Release of Leo Rover 1.8 in December - what's changed in the guts of Leo Rover.

We are proud to announce a new Leo Rover 1.8 with a totally new and custom controller board.

November 5, 2021

by

Szymon Dzwończyk

The area of robotics is highly dynamic in terms of altering and implementing new solutions. Changes are necessary to improve one's product and increase customers' satisfaction. With that being said, we're introducing a new Leo Rover 1.8 with a totally new controller board.

Why the change?

Why did we decide on making this change? It’s simple. We want to be as independent of others as possible. And with the global electronics supply crisis out there, it certainly was the right thing to do. We wanted to develop something of our own that would be built using components that are more available or easy to replace. This way, we won't have to worry about supply issues. In fact, the new electronics are going to replace the previous Core2-ROS that our supplier no longer provides. The timing couldn't have been better.

Once the opportunity to redesign our electronics knocked on our door, we didn't hesitate to seize it, which allowed us to devote some time to rethink the whole process of integrating addons into the rover as well.

Specifications of the new board

The new controller board will have an outline of the Raspberry Pi making it more suitable for low-scale robots. What's more, the board will feature:

  • New motor and LED connectors that are vibration-proof (instead of Core2-ROS goldpin connectors)
  • Up to 30V DC power support - meaning, you can even connect 24V batteries directly to the rover if you need much more power to the wheels (yes, the motors can run on 24V)
  • Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrated into the board - you can finally use accelerometer and gyroscope readings by default

What will change?

As we were getting more and more feedback indicating that you didn't want to dig too much into firmware edits when integrating new components into the rover, we decided to change the procedure a bit. We don't recommend editing the firmware in Leo Rover 1.8 and up. Instead, all the tutorials and further integrations will be based on a direct connection to the Raspberry Pi. This way, you don't need to edit the controller firmware to, for example, integrate GPS, relay boards, or IMU (this one won't require integration at all).

We tossed away all the unnecessary interfaces from the new Leo Rover 1.8. This means that compared to Core2-ROS, there will be no I2C, SPI or CAN anymore. In addition to this, most of the tutorials will require only a USB connection and, if really necessary, Arduino, where you can edit its firmware as much as you like with no risk of breaking the rover.

Constant development - constant satisfaction

We're constantly working on growth and improving our design. The new board is just the beginning of our never-ending development. 

How does this new component sound to you? What does your gut tell you? Ours tells us you'll like this change and be fully satisfied with it. Trust us, it'll make everything way easier.

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