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Sometimes we wonder if robotics engineers watch movies. If they had, they would know that turning robots into slaves always ends in a robot rebellion. Why go down this path? At Semageek, we believe in making robots our friends!
So if you need a companion, think of robots. They are fun to program, and you can be creative.
It is with this in mind that the Adafruit Crickit HAT was designed - it is our Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. This is an add-on for Raspberry Pi that allows you to make #MakeRobotFriend with Python!
Connect the Crickit HAT to your Pi using the standard 2x20 GPIO connector and start the control of motors, servos, solenoids. You also have 8 signal pins with analog inputs or PWM outputs, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel level shift driver and a 3W amplified speaker output on the I2S port. It complements and extends your Pi, doing all the things that a Pi can't do, so you can still use all the goodies on the Pi like video, camera, Internet, Bluetooth... but now you also have a robotic playground.
The control of motors, sensors, NeoPixels, capacitive touch, etc. is done in Python 3. This is the easiest and best way to program your Pi, and after a few pip installations, you will be ready to start. Audio is managed by Pi's integrated audio system, so anything that plays audio will come out of the speaker - including Python controls or any application with sound.
The Crickit HAT is powered by a seesaw, the I2C bridge to any firmware. You only need two data pins to control the large number of inputs and outputs of the Crickit. All these timers, PWMs, NeoPixels, sensors are unloaded on the co-processor.
You will have:
4 x Analog or digital servo controls, with 16-bit precision timers
2 x bidirectional DC motor control, 1 A current limited each, with 8-bit PWM speed control (or stepping motor)
4 x "Darlington" 500mA high current drive outputs with bounce diode protection. For solenoids, relays, large LEDs, or single pole steps.
4 x capacitive touch input sensors with pins for crocodile clips
8 x signal pins, usable as digital or analog inputs/outputs
1 x NeoPixel Driver with 5V level switch - it is connected to the switch chip, not had Raspberry Pi, so you will not abandon pin 18. it can drive more than 100 pixels.
1 x Class D speaker, 4-8 ohms, 3W-max audio amplifier - it is connected to the I2S pins of the Raspberry Pi for high quality digital sound. Works on any Pi, even Zeros that don't have an audio jack!
Integrated USB-to-serial converter. The USB port of the HAT can be used to update the Seesaw firmware on the Crickit, or you can plug it into your computer, it will also act as a USB converter to connect to the console and run command lines on the Pi.
All are powered by 5V DC, so you can use any servomotor, DC motor, stepper motor, solenoid, relay, etc. powered by 5V DC. For reasons of simplicity and safety, we do not support mixing voltages, therefore only 5V, not for use with 9V or 12V robotic components.
Please note that this card does not require any soldering but you will need a 5V power supply and a Raspberry Pi to accompany the Crickit, and these are not included!
We also recommend the purchase:
Raspberry Pi, any type with 2x20 connector can work
Power supply 5V 2A
If you plan to operate more than 2 large motors or servos at a time, we recommend a 5V 4A power supply.
And of course, we have an extensive collection of all motors, servos, solenoids, speakers and more.
As you will be working with high-current devices, we wanted to have a good solid power supply system that minimizes the risk of damage. The power supply has an'eFuse' management chip that automatically switches off if the voltage exceeds 5.5V or is less than 3V and is protected against overcurrents at 4A. Each motor driver circuit has a water hammer protection. We think it is a beautiful and durable card for robotics!
Many more details, diagrams, specifications and code examples in the Adafruit Learn guide:
Adafruit CRICKIT HAT for Raspberry Pi Linux Computers
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