Little Red Rover Major Changes

I have not written about my Little Red Rover (LRR) for quite a while, so this will be a big update. When I get into the zone, I tend to forget about documentation.

If you have read previous posts about my Little Red Rover, you will see how much has changed. The LRR is built up from an Adafruit Mini Robot Rover Chassis Kit and started as an Arduino based remote-controlled machine. Now, I am using Adafruit"s CircuitPython, which is a derivative of MicroPython. However, Circuitpython is oriented towards education and is much easier to get started with and use. The processor is a Feather M4 Express board, which has a 120MHz SAMD51 MCU.

Here are the upgrades:

Upgraded to four wheels for better stability.
Added sensors
HTU21D-F for temperature and humidity readings
TSL2591 for detecting light level
VL53L0X for distance sensing and obstacle avoidance
Added a PowerBoost 1000C to provide 5V for the motors
Added a stack of Feather form factor boards
AdaLogger FeatherWing (RTC and SD card)
DC Motor + Stepper FeatherWing for motor control
0.54" Quad Alphanumeric Display FeatherWing
TCA9548A I2C Multiplexer
Two 2200mAH Lithium Ion batteries for power

The TCA9548A is needed because the TSL2591 and VL53L0X have the same I2C address, which can not be changed. As you will see in the pictures, I still have to do some cable management for the switches. I still have to do some cable management. I also need a special cable to go from the PowerBoost to the connection block for power to the motors. I do not have the gauge of wire I want to use to make this cable and am not happy with the small wires that are used in most USB cables.

LRR can and does log all sensor readings to the SD card at a configurable interval. There are other tasks that run at a specific interval, such as display, and heater for the SHT31-D. The software can also be easily configured to run with various combinations of sensors and displays. I am adding more sensors as I can get my hands on them.

A future upgrade will add wireless capability in the form of an
RFM69HCW 900MHz Radio FeatherWing and/or an AirLift ESP32 WiFi Co-Processor FeatherWing. I would like to add both!

That is all I have for now, but there will be more to come!

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