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Chances are if a robot is mobile or is outfitted with actuating limbs, it has motors onboard, along with a , allowing them to do so. There are a ton of different controllers on the market for actuation and locomotion, with each requiring to be wired up and programmed before they can be manipulated.

Render of Praveen Kumar’s Lyra-5A Brushed Controller can use multiple inputs to control motors. (📷 Praveen Kumar)

That’s all fine and good, but what if you wanted a universal controller that could handle nearly any kind of source — remote controller, analog , Bluetooth, I2C, etc.? What if you could also use the same platform to drive more than one motor and deliver a myriad of different voltages? That’s the sort of controller Praveen Kumar had in mind when he designed Lyra-5A.

The Lyra-5A is a tiny board (measuring 65mm x 40mm), which is equipped with an ATmega328P microcontroller and a pair of I2C extensions with one for connecting to the controller and the other for connecting multiple modules in a series. It also features U5 space for including a plug-in step-down module and pinouts for connecting a Raspberry Pi Zero W or other compatible Pi boards.

When connecting devices to the Lyra-5A, it automatically selects the input type and controls the motors accurately without the need for additional programming, although you do have to reset the control circuitry when out control types.

A Raspberry Pi Zero W mounted on of the Lyra-5A controller board provides increased functionality for robotic projects. (📷: Praveen Kumar)

Positioned on top of the board is a handy RGB LED that’s used for error (or other faults) indication, another LED on the bottom acts as a voltage indicator that changes from green to red according to the input. Another exciting facet- since the board hosts an ATmega brain; it has Arduino compatibility for extending features and easy programming.



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