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 […]

Toshiba “MH3 Group (2)” Arm Cortex-M3 MCU supports firmware updates without interrupting operation

Toshiba MH3 Group 2 microcontroller

Toshiba “MH3 Group (2)” Arm Cortex-M3 microcontrollers come with a 1MB flash memory partitioned into two 512KB partitions to enable firmware updates without interrupting microcontroller operation using an area swap function to rotate to the new firmware seamlessly. The new M3H Group (2) builds upon the M3H Group(1) by expanding the code flash memory up to 1MB, and the RAM capacity from 66KB to 130KB. Both are part of the “TXZ+ Family Advanced Class” manufactured with a 40nm process, and equipped with a 120 MHz Arm Cortex-M3 core as well as various interface and motor control options such as UART, I2C, Advanced Encoder Input Circuit, and Advanced Programmable Motor Control Circuit. Toshiba MH3 Group 2 key features and specifications: CPU core – Arm Cortex-M3  @ 120 MHz with memory protection unit (MPU) Internal oscillator – 10MHz (+/-1%) Internal memory Code flash memory – 512KB to 1024KB (program/erase cycles: up to […]

Renesas RZ/T2L Arm Cortex-R52 microprocessor embeds EtherCAT controller

Renesas RZ/TL2 Cortex-R52 microprocessor

Renesas RZ/T2L is a cost-optimized single-core Arm Cortex-R52 microprocessor (MPU) with an EtherCAT controller based on the same architecture as the higher-end Renesas RZ/T2M dual-core Cortex-R52 processor introduced last year, but at about half the size. The new MPU enables high-speed and accurate real-time processing performance required for AC servo drives, inverters, industrial robots, collaborative robots, etc.. used in factory automation (FA), medical equipment, building automation (BA), and other sectors and applications where EtherCAT is being adopted. Renesas RZ/T2L key features and specifications: CPU – Arm Cortex-R52 clocked at up to 800MHz with 16KB L1 I/D cache, 512KB ATCM, 64KB BTCM Memory – 1MB RAM with ECC Trigonometric function accelerator Ethernet EtherCAT slave controller: 3x ports 1x Ethernet MAC Motor control 2-channel encoder interface with support for A-format, EnDat2.2, BiSS-C, HIPERFACE DSL, FA-CODER Functional safety (FuSa) software up to SIL3 Motor current loop < 1µs 3-phase complementary PWM output for […]

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 […]

Renesas RZ/T2M dual Arm Cortex-R52 MPU delivers high-precision servo motor control

Renesas RZ/T2M motor control MPU

Built around two Arm Cortex-R52 cores clocked at up to 800 MHz, Renesas RZ/T2M microprocessor units (MPUs) target real-time, high-precision motor control applications such as AC servo drives and industrial robots. The RZ/T2M microprocessor also supports Ethernet with TSN and functional safety, and has been designed in such a way to reduce the number of external components in order to both decrease the BoM costs and the product size. Renesas RZ/T2M key features and specifications: CPU – Up to 2x Arm Cortex-R52 cores clocked at up to 800MHz, one core for motor control, and the other for networking Trigonometric function accelerator Memory – Tightly coupled memory 576KB with ECC, 2MB RAM with ECC Storage I/F – Octa/Quad SPI support Networking 3-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with TSN Industrial Ethernet: EtherCAT, PROFINET RT/IRT, EtherNet/IP, etc… Motor control 2-channel encoder interface with support for A-format, EnDat, BiSS, HIPERFACE DSL, Tamagawa Functional safety support […]

Clicker 4 for TMPM4K board targets motor control with Toshiba M4K microcontroller

Clicker 4 for TMPM4K

Toshiba and Mikroelektronika have launched the Clicker 4 for TMPM4K development board equipped with Toshiba M4K Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller for motor control, as well as four mikroBUS sockets for MikroE Click expansion boards. The Clicker 4 for TMPM4K board is also fitted with an on-board CMSIS-DAP compliant Debug Unit based on Toshiba’s TMPM067 MCU, extension connectors, JTAG/SWD debug ports, LED indicators and push buttons, and works best with Clicker 4 Inverter Shield with six MOSFETs for motor driving, a 48V switching power supply, and a 5V regulated power source that can power the M4K board. Clicker 4 for TMPM4K specifications: MCU – Toshiba TMPM4KNFYAFG 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller @ up to 160 MHz with 256KB code flash, 32KB data flash, 24KB SRAM, as well as Vector Engine (A-VE+), Encoder and Programmable Motor Driver (PMD) for brushless DC motors Expansion 4x mikroBUS sockets for adding Click board 40x connection pads with […]

TI AM64x 7-core processor is made for PLC’s, motor drives, industrial robots

AM64x GP EVM development platform

Texas Instruments AM64x is a family of 64-bit Arm processors with functional safety designed for Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), motor drives, remote I/O, and industrial robots. The top-end processor of the family, AM6442, comes with seven cores including two Cortex-A53 application cores, four Cortex-R5F real-time cores, and one Cortex-M4F isolated core. AFAICT, while the documentation is dated January 2021 and TI announced the processor in February in a blog post with a cryptic title, it was only first picked up by Embedded Computing in early May. Besides the processor itself, TI also provides an AM64x starter kit and a full-featured AM64x evaluation kit, and several companies are already preparing development boards and modules as we’ll see further below. TI AM64x processor AM64x key features & specifications: CPU cores Dual-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.0 GHz with 256KB L2 shared cache with SECDED ECC, 32KB L1 D-cache, 32KB L1 I-cache Up […]

3D printer board leverages Allwinner A64’s AR100 core for real-time control

Recore Allwinner A64 3D printer board

Elias Bakken has been working on Recore 3D printer control board based on Allwinner A64 processor since 2019 and with revision “A5” of the PCB,  Recore is now considered stable and will ship to customers. But wait? Isn’t Allwinner A64 just a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor meant to run Linux? But 3D printer control boards require real-time I/O and that’s why many are designed with STM32, Arduino compatible Microchip MCU or other microcontrollers. The trick here is that Elias did not use the Cortex-A53 cores for real-time control, but instead the 300 MHz AR100 32-bit OpenRISC 1000 core found in Allwinner A64 SoC. Recore specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor running at 1 GHz, with AR100 32-bit core @ 300 MHz, Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 RAM Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI output to connect a display Networking – Gigabit Ethernet […]

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