Posts by Ryan

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New product: MP3 Trigger V24

Posted by Ryan on 11 April 2016
Tags: new products
New product: MP3 Trigger V24

The updated MP3 Trigger V24 from SparkFun is now for sale. This new version features improved firmware that can read a configuration file from the SD card, making it much easier to use without a microcontroller. We posted previously about a project using an A-Star 32U4 and an MP3 Trigger to make a Scary shaking tombstone. The MP3 trigger also pairs nicely with the Maestro Servo Controllers because you can use a Maestro servo controller’s scripting capability to trigger sounds to play in sync with motion. You can see examples of how people are using them on our forum here and here.

The Pololu Forum now uses Discourse

Posted by Ryan on 8 April 2016


The Pololu Forum now uses Discourse

We started the Pololu Forum in 2004 as a place for product support and discussion, where Pololu customers can interact directly with each other and Pololu engineers. The forum is our preferred medium for handling technical support since the answers can potentially benefit multiple people and can include the experience of other helpful members of the community.

Recently we changed the forum software from phpBB to Discourse, a more modern and mobile-friendly forum package. We migrated user accounts and posts, so you should still be able to use your same forum username and password to log in. (Your forum account is separate from your Pololu.com account, though.) If you don’t have an account, now is a great time to sign up and join in the robotics and electronics discussion! You can read a lot more about Discourse on its “About” page.

We would be happy to hear how your experience is with Discourse, and if you have any suggestions or feedback on the change, you can post a comment here or in the “About the Pololu Forum” category on the forum.

Here are some technical details about the migration: before migrating, the forum had around 11 thousand user accounts and over 45 thousand posts, so I was very happy to find that following the instructions from the Importing from phpBB3 topic worked well. One thing the importer does not support is handling redirects from the old phpBB URLs. We really wanted to keep all those forum links working, so I modified the import script to generate an Nginx configuration mapping the old URLs to the new ones. I also made an improvement to the Discourse string remapping utility to fix some of the BBCodes that were not rendering well. It has been convenient to contribute to Discourse because they use Ruby on Rails, just like we do for the main Pololu website.

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.

New Products

5:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor MP with Extended Motor Shaft
210:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor MP with Extended Motor Shaft
Addressable RGB 8x32-LED Flexible Panel, 5V, 10mm Grid (APA102C)
Addressable RGB 8x8-LED Flexible Panel, 5V, 10mm Grid (APA102C)
DRV8880 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier
700:1 Sub-Micro Plastic Planetary Gearmotor 6Dx21L mm
MP3 Trigger V24
75:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor with Extended Motor Shaft
250:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor MP with Extended Motor Shaft
Wixel Shield for Arduino, v1.1 + Wixel Pair + USB cable
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