Wednesday, November 7, 2012

RasPi Robot Remote - i2C & Interfacing Servos

As mentioned before, my friend's astromech droid is going to have a large number of servos and actuators.  In fact many more than could be easily directly connected to the GPIO interface of the Raspberry Pi.  Another downside to using the GPIO interface directly is that it is not buffered.  Unless one is extremely careful when connecting components to the GPIO, the Raspberry Pi can be easily fried and Fried Pi in this case doesn't sound very appetizing.

Luckily the folks over at AdaFruit.com have an excellent solution with the Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver - I2C interface http://www.adafruit.com/products/815


This very small servo controller is based on a PWM LED driver, but it also works great as a servo controller or other output driver and can directly drive up to 16 devices.  The I2C interface means that only 3 wires are required to connect it to the RasPi and up to 62 (yes SIXTY-TWO) of these controllers can be chained together providing up to 992 outputs.  That should be about 20x what is needed for my friend's droid.

I'm ordering one of these to test with and I'll let you know the results when I get it.

More to come...

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