Elecfreaks WuKong 2040 Robotic Board Review: Simple and Effective
Elecfreaks’ WuKong 2040 for $10, Raspberry Pi Pico And Piko Ok. It offers straightforward connections for 4 motors, 12 servos or a mixture of sensors and common electronics. However there are two issues that set it other than the group. First, there’s a big 18650 battery slot on the prime of the board. This implies a mission may be powered for as much as an hour and the battery may be recharged utilizing the built-in micro USB port. Second, on the backside of the board is a Lego suitable framework that can be utilized to combine the board and your Pico right into a Lego-based electronics mission.
All of those options are nice, however do they work and may I construct one thing with them? To seek out out that I put it within the financial institution and took it for a check.
WuKong 2040 Options
|Pico Compatibility||Raspberry Pi Pico, Raspberry Pi Pico W and different boards that share pinout|
|GPIO||SVG (Sign, Voltage Gnd) pins for GPIO 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,16,17,26,27,28)|
|M1: GPIO 20, 21|
|M2: GPIO 10, 11|
|M3: GPIO 12, 13|
|M4: GPIO 14, 15|
|NeoPixels / WS2812|
|I2C, SPI, UART, PWM, Analog|
|18650 Battery (Not Included)|
|Onboard 18650 charger (1000 mA charging present)|
WuKong 2040 Set up
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There isn’t a software program library to put in for WuKong 2040 and this implies we have now direct entry to GPIO by way of any suitable programming language. My first intuition when inserting the Raspberry Pi Pico into the header pins was to attach the micro USB cable to the micro USB port of the WuKong 2040. This intuition was fallacious. Apparently this explicit port is reserved for charging an 186050 cell (not included).
Talking of 18650s, you will must get a flat prime battery, not a tip for the + pole. A flat-topped battery snaps into place with minimal effort, whereas others create a big drive on the spring metal contacts. When you’ve got by no means used 18650 earlier than, heed this warning. They will retailer loads of energy and may by no means be broken or shorted. Retailer them in a protected plastic container when not in use.
To write down code to the Raspberry Pi Pico, I wanted to hook up with the Pico’s personal micro USB port. I am not an enormous fan of this because the variety of plug/out cycles will finally cut back the lifespan of the Pico. However that is how it’s.
The GPIO is separated by way of a collection of SVG (Sign (Yellow), Voltage (Pink) and Floor (Black)) pins. Because of this there may be entry to 3V and GND for every connection, which is useful.
The place it comes into its personal is when a servo is hooked up. The SVG pinout is completely matched to a servo, and with a small code, as much as 12 servos may be up and working. There are 4 motor terminals marked M1 to M4. These terminals are linked to the GPIO pinouts for the Raspberry Pi Pico by way of 4 chips. The chips ought to be some type of H-bridge controller the place the polarity of the motor may be modified to supply ahead and reverse movement. However these 75V15 chips stunned me. I can not discover a datasheet for them. Nevertheless, they work simply in addition to a standard H-bridge motor controller (L298, L3110S, DRV8833 and so on.). I linked two Lego suitable DC motors and wrote a couple of traces of MicroPython to spin a robotic round my desk.
The built-in Neopixels are sensible and straightforward to make use of with MicroPython and CircuitPython. Elecfreaks steered utilizing Adafruit’s CircuitPython and I used that for a fast check. That is additionally the place I bumped into an impediment. Usually I might save the code in Pico as code.py, the NeoPixel library could be within the lib folder and every part would work. But it surely did not. After some confusion I noticed that I needed to change the micro USB port from Pico to WuKong 2040 to see NeoPixels mild up. It is not an ideal workflow and it is one that may trigger issues for newcomers.
Lego Appropriate Chassis
Underneath the motherboard is a Lego suitable body. This body is designed to work with Technic elements and can be suitable with Lego Spike elements. I put in two Lego suitable DC motors that I purchased from Aliexpress for lower than $10 a pair, after which raided my field of Lego Spike elements. 90% of the items I linked weren’t official Lego, however official or not, they had been all solidly linked. Lego chassis integration is a key promoting level. Because of this we are able to do initiatives with out the necessity for one of the best 3D printer or laser cutter.
What Tasks Can Be Carried out With Wikong 2040?
Initially, this can be a board for Pico robotics. It solely works with robots. Throw in a Raspberry Pi Pico W, an 18650 battery and discover out for some time that you’ve got Anvil, a Wi-Fi managed robotic.
Digital and analog GPIO and specialist protocols are additionally properly linked to the onboard battery system. Meaning I can construct a sensor platform with just some elements, put it in a pleasant field, and begin accumulating knowledge. A number of servo connections make this a enjoyable board for making a strolling robotic or an elegantly form-changing sensor-triggered artwork set up.
For $10 I can forgive the micro USB subject. It is irritating in fact, however the sheer variety of options and ease of use present in WuKong 2040 means I can have loads of enjoyable. The built-in 18650 battery holder and charging system are useful, and whereas I can not get a full GPIO breakout, it is greater than ample for my wants.
It’s helpful to print the GPIO pin reference on the board, I want it included the I2C, SPI, UART pin references. The Lego suitable base is loads of enjoyable for Lego followers like me. When you do not want it, don’t fret. Get a Phillips screwdriver and it pops out immediately. In a classroom, makerspace or homebrew mission, the WuKong 2040 is a superb all-rounder for $10.
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