Let's Make Robots!

µServotino robot controller

In November 2010 I have started the design of a new piece of hardware, the µServotino. Much like it's brother µBotino, this board is 2x2" in size (5x5cm), has a voltage regulator, switch, ISP connector, FTDI connector, 6 sensor connectors (GND, 5V, Signal) and 12 servo connectors (GND, Vin, Signal). There is also a UART connector (with associate 5V and GND pins) in case one wants to hook up a serial device to the robot. Plenty of filtering capacitors and 2 LEDs, one for power and the other for pin D13, that can be disabled by removing the J1 jumper. This time I used a  Screw terminal connector for the battery, because it is rated for higher amperage than the keyed connector and the servos will draw a lot while moving under load.

I placed an order online at iTead Studios on December 4th 2010 and I asked for yellow color boards, to be in tone with the uBotino and the RBS. The boards were fabricated in a few days and shipped after about one week from placing the order. I have waited and waited... On Jan 6th 2011, the package was returned to sender from the Shenszen customs. iTead Studio wrote me an email explaining that Canada Post did not pick up the parcel. WTF? They shipped the package again, using Hong Kong post and today (Feb 4th 2011) I picked it up from the post office. Finally. But, to my surprise, the boards are green! WTF? Of course, the colored boards cost more... Oh well, I wrote them an email to see what can be done to correct the error. Until I get a response, I don't really want to start soldering... But the boards look great, good quality.

I will place the schematic, PCB layout and pictures of the actual boards tomorrow, I am too tired right now. I have a bitter taste from this experience, although it's not completely iTead Studio's fault. But still, green boards instead of yellow? If they were not sure how to make them, why not ask?

Back tomorrow guys...


OK, here are the pictures,


PCB layout:

the µServotino, front and back:

And with the µBotino:

Latter I'll uplod a picture of the assembled board.


Ok, here it is:

And here's what you can do with it:

Tests after I upload the bootloader...

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That's it.

I like your designs, use of space, simplicity while still getting all the bells and whistles out of a board... Good stuff.

Yet another one out of the park.

I am still using your "regular" shield on a daily basis. It has become my "standard" "trying something out" test-bed.

Thanks Chris!

Did I send you a version 2 shield?

I also promissed one (v2 shield) to somebody else but totally forgot who. Stupid me... Please remind me, whoever you are...

Could be me. I reviewed your V1 shield and found the trace that needed to be cut to get it working.

I'd be very interested in reviewing the uBotino and uServotino.

Any beta testers for the µServotino?

Sweet X! So this will drive up to 12 servos eh!! Please let me know when you have this released. ;)

Happy to beta test for you.

to get my own board made. Just have to overcome my impatience for using(searching) the parts libraries in eagle. Very nice work R-B-X.

Successfully assmebled the uServotino kit. The pre-installed 'blink' program works fine. I need to build an FTDI cable so I can program it. I plan to use this tip by Ro-Bot-X to build it. the cable is already on order.

I'll post a review soon!

Glad the board finaly is in working condition. I guess you managed the crystal problem, that will be corrected in the next batch. Now I need to know if you have problems programming using the FTDI cable. On the board I assembled, the 10k pull up resistor shows up like 7.2K and the board does not autoreset. I have to press the Reset button manually to make it upload. I did not had time to further investigate the problem, as latelly I didn't do any work on robotics. So I'm curious if it's just my board like that or all boards are.

OK. I just finished building the programming cable you described.  I get the same result you did. I had to hit the reset button in order for the sketch to load.