Kitronik Pico Motor Driver and Pico Robotics Board Review: R2-P1C0

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Kitronik Pico Motor Driver and Pico Robotics Board Review: R2-P1C0

Both of these boards are simple yet powerful platforms from which we can make great robots.

Robotics is a big part of the Raspberry Pi and microcontroller communities. The merging of code and electronics to make an object move is a great motivator for STEM education. Because motors draw far too much current for a typical GPIO pin to handle, we need to use a motor controller or driver board to protect the GPIO by enabling the Pico to control a chip on the board.

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Kitronik has released two motor control boards for the Raspberry Pi Pico. The $13 (£9) Pico Motor Driver is the smallest board, aimed at basic Pico robotics projects and ideal for learners who want to make a quick robot with DC motors and simple sensors. The $18 (£13.20) Pico Robotics Board is larger and comes with many more motor options. With this board we can control up to eight servo motors, two stepper motors and four DC motors, but we lack ready access tothe GPIO inputs found on the Pico Motor Driver, but for those of us skilled with a soldering iron these can be easily added using the solder pads underneath where our Pico resides. Both of the boards come with power input terminals for use with batteries / power supplies up to 10.8V. The single power source provides power to the robot and the Raspberry Pi Pico which simplifies the design of a project.

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