Robo Pico review – A Raspberry Pi Pico W-based motor & sensor control board tested with BocoBot robotic kit

Robo Pico Review Raspberry Pi Zero W robot

Cytron Robo Pico is a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Pico (W) specially designed for robotics & IoT applications with a 2-channel DC motor driver, four servo motor ports, and seven Grove I/O connectors to connect various sensors and/or actuators. When the company asked us to review the Robo Pico board, I noticed they had a car robotic kit based on the board called the BocoBot that comes with installation videos and five tutorials including obstacle avoidance movement with ultrasonic sensors, light search, line following, and WiFi remote control. So I asked for the full kit to make the review more fun and interesting. Robo Pico board Robo Pico specifications: Supported MCU board – Raspberry Pi Pico/Pico W and compatible Motor control 2x DC Motor terminals with Motor status LEDs for each motor terminal 2x motor test buttons for each motor terminal Header to connect to 4x servos Expansion […]

The Bee Data Logger ESP32-S3 board comes with RTC, microSD slot, and two Qwiic connectors for sensors

ESP32 Data Logger

A few months ago, SparkFun released the “Datalogger IoT – 9DoF” no-code platform based on ESP32 with some built-in sensors, a microSD card, and two Qwiic connectors to add sensors in order to perform data logging with minimal to no coding. Smart Bee Designs looks to have shrunk the design, removing the built-in sensors in the processor, with the Bee data logger ESP32-S3 board that offers most of the same features plus a built-in DS3231 RTC and back battery for timekeeping, and the ability to leverage the vector extension in the ESP32-S3 for machine learning applications. Bee data logger specifications: Wireless module – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module CPU – ESP32-S3 dual-core Xtensa LX7 microcontroller with vector extensions with 512KB SRAM, 384KB ROM, WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity Storage – 8MB of QSPI flash PCB antenna Storage – MicroSD card slot up to 16GB capacity USB – 1x USB Type-C port […]

ANAVI launches CircuitPython-programmable Macro Pad 12 & Arrows mechanical keyboards (Crowdfunding)

ANAVI Arrows ANAVI Macro Pad 12

ANAVI Technology has launched two more open-source hardware mechanical keyboards based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, equipped with an OLED display, and programmable with CircuitPython: the ANAVI Macro Pad 12 with 12 keys and the ANAVI Arrows with four keys and a rotatory encoder. The new mechanical keyboards follow ANAVI Macro Pad 10 & Knobs input devices equipped with the same Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 MCU module running the KMK firmware written with CircuitPython, but with different form factors and features. ANAVI Macro Pad 12 specifications: MCU module – Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 with Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ up to 133 Mhz with 264KB SRAM, 2MB SPI flash, USB Type-C port Keys – 12x Gateron red, linear, non-clicky mechanical switches and transparent keycaps with yellow LED backlighting Display – OLED display connected to I2C slot (can be replaced with another I2C module) Host interface – USB […]

Using Pico:ed V2 board as a replacement for BBC Micro:bit

Pico:ed V2 BBC Micro:bit Alternative

We’ve received a sample of the Pico:ed V2 board developed by ELECFREAKS and will show how to use it as a replacement for the BBC micro:bit in a project using CircuitPython. We’ve already covered the board in detail with specifications, block diagram, and pinout diagram before, and it’s basically a Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 board with BBC Micro:bit form factor including a 17×7 Dot Matrix LED display, some buttons, a buzzer, but no wireless connectivity, relying only on USB instead. CircuitPython firmware installation on the Pico:ed V2 board The board supports C/C++, MicroPython, and CircuitPython programming languages, and for this review, we’ve decided to download the CircuitPython UF2 firmware. Press and hold the BOOTSEL button after having downloaded the firmware file… … and connect the board to your computer using a USB cable before releasing the BOOSEL button on the Pico:ed V2 board, which should then show up as the […]

Challenger RP2040 board gets DWM3000 UWB module for indoor positioning, up to 10 Mbps data transfers

Challenger RP2040 UWB

The Challenger RP2040 UWB board features a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller combined with a DWM300 UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) module in the Adafruit Feather form factor and is designed for indoor positioning and ranging applications with an up to 10-centimeter accuracy, and data transfers up to 10 Mbps. The first Challenger RP2040 board was introduced in 2021 with an ESP8285 WiFi chip, iLabs (Invector Labs) shortly followed up with the Challenger RP2040 LoRa with an RFM95W LoRa module, and they also made models with NFC and cellular connectivity. The Swedish company has now just introduced their latest Challenger board with the Challenger RP2040 UWB leveraging UWB technology. Challenger RP2040 LoRa board preliminary specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 133MHz with 264KB SRAM Storage – 8MB flash Wireless module – Qorvo DWM3000 UWB module connected via SPI Chip – Qorvo DW3110 ultra-wideband (UWB) transceiver IC, compliant with IEEE […]

Adafruit Feather RP2040 with RFM95 LoRa Radio launched for low power long range IoT communication

Adafruit Feather RP2040 RFM95 LoRa Radio

Adafruit has designed a new variant of the Feather RP2040 board with the “Adafruit Feather RP2040 with RFM95 LoRa Radio” featuring a 900 MHz RFM95 “RadioFruit” module and following the “Adafruit Feather RP2040 with DVI Output Port” that we covered last week. The board ships with 8 MB of QSPI flash, supports USB-C or LiPo battery power, is offered in the familiar Feather form factor, and the built-in RFM95 module supports 433 MHz, 868MHz, and 915MHz frequencies, selectable by firmware, for global coverage. Adafruit Feather RP2040 with RFM95 LoRa Radio specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Arm Cortex M0+ microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264 KB RAM Storage – 8MB SPI flash RFM95 LoRa wireless module Semtech SX127x LoRa transceiver Frequency bands – License-free ISM bands: ITU “Europe” @ 433MHz and ITU “Americas” @ 900MHz. (CNXSoft: it looks 900 MHz here means 868 MHz (EU) and 915 MHz (US), […]

Servo and motor control with Raspberry Pi Pico, CircuitPython, and Wukong 2040 breakout board

Raspberry Pi Pico Wukong 2040 Motor Control CircuitPython

ELECFREAKS Wukong 2040 is a multifunctional breakout board designed for Raspberry Pi Pico. It is equipped with interfaces for four DC motors, up to twelve servos, a buzzer, A\B buttons, RGB “rainbow” lights, a Reset button, etc… The board can be powered by a single 18650 3.7V LiPo battery and integrates a power management IC that monitors the battery level and can also charge the battery via a USB charger. Battery life is typically 60 minutes per charge but can last over 120 minutes depending on the load.   Wukong 2040 key features and specifications Description of the Wukong 2040 interfaces Specifications and dimensions of the Wukong 2040 Expansion Board for Raspberry Pi Pico The Wukong 2040 breakout board for the Raspberry Pi Pico can control up to four DC motors and up to 12 servo motors as shown in the diagram below. Pinout diagram of the Wukong 2040 board […]

Floppy thumb drive integrates Adafruit PyPortal display based on Microchip SAMD51 MCU

Floppy thumb drive

Anne Barela’s Floppy Thumb Drive project houses the Adafruit PyPortal internet display in a 3D-printed enclosure that looks like a 3.5-inch floppy disk, just a bit thicker. The computer-in-a-floppy-disk project runs CircuitPython code to list the first 12 files stored in the flash and can display photos or animations, play audio, or execute scripts. The project consists of three main parts: The Adafruit PyPortal internet display with Microchip SAMD51 (ATSAMD51J20) Arm Cortex-M4F microcontroller @ up to 120 MHz with 1 MB flash, 256 KB SRAM Display – 3.2-inch 320 x 240 color TFT display with resistive touchscreen Audio – Speaker Storage 8MB flash storage optional microSD card (not used in the project). ESP32 for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity (not used in the project) Sensors – Light and Temperature sensors Misc – NeoPixel RGB Micro USB to USB cable 3D printed files for the front cover, back door, front door, disk, […]

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