Adafruit’s Trinket platform – based on Atmel’s versatile ATtiny85 microcontroller (MCU) – has been used to power a number of diverse projects in recent months, including an audio player, flickering candle in a jar, a knock drawer lock and a sound-reactive LED color organ. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at a Trinket-powered rover designed by Rick Winscot for the Adafruit crew.
“Science, Technology, Engineering, (Art) and Math (STEM / STEAM) curriculum is gaining momentum in K-12 education,” Winscot explained in a recent Adafruit tutorial. “It’s exciting to see so many new makers and engineers learning how fun it is to make! I wanted to design a low cost robot that anyone could build if they have access to a 3D printer.”
Aside from the Atmel-powered Trinket, key project components include 7 plastic parts, a tiny breadboard, one 34xAA battery holder, 2X continuous rotation micro servos, 3X female/male jumpers, 3X M3 10mm screws, 1X M3 hex nut and double-sided foam tape. For distance measurement, Makers can use a Parallax Ping))) Sensor, Grove Ultrasonic Ranger, or Maxbotix Ultrasonic Rangefinder.
In addition, Winscot uses chain bracelets for the build, instead of 3D printing tracks/treads.
“I had some success 3D printing ones with flexible filament but the total cost was too high. That’s when I stumbled into these… ‘chain bracelets’ from Oriental Trading. You can buy a dozen for less than ten dollars; which will make six rovers,” he said.
On the source code side, Winscot created a Parallax Ping))) Distance Sensor sketch which he describes as an ultra-bare bones starting point.