Makeblock Ultimate 2.0 review – A multi-function 10-in-1 educational robot kit

Makeblock Ultimate 2.0 robot kit review

Makeblock Ultimate 2.0 is an educational robot kit that can be used to easily create up to 10 different types of robots. An Arduino-compatible Mega 2560 MCU board serves as the main controller and there are over 550 mechanical parts and electronic modules. The robot can drive up to 4 encoder and stepping motors, control up to 10 servo motors to work simultaneously, and can also be connected to Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards for more complex projects. The review/tutorial is fairly long, so if you are short on time, you can jump to different sections by clicking on some of the links below: MegaPi control board and main modules description mBlock 5 visual-programming IDE installation Programming of DC Encoder motors, Ultrasonic sensor, Line follower module, motion sensor, RJ25 adapter, and shutter module mBlock mobile app Building the ten models for the Makeblock Ultimate 2.0 robot kit (as shown in […]

Wokwi – An Arduino, Raspberry Pi Pico, and ESP32 board simulator

Wokwi is an online simulator for Arduino, Raspberry Pi Pico, and ESP32 boards, or even your own custom microcontroller board designed to learn programming without the actual hardware. My girlfriend’s daughter has just attended a free 5-day online course about AI, IoT, ESP32, MicroPython, and more organized by King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) and IMAKE Innovation, a STEM education company in Thailand. I was told they had some homework for ESP32 as part of the course, so I asked her whether she wanted an ESP32 board. But she said no need. So then I asked how to program the ESP32 without the board, or do they have a simulator? And indeed I was sent the screenshot below along with a blurry video showing the LED display updated as the program runs in the web browser. Considering ESP32 boards are so cheap and external modules or a breadboard are […]

Cytron CM4 Maker Board review – Part 2: NVMe SSD, RTC, Buzzer, Grove modules, ChatGPT…

We’ve already checked out Cytron’s CM4 Maker Board kit with a Raspberry Pi CM4 system-on-module and booted the system with the included 32GB “MAKERDISK” Class 10 microSD card preloaded Raspberry Pi OS in the first part of the review. For the second part of the CM4 Maker review, I’ve mostly used the 128GB NVMe SSD provided by the company and played with other features of the board including the RTC, the buzzer, some Seeed Studio grove modules, and even got help from ChatGPT for one of the Python programs I used. Booting Cytron CM4 Maker Board with the “MAKERDISK” NVMe SSD I connected several Grove modules with GPIO and I2C interfaces, a Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3, an Ethernet cable, two RF dongles for a wireless keyboard and mouse, an HDMI cable to a monitor, and finally inserted the provided 5V/3.5A USB-C power adapter. The MAKERDISK SSD comes with Raspberry […]

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

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 […]

CM4 Maker Board review – Part 1: specifications, unboxing, and first boot

Cytron CM4 Maker Board is a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi CM4 or CM4 Lite system-on-module with plenty of I/Os, support for one M.2 NVMe SSD, and RTC backup battery, a buzzer, and various LEDs for GPIO status that makes the board especially well suited for the education market and prototyping. The carrier board also comes with the usual Gigabit Ethernet and full-size HDMI port, four USB 2.0 ports, five Grove connectors, one Maker port, the omnipresent 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header, and support power input from 7V-18V DC jack or 5V via a USB Type-C connector. CM4 Maker Board specifications Cytron CM4 Maker Board specifications: Supported SoM – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 or Compute Module 4 Lite Storage microSD card slot M.2 PCIe 2.0 socket for NVMe 2232/2242 SSD Video Interfaces Full-size HDMI 2.0 port MIPI DSI display connector Camera – MIPI CSI connector connector Audio – […]

Review of micro:bit XGO Robot Kit – An educational robot dog with a Bluetooth joystick

ELECFREAKS micro:bit XGO Robot Kit is a robotic dog designed for robotics education. It moves realistically and acts like a real pet dog, and can help teach various technology concepts related to mechanical engineering, electronics, programming, and artificial intelligence (AI). The kit support both the BBC Micro:bit V1 and V2 boards which can be programmed with Microsoft MakeCode, Python, the Arduino IDE, and other languages. The XGO robot is compact and can be easily used on a desk or table. The robot is made of aluminum metal coated with a beautiful anodized finish. Each leg has 12 high-quality digital servos moving each joint, 3 on each side, totaling 12, helping the robot dog to move smoothly and flexibly. The robot can be controlled with apps, a joystick, and up to 19 ready-made postures, such as holding hands, looking for food, sitting down, squatting, etc… Content of the XGO robot kit: […]

FOSSBot open design 3D printed educational robot is made with Raspberry Pi and off-the-shelf parts

FOSSBot is an “open design” 3D printed educational robot comprised of a Raspberry Pi SBC and various off-the-shelf modules, as well as open-source software that can be used for education purposes. The FOSSBot DIY robot has been developed by the Harokopio University of Athens and the Greek Free and Open Source Software (GFOSS) community, and builds upon the “GSOC 2019 – A DIY robot kit for educators” with the main goal being to have a platform to “familiarize teachers with modern education models based on the S.T.E.A.M approach. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)”. FOSSbot key components: SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi 3, or Raspberry Pi 4. Mechanically and electrically compatible Raspberry Pi alternatives could be an option too although part of the software would have to be modified Storage – 32GB MicroSD card Expansion board – Adafruit Perma-Proto HAT for Pi – No EEPROM to connect sensors […]

XGO 2 – A Raspberry Pi CM4 based robot dog with an arm (Crowdfunding)

XGO 2 is a desktop robot dog using the Raspberry Pi CM4 as its brain, the ESP32 as the motor controller for the four legs and an additional robotic arm that allows the quadruped robot to grab objects. An evolution of the XGO mini robot dog with a Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor, the XGO 2 robot offers 12 degrees of freedom and the more powerful Raspberry CM4 model enables faster AI edge computing applications, as well as features such as omnidirectional movement, six-dimensional posture control, posture stability, and multiple motion gaits. The XGO 2 robot dog is offered in two variants – the XGO-Lite 2 and the XGO-Mini 2 – with the following key features and specifications: The company also says the new robot can provide feedback on its own postures thanks to its 6-axis IMU and sensors for the joints reporting the position and electric current. A display […]

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