We’ve got some new great new parts in this week.

Mini Maestros

Mini Maestro 18-channel USB servo controller (assembled version)First up are Pololu’s next venture into servo controllers. The 12 and 18 channel Mini Maestro Servo controllers let you control a *lot* of servos with high 0.25μs resolution and with speed and acceleration control.

The real neat thing about these servo controllers is they can be used as general purpose IO boards that can connect all kinds of sensors and other devices to a computer via USB or a microcontroller via TTL. Plus they support scripting, so the little boards can run autonomously!

We will get the 24 channel version in soon. Still called a Mini Maestro though, makes me wonder what a Major Maestro would be.

66 Channel GPS with Ceramic Antenna

Our first GPS sensor is the 66 channel LS20031 GPS receiver from Locosys. This has a built in ceramic antenna and tracks up to 66 satellites at a time.

LS20031 GPS receiver module top view with quarter for size reference

The big problems with GPS devices is they use a fair amount of power and take ages to acquire a good fix to enough satellites. The LS20031 has a battery on board that enables it to save its state between uses so that can hot start in less than 2 seconds.

Thermopile Temperature Sensor

MLX90614 temperature sensor with quarter for size referenceWith a range of –40 to 85° C this little sensor is an excellent non contact heat sensor. It can be used to detect movement of hot bodies like people, flames or for building a robot that follows you around.