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- Order number: Pololu-3116
This programmable module is designed to be the core of a small robot, either as an auxiliary controller atop a Raspberry Pi base or as a complete control solution on its own. Its Atmel ATmega32U4 microcontroller comes preloaded with an Arduino-compatible bootloader. On-board hardware includes dual motor drivers that can deliver 1.8 A per channel and an efficient voltage regulator that allows the controller to work with a 2.7 V to 11 V input voltage, along with level shifters that enable it to interface with a Raspberry Pi. This version (item #3116) does include any through-hole components or connectors; it is intended for those who want to customize the way it is assembled.
|A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller LV with Raspberry Pi Bridge, bottom view with dimensions.|
The A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller LV with Raspberry Pi Bridge is a programmable module well-suited for robotics applications, designed to work either as an auxiliary controller mounted to a Raspberry Pi or as a standalone control solution for a small robot. This A-Star (abbreviated A*) is based on Atmel’s ATmega32U4 AVR microcontroller, which has built-in USB functionality, and it ships with a preloaded Arduino-compatible bootloader. Its complement of peripheral hardware includes dual motor drivers capable of delivering a continuous 1.8 A per channel, along with pushbuttons, LEDs, and an optional buzzer for building a user interface. An efficient switching voltage regulator allows the controller to work over a wide range of input voltages (2.7 V to 11 V).
The robot controller board conforms to the Raspberry Pi HAT specification, allowing it to be used as an add-on for a Raspberry Pi with a 40-pin GPIO header (Model B+, Model A+, and Pi 2 Model B). On-board level shifters make it easy to set up I²C communication and interface other signals between the two controllers, and the A-Star 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 A-Star for low-level tasks like reading analog sensors and controlling timing-sensitive devices (e.g. servos).
Our comprehensive user’s guide provides the basics you need to get started with the A-Star as well as detailed technical information for advanced users.
This product requires a USB A to Micro-B cable (not included) to connect to a computer.
The robot controller is available in two configurations:
- With surface mount components only (no through-hole components or mounting hardware)
- Assembled with selected through-hole components for use as a Raspberry Pi add-on (Raspberry Pi mounting hardware included)
Details for item #3116
|A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller LV with Raspberry Pi Bridge (SMT components only).|
This version of the A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller LV with Raspberry Pi Bridge does not include any through-hole components. It ships as shown in the picture above, without any male or female headers, terminal blocks, DC power jack, buzzer, or Raspberry Pi mounting hardware. This configuration is intended for those who want to use the board as a standalone robot controller or customize the way it is assembled for use with a Raspberry Pi.
For a version assembled with selected through-hole parts for use as a Raspberry Pi add-on and with mounting hardware included, seeitem #3117.
- Dimensions: 65 mm × 56 mm (2.6″ × 2.2″)
- Programmable ATmega32U4 MCU with 32 KB flash, 2.5 KB SRAM, 1 KB EEPROM, and native full-speed USB (clocked by precision 16 MHz crystal oscillator)
- Preloaded with Arduino-compatible bootloader (no external programmer required)
- All 26 general-purpose I/O lines from the ATmega32U4 are broken out (including PB0, PD5, and PE2); 7 of these can be used as hardware PWM outputs and 12 of these can be used as analog inputs (some I/O lines are used by on-board hardware)
- Convenient 0.1″-spaced power, ground, and signal connection points
- Dual bidirectional DRV8838 motor drivers (1.8 A per channel)
- Buzzer option for simple sounds and music
- 3 user-controllable LEDs
- 3 user pushbuttons
- Reset button
- Level shifters for interfacing 5 V logic to 3.3 V Raspberry Pi
- Power features:
- Can be powered from USB or from a 2.7 V to 11 V external source (with several access points for connecting external power)
- Switching 5 V regulator enables efficient operation
- Power switch for external power inputs
- Reverse-voltage protection on external power inputs
- Power selection circuit allows for seamless switching between power sources while providing overcurrent protection, and feedback about which power source is selected
- Provides 5 V power to Raspberry Pi
- 6-pin ISP header for use with an external programmer
- Comprehensive user’s guide
|Driving motors with an A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller LV with Raspberry Pi Bridge on a Raspberry Pi Model B+.|
Like our other A-Star 32U4 programmable controllers, the A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller ships with a preloaded Arduino-compatible bootloader (which uses 4 KB of flash memory, leaving 28 KB available for the user program). We provide a software add-on that enables the board to be easily programmed from the Arduino environment and an Arduino library to make it easy to use the additional on-board hardware.
The A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller has the same microcontroller as the Arduino Leonardo and Arduino Micro, and it runs at the same frequency, so most code examples intended for those boards should also work on the A-Star.
The A-Star family
The A-Star 32U4 Robot Controller is a part of our larger A-Star 32U4 family, all of whose members are based on the same ATmega32U4 microcontroller, feature native USB interfaces, and are preloaded with Arduino-compatible bootloaders. The table below shows some key features and specifications of our A-Star microcontroller boards to help you choose the right one for your application.
A-Star 32U4 Micro
A-Star 32U4 Mini ULV
A-Star 32U4 Mini LV
A-Star 32U4 Mini SV
A-Star 32U4 Prime LV
A-Star 32U4 Prime SV
|User I/O lines:||18||26||26|
|Ground access points:||2||4||43|
|Operating voltage:||5.5 V to 15 V||0.5 V to 5.5 V||2.7 V to 11.8 V||5 V to 36 V||2.7 V to 11.8 V||5 V to 36 V|
|Regulator type:||linear||switching |
|Regulated current:||100 mA(1)||500 mA(1)||1 A(1)||500 mA(1)||1 A(1)||1 A(1)|
|Dimensions:||1″ × 0.6″||1.9″ × 0.7″||2.8″ × 2.1″|
|Weight:||1.3 g(2)||3.4 g(2)||13 g to 33 g|
1 These values are rough approximations for comparison purposes. Available current depends on input voltage, current consumed by the board, ambient conditions, and regulator topology. See product documentation and performance graphs for details.
2 Without included optional headers.