1. Overview

1.1. Included components
1.2. What you will need
1.3. Supported operating systems

The Balboa 32U4 is a highly integrated balancing robot that is both programmable and customizable.

Like our A-Star 32U4 programmable controllers, the Balboa 32U4 control board is built around a USB-enabled Atmel ATmega32U4 AVR microcontroller, and it ships preloaded with an Arduino-compatible bootloader. The control board features two H-bridge motor drivers, as well as quadrature encoders and a complete inertial measurement unit (accelerometer, gyro, and magnetometer) that allows it to determine its orientation – essential for balancing. It also includes a powerful 5 V switching step-down regulator that can supply up to 2 A continuously, along with a versatile power switching and distribution circuit. Three on-board pushbuttons offer a convenient interface for user input, while indicator LEDs, a buzzer, and a connector for an optional LCD allow the robot to provide feedback.

The Balboa 32U4 can be used either as a standalone control solution or as a base for a more powerful Raspberry Pi controller. Its on-board connector and mounting holes allow a compatible Raspberry Pi (Model B+ or newer, including Pi 3 Model B and Model A+) to plug directly into the control board. Integrated level shifters make it easy to set up I²C communication and interface other signals between the two controllers, and the control board automatically supplies 5 V power to an attached Raspberry Pi. In this setup, the Raspberry Pi can handle the high-level robot control while relying on the Balboa 32U4 control board for low-level tasks, like running motors, reading encoders, and interfacing with other analog or timing-sensitive devices.

Balboa 32U4 Balancing Robot with 80×10mm wheels and a Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+.

Balboa 32U4 Balancing Robot with 80×10mm wheels and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

Many of the ATmega32U4 I/O lines are broken out to 0.1″-spaced through-holes along the edges of the board, and the board’s power rails are also accessible, enabling sensors and other peripherals to easily be connected.

A software add-on is available that makes it easy to program a Balboa 32U4 robot from the Arduino environment, and we have Arduino libraries and example sketches to help get you started. A USB A to Micro-B cable (not included) is required for programming.

Related Products

Balboa 32U4 Balancing Robot Kit (No Motors or Wheels)
Balboa Chassis with Stability Conversion Kit (No Motors, Wheels, or Electronics)
Stability Conversion Kit for Balboa
Bumper Cage Kit for Balboa
Balboa 32U4 Control Board
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