Wild Thumper Controller Board
Cost: $74.95 each
Description: This controller board is built by Dagu specifically for their robot platforms. It essentially combines an Arduino development board with a dual H-bridge motor driver all bolted down to an aluminum heatsink. The heart of the board is an ATMega168 AVR microcontroller which comes loaded with the Arduino bootloader and some simple control code. Code can be easily accessed and changed in the Arduino IDE using the on-board FTDI chip and mini-USB connector. All of the headers on board are accompanied by ground and voltage lines to allow for easy servo connection.
The controller allows for on board charging of SLA, NiCd or NiMh battery packs and has a dedicated barrel jack socket for DC input. A 5 Amp LDO voltage regulator handles the step-down from standard 7.2 or 7.4v RC battery packs. A set of screw terminals are provided for the battery connection as well as for connecting external devices (5 volt regulated out).
The motor controller side is made up of dual 15A FET H-bridges with fuse protection. A blown fuse is detected by the microcontroller and indicated by an on-board LED. Screw terminals are populated and clearly marked for left and right. All of the FETs are bolted down to the aluminum heatsink and electrically isolated with thermal tape.
This board is ready to go out-of-the-box! The supplied code will accept input from a standard RC vehicle receiver and handle the "mixing" for differential steering. If you would rather control it with Serial or I2C input, that can be done simply by downloading the proper Arduino sketch and changing a few constants (it's programmed in!). Also, because it is an Arduino compatible controller, feel free to write your own control scheme or even load it up with sensors and go autonomous! Seven general-use digital pins are broken out on the board as well as 5 ADC pins and the ISP header. Uploading code is as simple as selecting "Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (5V, 16MHz) w/ ATMega168" under the boards menu in the Arduino IDE.
Note: The 2 Amp on-board charging system is not capable of charging Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer batteries. Attempting to charge LiPo batteries with this board could cause fire or injury. Lithium batteries may be used to power the board, just charge them with a dedicated LiPo charger.
Dimensions: 4" x 2 3/8" x 1 1/4"
- Controlled by on-board ATMega168 IC with Arduino bootloader
- Dual 15A FET H-bridges are fuse protected
- Blown fuse events are indicated by on-board LEDs
- 7 x Digital pins (D2, D4, D7, D8, D9, D10, D12)
- 5 x ADC pins (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5)
- Capable of charging SLA, NiCd and NiMh batteries
- Ready out-of-the-box for RC "servo" control on a 7.2v RC Battery (not included)
- On-board current and voltage monitoring
- Communicates via PWM "Servo" control, I2C, Serial or USB