The 3DoT Board is a board specifically designed for the developers and makers who are working on building the robot projects. Aptly called the brain, power, and controller of any robot, this 35 x 70 mm PCB ensures to ease the process of making 3D-printed, laser-cut, and other homemade robots. Users just need to plug the motors and servos directly onto the board, and a smart, current-limited power circuit allows it to drive everything from the on-board battery.
There is no need to purchase a separate battery charger. The 3DoT Board automatically charges the on-board battery to a safe level through USB and can power most small robots continuously running for about 30 minutes. Also, its ability to debug messages over Bluetooth makes the development process smooth.
Besides, the accessories can be plugged into headers on the top like a shield with an IMU and front of the board like a front-facing sensor array. The board has an Arduino library and iOS/Android app that makes the development easy. The library allows users to write code to interface with controls on the mobile app. Any AVR tool can be used too.
Smart features like Community Mode work as add on. In the Community Mode, the user’s phone is attached to the robot, and phone cameras along with Bluetooth connection helps users to control their robot from a computer anywhere in the world.
Key Features and Specifications
1. Microcontroller: ATmega32U4
2. Bluetooth: FCC-certified BLE 5.0 module
3. Power Management:
- RCR123A battery holder
- 600 mAh rechargeable battery
- Microchip MCP7383 battery charge controller
- External battery connector for input voltages between 4 - 18 V
- Reverse polarity protection (plugin the battery backward)
4. Motors & Servos:
- 2x JST motor connectors
- 2x standard servo connectors
- 16-pin top female headers for shields - providing I/O, I²C, SPI, USART, 3.3 V, and 5 V
- The forward-facing 8-pin female header for sensor shields - providing 4 analog pins, I²C, and 3.3 V power - for sensor shields like infrared or metal-detecting shields. Great location for headlights, lasers, ultrasonics, etc.
6. Programming switch:
- Three-position switch for easy programming
- No more double-tapping a button and rushing to program your board, or your robot trying to drive away while programming.
- Set the switch to PRG to program, RUN to execute your code.
The team has built many robots using the 3DoT Board, and it has also been used at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Electrical Engineering classes. This has helped the makers in refining the design and making it more reliable and suitable. The board is currently up on the Crowd Supply and the shipping will begin on November 18, 2020.