 3 NiMH, NiCd, or alkaline cells or from a single lithium-ion cell.