The Romi 32U4 Control Board is designed to be assembled with a Romi chassis to create a capable integrated robot platform that can easily be programmed and customized.
Like our A-Star 32U4 programmable controllers, the Romi 32U4 Control Board is built around a USB-enabled Atmel ATmega32U4 AVR microcontroller, and it ships preloaded with an Arduino-compatible bootloader. The control board features two H-bridge motor drivers and is designed to connect to a Romi Encoder Pair Kit (available separately) to allow closed-loop motor control. It also includes a powerful 5 V switching step-down regulator that can supply up to 2 A continuously, along with a versatile power switching and distribution circuit. A 3-axis accelerometer and gyro enable a Romi 32U4 robot to make inertial measurements, estimate its orientation, and detect external forces. Three on-board pushbuttons offer a convenient interface for user input, while indicator LEDs, a buzzer, and a connector for an optional LCD allow the robot to provide feedback.
The Romi 32U4 Control Board can be used either as a standalone control solution or as a base for a more powerful Raspberry Pi controller. Its on-board connector and mounting holes allow a compatible Raspberry Pi (Model B+ or newer, including Pi 3 Model B and Model A+) to plug directly into the control board. Integrated level shifters make it easy to set up I²C communication and interface other signals between the two controllers, and the control board 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 Romi 32U4 Control Board for low-level tasks, like running motors, reading encoders, and interfacing with other analog or timing-sensitive devices.
The I/O lines of both the ATmega32U4 and the Raspberry Pi are broken out to 0.1?-spaced through-holes along the front and rear of the control board, and the board?s power rails are similarly accessible, enabling sensors and other peripherals to easily be connected.
A software add-on is available that makes it easy to program a Romi 32U4 robot from the Arduino environment, and we have Arduino libraries and example sketches to help get you started. A USB A to Micro-B cable (not included) is required for programming.
To build a robot with the Romi 32U4 Control Board, you will need a few additional parts:
- a Romi Chassis Kit (this includes motors, wheels, one ball caster, and battery contacts)
- a Romi Encoder Pair Kit
- six AA batteries; The Romi 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
- Current rating: 5A
- Processor: ATmega32U4 @ 16 MHz
- RAM size: 2560 bytes
- Program memory size: 32 Kbytes
- Motor driver: DRV8838
- Motor channels: 2
- Minimum operating voltage: 2.5V
- Maximum operating voltage: 10.8V
- Continuous output current per channel: 1.8A
- Logic voltage: 5V
- Reverse voltage protection?: Y
- External programmer required?: N