It is easier to be a robotics hobbyist more than ever, thanks to affordable electronics and electric motors. Raspberry Pi is one of those robotics hobbyists starter pack items since it can also provide programming despite its size and price.
With a servo motor connected to a Raspberry Pi, motion control for your small project is easy to achieve. Before assembling your little project, you must learn the limits of a servo motor first.
What are the limits of running a servo motor with Raspberry Pi?
Most servo motors don’t rotate continuously like a typical motor, you don’t just power it and have it spin endlessly. It needs control signals from your Raspberry Pi, which tell the angle its driveshaft should rotate. Tell it to turn to 180 degrees, it will; command it to turn to 20 degrees, and it’ll go 160 degrees back the other way. Also, remember that servo motors are not particularly strong and won’t be able to lift large loads. A simple servo motor and Raspberry Pi connection use codes set to its minimum, median, and maximum values.
Raspberry Pi pins overview
Your Raspberry Pi uses general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins, with Broadcom (BCM) numbering by default. Of the 40 pins, there are multiple power, signal, and ground pins that your servo motors can be connected to. There are two 5v pins (2 and 4), eight ground pins (6, 9, 14, 20, 25, 30, 34, 39), two advanced use pins (27, 28) for clock and data, and the remaining 26 are GPIO pins. Early versions of Raspberry Pi have a shorter header with 26 pins. The GPIO pins can be programmed to connect to low power digital or analog signal connections, including your servo motor.
Raspberry Pi wiring for servo motor
To connect your servo motor to your Raspberry Pi, find the three jumper wires extending from it. Wire colors can be different, but you can assume that the red wire is the power wire, and connect that to pin one. The black or something brown wire should be the ground wire and can be connected to a GND pin. The remaining wire will be your signal wire, which you can attach to a GPIO pin of your choice.
Testing your Raspberry Pi-powered servo motor
Just remember which pin you are using for your code since Raspberry Pi pins have different functions. Once you have wired your servo to the Raspberry Pi, you can test that it is working using Python Editor scripts. There are scripts available online, which can be copied and pasted to your Raspberry Pi. You can play with the values to tweak the parameters and see your servo move differently.
Do more projects with Raspberry Pi
As mentioned, Raspberry Pi can be programmed to connect digital and analog stuff aside from servo motors. For example, you can connect DC motors if your project includes power motion. You can download documentation here for more details about using Raspberry Pi and other controllers for your chosen motor. Hopefully, this helps you learn about using Raspberry Pi for your robotics projects.
Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Tech-Savvy People
With Christmas being right around the corner, these gadgets might just be the best gift for your tech-savvy friends and family!
Wondering what to gift your gadget-obsessed friend or family member for Christmas? In all honesty, tech gifts have become increasingly popular. They’re not all about the hype, they’re extremely handy and without any donut makes our lives a little more exciting.
Today, almost every product on the market can be technologically innovative. Do you want to grow plants? There’s a tech device for it. Have you been working 8 hours straight and worried about your posture? There are pretty cool apps for that.
Whether you have a tech lover friend or you’re married to a gadget-guru, truthfully your loved ones deserve a gift this Christmas that is much better than a normal gift card. We’ve picked some tech gifts that may be something your loved one would look forward to. These gifts are bound to impress even the hardest person to please!
Zink Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
We have to admit that even in today’s highly digital-driven world, there’s still nothing that can replace a hard copy. It’s just on whole another level. Sure it’s exciting to have a new phone and take DSLR quality photos on it, but that doesn’t beat the feeling of having your memories on a hard copy.
This Polaroid ZIP is the perfect gift to someone who wishes to go back to the time when it was exciting to get their photos printed, and by using this gadget, you can get your hands on your photos instantly.
Simply connect your smartphone, iPad, Android, or any other smart device to this portable gadget via Wi-Fi to witness your portrait selfies or social media photos in physical pictures within just a couple of minutes!
The best part is that it’s made into a travel size design so you can print out your pictures while on vacation. There is more than one color and option that you can choose from, so head on to Amazon to choose!
Google Nest Audio
Google just announced in their blog post that Google Nest speakers such as the Nest Audio now have access to Apple Music. Apple’s streaming service is going to roll out as part of the update to Google smart speakers on December 7.
The Nest Audio easily adapts to its environment and what you’re listening to, which makes music sound much better. You can further create your very own home audio system with the Nest Audio.
In fact, the Nest Audio works very well with any of your other Nest speakers and displays, devices that are Chromecast-enabled, or other compatible speakers. From getting weather updates to current news, the Nest Audio will answer each and every question of yours, just like Google.
Moreover, it’s thoughtfully designed for your home and is beautiful in its appearance. You can purchase these at Ohio Edison FirstEnergy for $99.99 or directly from Google itself. This will be an unforgettable gift for your loved one that will go a long way.
Fizzi One Touch
We can all agree that sparkling water has been the in thing for quite some time now. The Fizzi One Touch machine from SodaStream has the option to choose from three carbonated levels. It’ll transform your flat water into sparkling water within just a few seconds.
This has a slimmer look than SodaStream’s traditional machine and further has a sleek water bottle which is reusable. It’ll fit perfectly well in your loved ones kitchen, and in fact make it look all the more modern
There’s no rocket science involved in how to operate the bottle. It’s easy to load and has a snap-lock bottle insertion. It comes alongside a power adapter. If your loved one loves a good sparkling drink, this would be the perfect gift to them. You can purchase it for $119.65 at William-Sonoma.
We think it’s a necessity in today’s era to have a speedy and reliable Wi-Fi router. Eero’s highly advanced system has made it possible to cover every nook and corner of your house in its Wi-Fi “mesh”. By having a simple plug-and-play installation, you’re good to go.
Amazon’s Eero Pro Mesh Wi-Fi system easily replaces your traditional Wi-Fi router, by simply having a Wi-Fi extender, and an internet booster that will cover almost 4 bedrooms with its mesh network.
It takes just a few minutes to set up this internet router and as compared to traditional Wi-Fi routers, your loved one can use its user-friendly app to troubleshoot, or reach out to Eero’s support team and be attended to within 60 seconds. You can purchase this at Amazon for $399.
Tozo W1 Wireless Charger
Who hates jumbled up wires? We sure do and we’re certain, so do your family and friends. It not only consumes SO much space but untangling them is just another chore. Which is why, you should consider getting the Tozo W1 Wireless Charger as a Christmas gift for your loved one.
It’s the slimmest wireless charger out there, with an aviation aluminum and durable mirror panel. In fact, it’s pretty fashionable, especially if your loved one is a tech savvy person. It not only has a built in charger, but comes with a short-circuit and overheating protection.
Moreover, it also has changing color breath LED lights that lets you know once it’s ready to be charged, when it’s charging, and when it’s fully charged. You can purchase this for just $12 at Amazon.
Technology Rarely Disappoints
These tech gadgets are sure to make this Christmas for our loved one a memorable one. Technology always comes handy, and it has a long life. From voice assistant to wireless charging, you’ve more than one option on what you should give this Christmas.
10 Gadgets for People Who Like Traveling
From time to time we all have to travel on the road, via rail or in the air. Here is a list of gadgets that you can use if you like traveling. However, they are also very handy for if you do not like traveling. Sometimes even people who love the road will need a break from the monotony of driving, and sometimes people who enjoy visiting new places will need gadgets to hide their credit cards. Here are ten great gadgets you should seriously consider taking the next time you go traveling.
1. The iPad
The iPad can be loaded with apps so that if you are not the car driver then you can use the iPad as merrily as you like until the battery goes flat. It is also a nice distraction if the in-flight movie is not very good.
2. The Kindle
If you are on the road, train or in the air, you can read as much as you like. You do not need to carry around a library full of books when you can store as many as you like (within reason) on your kindle.
These are old fashioned and still sadly underused when people travel. Sure, you can use them when you get to your destination, but why not try them whilst you are traveling. You may miss many things when you are on the road or on a train. You can catch a few of those things if you take your binoculars. You may even find them a lot of fun to use on a plane, especially if you can see another aircraft.
4. A camera
Many people take their camera, but few think to keep it near them when they are traveling. The number of sights you see on the road or on a train may be few and far between, but every now and then you will see a car crash or a something funny in a field and wish you had your camera with you. Keep it with you at all time to make sure you get a snap of some of the interesting things you may otherwise miss.
5. A Smartphone and travel app
Your smartphone can be used for entertainment purposes, but why not use it as a satellite navigation system. There are also apps that will tell you where the nearest gas station is, where the nearest restaurant is, and when you next train or plane will arrive. Do not overlook the potential of your cute little phone.
6. The travel pillow
This is a time tested accessory of all travelers, be it plane or car, you need your travel pillow if you wish to have a cat nap on route. It is best not used on a train, since the people who fall asleep are the ones who end up being robbed.
7. A snuggie
This is really only useful if you are in a car or camper van, but is still good to have. It is warm and covers most of your body, which helps you sleep in the back seat. It is also good if the room heaters in your hotel are not efficient enough (you know, when they only heat the part of the room near the window).
8. A Nintendo DS
Little games consoles are a godsend if you are a passenger on a load road trip, and the Nintendo DS is the one you should take with you. The battery life is very good, the game play mechanics are often easy to use, the screen is bright and the item is so small that it can fit in almost anybody’s pocket. It is a great little boredom breaker.
9. Digital luggage scales
This is good for if you have to go on a plane and need to take a lot of luggage. It is even better for when you are coming home and wish to divide all of your purchases between your luggage, as most people come back with more items than they leave with.
10. Stealth undercover sleeve
This is a handy little device for traveling light, since you can put your phone and credit cards into it, so that you need not carry any items in a bag or in your pockets. It is a good place to put things that you are not going to use too often, such as your room key.
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