Is the Robotics Shield Kit (for Arduino) compatible with Arduino Zero

Hi,

I know that the Robotics Shield Kit (for Arduino) does not officially state that it is compatible with the Arduino Zero, but I am wondering if anyone has tried it out and knows if it is compatible?

dustfinger.

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  • Martin_HMartin_H Posts: 3,967
    edited August 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I haven't tried it, but the robotics shield connects using the standard Arduino pin layout. So it's not all that different from any other Arduino prototyping shield. The Arduino Zero is a 3.3v device like the Propeller chip, so you will need to be mindful of that when connecting devices and sensors.
  • Thank you Martin_H,

    I have decided to go ahead and purchase the Robot Shield with Arduino and additionally an Arduino Zero so that I can experiment using it with the Robotics shield. I will be brand new to robotics and electronics, but not programming. My plan is to do regular robotics projects with my children to see if they develop an interest.

    The following comment is really going to highlight how newbie I am to electronics. When you say that I should be mindful of the voltage, what exactly is the consequence? is the consequence that I will not be able to hook up as many sensors and motors as a result of the low voltage? Why did they make the zero less voltage? For efficiency sake?

    Trevor
  • dustfinger wrote: »
    When you say that I should be mindful of the voltage, what exactly is the consequence? is the consequence that I will not be able to hook up as many sensors and motors as a result of the low voltage? Why did they make the zero less voltage? For efficiency sake?

    The switch from 5 to 3.3 volts is happening with many devices. My guess is that it reduces power consumption by reducing the current the device consumes which in turn increases battery longevity.

    Two answers on the issues interfacing a 3.3 volt device to 5 volt ones.

    Short answer: Use Google to find examples of interfacing the Zero to the device in question. Look for circuit elements that manage the voltage transition. Ask questions in online forums if you don't understand it before letting the magic smoke out of the Zero.

    Long answer:

    Usually 3.3 volt outputs to 5 volt inputs (e.g. to an H-bridge) work without a problem. That's because the 3.3 volt device outputs enough voltage and current to trigger the 5 volt device. When it doesn't a transistor can be used as a switch to step up the voltage.

    Usually 5 volts to 3.3 volts requires a voltage divider to drop the voltage down to avoid burning out the 3.3 volt device.

    Sparkfun sells a device that contains both of these circuit elements in a bidirectional breakout board.

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12009

    I own two and use them pretty frequently.
  • And they will also work with a Prop board as well.
  • Thanks again for the great information. I also found this article on the low power consumption of the zero: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoZeroPowerConsumption. I am super excited to start tinkering. Hopefully my order will arrive by Friday :-)
  • And they will also work with a Prop board as well.

    Yes, that's what I use them for. I'll use resistor and transistor gingerbread for one or two pins, after that I will use a level converter.
  • The Robot Shield has the A-bot wheels but uses standard (vs A-Bot's high-speed) CR servos? Specs say 50 RPM.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Yes erco, the Arduino ShieldBot uses regular continuous rotation servos, not the High-Speed CR servos featured on the ActivityBot.

    All 3 small robots built on that frame now use the ActivityBot wheels, even the Boe-Bot.
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