3pi+ 32U4 Control Board
This is the control board for the 3pi+ 32U4 robot, and it is included as part of the Standard Edition, Turtle Edition, and Hyper Edition 3pi+ 32U4 kits and robots. It can be used as a replacement part for those products, or it can be assembled with the 3pi+ Chassis Kit and a pair of 6V Micro Metal Gearmotors with extended motor shafts to create a “custom edition” 3pi+ 32U4 robot.
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New version available! We have released an updated 3pi+ 32U4 OLED Robot that includes an OLED display with better graphical capabilities than the LCD used by this original 3pi+ 32U4 robot. The 3pi+ 32U4 OLED Control Board can be used as a replacement part for a 3pi+ 32U4 OLED robot, and we recommend using the newer OLED version for new custom robot builds. This original version of the control board will only be available by special order once our existing stock runs out.
The 3pi+ 32U4 Control Board is designed to be assembled with a 3pi+ Chassis Kit and a pair of 6V Micro Metal Gearmotors with extended motor shafts to create a 3pi+ 32U4 robot. This product is primarily intended as a replacement product for the 3pi+ 32U4 robots and kits that already include it or for those who want to build a 3pi+ 32U4 robot with different gearmotor versions than the ones offered with those complete kits and assembled robots.
This control board is already included as part of the following 3pi+ 32U4 assembled robots and kits:
- 3pi+ 32U4 Robot – Standard Edition (30:1 MP Motors), Assembled
- 3pi+ 32U4 Robot – Turtle Edition (75:1 LP Motors), Assembled
- 3pi+ 32U4 Robot – Hyper Edition (15:1 HPCB Motors), Assembled
- 3pi+ 32U4 Robot Kit with 30:1 MP Motors (Standard Edition Kit)
- 3pi+ 32U4 Robot Kit with 75:1 LP Motors (Turtle Edition Kit)
- 3pi+ 32U4 Robot Kit with 15:1 HPCB Motors (Hyper Edition Kit)
This is the control board for the original 3pi+ 32U4 Robot with an LCD. The newer 3pi+ 32U4 OLED Control Board is designed to work with an graphical OLED display.
The 3pi+ 32U4 Control Board ships with all of its surface-mount components populated, and it includes the following through-hole parts and mounting hardware:
- one buzzer
- jumper wires for soldering motors to the board
- two magnetic encoder discs
- one low-profile 2×7 male header for use with an 8×2 character LCD (not included)
- four single battery contacts
- four 3/16″ #2-56 screws and nuts for mounting the board to a 3pi+ Chassis
Please note that assembly (including soldering) is required; see the user’s guide for assembly instructions.
What else you will need
To build a robot with the 3pi+ 32U4 Control Board, you will need a few additional parts:
- a 3pi+ Chassis Kit
- two Micro Metal Gearmotors with extended motor shafts (6V MP or 6V HPCB versions recommended)
- four AAA batteries: the 3pi+ chassis and control board work with both alkaline and NiMH batteries, though we recommend rechargeable NiMH cells
- a USB A to Micro-B cable to connect the robot to your computer for programming and debugging
- tools to help with kit assembly; see the user’s guide for a list of specific tools
You might also consider getting these for your 3pi+ 32U4 robot:
- an 8×2 character LCD
- more sensors
- connectors (headers, jumper wires, etc) for adding those sensors or other peripherals to the 3pi+ 32U4 expansion ports
3pi+ 32U4 versions
The original version of the 3pi+ 32U4 (which uses this control board) includes an 8×2 character LCD, while the newer 3pi+ 32U4 OLED incorporates a graphical OLED display instead. The name “3pi+ 32U4” can generally be used to refer to both the original (LCD) and OLED versions, and the documentation in our updated user’s guide covers both versions.
Our Arduino library for the 3pi+ 32U4 generally allows code written for the LCD version to work on the OLED version with minimal changes (and the reverse is also true as long as your code does not make use of the OLED’s graphical capabilities).
Comparison with the original 3pi
The 3pi+ 32U4 offers many major improvements over the original 3pi, including:
- ATmega32U4 microcontroller with Arduino-compatible bootloader can be programmed directly through a USB connection
- Quadrature encoders on both motors for closed-loop position and speed control
- Full 9-axis IMU (three-axis gyro, accelerometer, and compass)
- Bottom-loading battery holders keep batteries accessible even if additional levels are added
- Full wrap-around bumper to protect electronics from collisions
- Two bump sensors on the front
The 3pi+ 32U4 uses a different microcontroller with different pin mappings compared to the older 3pi, and some of the software library interfaces are different, so programs written for the original 3pi will not work on the 3pi+ 32U4 without modification.