Yay! We've got our first haul of sensors for Spot:Bot.
We've adopted Pimoroni's Breakout Garden platform and gone for the following:
- 3x VL53L1X Time of Flight Sensor (front, left & right placement)
- 1x 6 DoF Motion Sensor (for compass functionality in the maze)
- 1x Breakout Garden HAT (for prototyping)
- 1x Pack of 2 Line Sensors
- 1x Pan-Tilt HAT (for camera mount)
- 1x OLED (for mode/status display)
- 2x Breakout Garden Extender Kits (packs of 3)
- 1x Adafruit TCA9548A I2C Multiplexer (for the ToF sensors)
The above is what we will need for just one robot - we're actually building TWO of these for parallel development and business continuity on the day of the competition, so we'll need double. This roboteering sure is an expensive business!
Breakout Garden HAT
The Breakout Garden allows us to connect the sensors to the Pi quickly and easily. However, you can also connect them directly to the Pi's I2C bus if you know how. We plan to adopt the latter approach but the HAT is just for quick and dirty prototyping and testing in the short term while the robot build is in flux.
Breakout Garden Extenders
The extenders allow you to site your sensors away from the HAT via jumper wires - They come with a part to plug into the HAT and a part to plug into the sensor, both of which expose jumper pins for you.
This is useful if you want to site your sensors in different locations on your robot and point them in different directions, as we will want to with our Time of Flight sensors. We won't be using the HAT but we think the sensor end of these will be useful to avoid having to solder up the sensors.
Here's a picture of what a set of Breakout Garden Extenders look like:
A note about I2C multiplexers
Some I2C sensors come with fixed addresses that we cannot change. The multiplexer allows us to communicates with multiple identically addressed I2C sensors at the same time. In our case, this will be the 3x ToF sensors, although we will probably just hang all of our I2C sensors off this for convenience.