Tindie Blog | The StoRPer: Open-Source AWD Robot Platform!

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CoI declaration: concreted0g is a fellow Tindie Blog writer and a friend. Though I wouldn’t write about their project unless I genuinely thought it was worthwhile, it’s important to us that our readers are informed of any potential conflict of interest up-front.

Many robotics platforms are out there, but few are as simple and easy to use as this one. The StoRPer is an all-wheel drive robotics platform, designed to use a Raspberry Pi Pico as the brains, but because the system is designed to be modular it would be straightforward to hack in your microcontroller of choice.

The pictured example uses mechanum wheels, which allow travel in any cardinal direction by simply changing the rotation direction of certain wheels. Note that the base kit doesn’t include wheels or motors, but N20 motors with standard motor mounts work perfectly. Or you can 3D print whatever kind of motor mount your project requires!

The motor drive is accomplished using the inexpensive but easy-to-use L9110S H-bridge driver IC. These make driving DC motors very simple — just send a high signal to one pin and the motor turns one way, a high signal to another pin and it spins the opposite way. The chip is easier to use than discrete MOSFETs as it prevents shoot-through, which can reduce efficiency and even destroy your FETs. Though they are only rated for 500mW each, with 4 wheels and low impedance connections to the motor, this should be more than adequate for most applications.

concreted0g has aimed to make these boards affordable, which is commendable as many kits can get very expensive very quickly. If you’ve been looking for a simple platform to get your project moving, the StoRPer is an excellent choice!

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