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Are you attending CES or in Las Vegas this Friday evening? You can join Pololu and LVBots on January 6 any time from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for CES Open House 2017! 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.
We are now selling T1-3/4 (5mm) common anode RGB LEDs! These multi-color LEDs contain red, green, and blue (RGB) elements that can be mixed to produce different colors. The three color elements share a common anode and are encased in a diffused white lens that blends the colors and widens the viewing angle. This product is a pack of five (5) RGB LEDs.
These LEDs replace the RGB LEDs with a common cathode that we used to sell. The common-anode setup of the new ones is nice because you can drive the LEDs with a low-voltage microcontroller I/O pin in an open-drain configuration (provided the pins can handle the current and are tolerant of the LED supply voltage). If you need to build your own drive circuit, you just need one low-side transistor per LED.
Here are some other posts on our blog about LEDs:
We are now offering the Hakko FA-400 Smoke Absorber. The Hakko FA-400 is a benchtop smoke absorber for removing smoke generated by soldering. It has an easily-replaceable activated-carbon filter and a sturdy ESD-safe housing that can be oriented horizontally or vertically.
We are now offering the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The Raspberry Pi is a popular credit card-sized computer that can run ARM Linux distributions. As the successor to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, the Pi 3 has a more powerful processor and adds wireless connectivity. Here are the specific improvements:
- 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU
- 802.11n Wireless LAN
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Along with these improvements, the Raspberry Pi 3 maintains compatibility with and the form factor of the previous Pi 2 (and Pi 1 Model B+). 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. It can also be combined with our A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller LV with Raspberry Pi Bridge to make a great controller for a small robot. We also carry a selection of Raspberry Pi expansion boards.
This comparison chart can help in selecting the right Raspberry Pi for your project:
Model A+ 512MB
Raspberry Pi 2
Raspberry Pi 3
|CPU speed:||700 MHz||900 MHz||1.2 GHz|
|RAM:||512 MB||512 MB||1 GB|
|Bluetooth Low Energy:||No||Yes|
|Expansion header pins:||40|
|Dimensions2:||2.5″ × 2.2″ × 0.47″||3.35″ × 2.2″ × 0.8″|
|Weight3:||23 g||42 g|
1 Audio and analog video provided by a single four-pole 3.5 mm jack. This 3.5 mm jack also has its own dedicated low-noise power supply for improved audio.
2 Length and width measurements are for the PCB only; several of the connectors extend past the edge of the board.
3 Weight does not include microSD cards.
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.
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.
This “World’s Fastest” Rubik’s Cube-solving robot uses six DRV8825 stepper motor driver carriers, one for each face.
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 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.