Posts by Ryan

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Video: Phone-controlled BB8 droid build tutorial

Posted by Ryan on 25 January 2016

TechBuilder’s life-size phone-controlled BB8 droid uses a Pololu dual VNH5019 motor driver shield to drive two 19:1 37D metal gearmotors.

For step-by-step instructions for building this droid, see his DIY BB8 Instructables page.

Video: Rubik's Cube-solving robot

Posted by Ryan on 25 January 2016

This “World’s Fastest” Rubik’s Cube-solving robot uses six DRV8825 stepper motor driver carriers, one for each face.

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.

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.

New product: Ion Motion Control RoboClaw 2x7A dual motor controller (V5)

Posted by Ryan on 1 December 2015
Tags: new products
New product: Ion Motion Control RoboClaw 2x7A dual motor controller (V5)

The RoboClaw motor controllers from Ion Motion Control (formerly Orion Robotics) can control a pair of brushed DC motors using USB serial, TTL serial, RC, or analog inputs. Integrated dual quadrature decoders make it easy to create a closed-loop speed control system.

Ion Motion Control has replaced the MOSFETS on the RoboClaw 2x5A Motor Controller (V5) with better ones and is now calling it the RoboClaw 2x7A Motor Controller (V5). The 2x7A can supply up to 7.5 A continuous and 15 A peak, up from 5 A and 10 A, and is otherwise functionally and physically identical to the 2x5A.

More details are on the RoboClaw 2x7A Motor Controller (V5) product page.

Black Friday 2015

Posted by Ryan on 27 November 2015


Our Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale is going strong, and we have been working hard to make and ship the products that people are getting great deals on. Here are some glimpses of our shipping department from earlier today:

If you have already placed an order, thank you! If you are still trying to decide if you want to take advantage of our amazing deals, don’t wait too long—the sale ends Monday night.

Pololu Robotics and Electronics Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale 2015

Adafruit 2015 Black Friday sale

Posted by Ryan on 27 November 2015


Adafruit 2015 Black Friday sale

Our friends at Adafruit are holding a Black Friday sale today only, offering 15% off everything in stock plus extra free items for orders above certain amounts.

You can find the details on the Adafruit blog.

Video: LVBots August 2015 mini-sumo competition

Posted by Ryan on 8 September 2015
Tags: lvbots

LVBots held a mini-sumo competition at Pololu on August 20. The goal of mini-sumo is to make an autonomous robot that pushes the other robot out of a 30″ ring, but this is not BattleBots: the robots cannot be controlled by a human, and they are not supposed to damage one another. Eighteen robots faced off in our head-to-head double elimination tournament. The video above shows some of the more entertaining matches and the full results of the contest.

The robots have become more sophisticated since our previous mini-sumo competition. Our new Zumo 32U4 Robot, which came out in the meantime, improves on the Zumo Robot for Arduino by adding IR sensors and encoders. This allowed some entries to do well just by programming a Zumo 32U4 robot (for example David’s Zumo Red). Also, people generally have gotten better at fabricating and programming their robots. Some people used 3D CAD programs to design 3D-printed and laser-cut chassis.

Kevin’s Roku won the competition, with the consensus being that Kevin won because he did not have enough time to make a gimmicky robot (like his line following hovercraft). His compact design used our new A-Star 32U4 robot controller and Sharp GP2Y0A60SZ 10 to 150 cm analog distance sensors, which kept the wiring minimal and the sight range long. Ben’s robot, The Big Ben, was unchanged since competing in the previous contest, yet it managed to do much better this time around, taking second place (though Brian was operating the robot in Ben’s absence, so he might want to claim some of the credit). Paul’s reigning champion, Paul Sumo 2, took third place despite also remaining unchanged since the last competition.

Keep following this blog for detailed build posts from the robot builders, like they posted last time for the line following competition.

Are you in the Las Vegas area? Check out the LVBots Meetup page to get involved.

New products: Hakko tools

Posted by Ryan on 19 June 2015
Tags: new products
New products: Hakko tools

Most electronics projects (and many Pololu products) require soldering. That’s why we’re excited to offer a soldering station and other accessories that we can wholeheartedly recommend! We are now carrying Hakko soldering and desoldering tools and Hakko hand tools (cutters and pliers). We use Hakko tools in our own manufacturing, and we believe they offer a great mix of reliability, performance, and price. Continued…

New Products

A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller SV with Raspberry Pi Bridge (SMT Components Only)
MinIMU-9 v5 Gyro, Accelerometer, and Compass (LSM6DS33 and LIS3MDL Carrier)
LP 12V Motor with 48 CPR Encoder for 25D mm Metal Gearmotors (No Gearbox)
A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller SV with Raspberry Pi Bridge
LSM6DS33 3D Accelerometer and Gyro Carrier with Voltage Regulator
75:1 Metal Gearmotor 25Dx54L mm HP 12V with 48 CPR Encoder
99:1 Metal Gearmotor 25Dx54L mm MP 12V with 48 CPR Encoder
Raspberry Pi Model A+
34:1 Metal Gearmotor 25Dx52L mm MP 12V with 48 CPR Encoder
LIS3MDL 3-Axis Magnetometer Carrier with Voltage Regulator
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