Chances are if a robot is mobile or is outfitted with actuating limbs, it has motors onboard, along with a controller, 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.
That’s all fine and good, but what if you wanted a universal controller that could handle nearly any kind of input source — remote controller, analog input, Bluetooth, I2C, etc.? What if you could also use the same platform to drive more than one motor and deliver a myriad of different input 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 changing out control types.
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.