Note: Pololu has released the second-generation Mini Maestro 24 USB servo controller, which is better than this product in almost every way. This product is now only available by large-volume special order. Please contact Pololu for more information.
The Pololu USB 16-servo controller is the most full-featured member of the first-generation line of R/C hobby servo controllers. The compact module measures just 1.9"x1.0" including the USB connector, making it smaller than most 8-channel controllers, and it offers both USB and asynchronous serial (UART) connectivity. No features are compromised for the small size, as Pololu's USB controller supports independent speed and range settings for each servo while delivering 0.5-microsecond resolution for smooth output across its broad output pulse range of 250 through 2750 microseconds.
When installed, the USB servo controller appears as a serial port to the host computer. Programming is therefore as easy as sending commands to a serial port, and as an added benefit, the servo controller is compatible with many existing programs. The servo controller can be connected to additional serial devices, such as Pololu's serial motor controllers, and thereby function as both a servo controller and a USB-to-UART bridge. The servo controller is compatible with USB 2.0 standards, and drivers are available for Windows XP and Vista, Mac, and Linux.
With its dual USB and UART interface, the servo controller can at first be used with a PC to quickly develop motion sequences with the advantage of graphical interfaces and quick program changes. For projects without dedicated PCs, such as small autonomous robots, the final motion sequences can then be transferred to an embedded controller, which can communicate with the servo controller over the standard asynchronous serial connection.
With serial ports being a rarity on new computers, the Pololu USB 16-Servo Controller provides one of the most simple, small, and economical alternatives to standard serial servo controllers.
Note: The blue 1×2 terminal block shown in the product picture is optional; it is included but not soldered in. Many battery packs used with servos can be plugged directly into the servo ports, and customers with high-current applications (e.g. many servos straining at once) might want to solder wires directly to the spot where the terminal block would fit. A USB A to mini-B cable (not included) is required to connect this device to a computer.
Note: This product no longer ships with a printed user’s manual. The user’s manual can be downloaded as a pdf from the resources tab of this product page.