Robo HAT MM1

by Robotics Masters

An open source robotics and automation controller for Raspberry Pi.

View all updates Jan 06, 2019

A New Year - A New Board!

Happy New Year!

We have produced a version 1 of the product (RobotCar HAT v 0.9) based on our initial experiences. As with all initial products, there were one or two minor issues with it, but on the whole it worked very well for what we planned to use it for. We also saw the opportunity to massively improve the design, to allow for a better user experience.

After this board, we immediately started work on the second prototype. The second prototype is still in development. We have completed the schematic drawings for it and plan to develop the PCB layout and fabrication over the next two weeks. We are very happy with this second iteration of the board as it has an expanded feature set and much better functionality compared to the first prototype. Below are the new features added from version 1 to the version 2 board.

Features - Sensors

  • SAMD21G Microprocessor
  • INA219 Current Sensor
  • NEW: IMU (9dof) Accel, Gyro, Mag

Features - Compatibility

  • CircuitPython Ready
  • MircoPython Ready
  • Arduino IDE Ready
  • SeeSaw Compatible

Features - Connectivity

  • Easy Pi-HAT Format - Ready to Deploy
  • On-Board Voltage Regulator for Raspberry Pi boards (no external power)
  • 2 MB Flash Memory
  • Mini-Tamiya Connectors for Battery and ESC connections (designed for RC Cars)
  • Redundant / Backup Battery Input for Raspberry Pi / M0
  • Breakout for additional I2C sensors and devices
  • Brushed and Brush-less ESC compatible (through PWM)
  • NEW: USB to Serial Pass-through to communicate with Raspberry Pi 'in the field'
  • NEW: 4 x 16-bit (configurable) High Resolution Servo Outputs
  • NEW: 4 x RC Controller Inputs
  • NEW: 15 x General Input/Output ADC PWM
  • NEW: 2 x Raspberry Pi Control Pins (through M0 -- configurable) for Power Management and WiFi Config.
  • NEW: NeoPixel Controller (through M0)
  • NEW: High-Accuracy IMU with 9-degrees of freedom

Work on the software is starting this week as well, and we expect to have two different ways to interface with the board on launch of the campaign:

  1. SeeSaw Library - This is a library that is open-source provided by Adafruit Industries for interfacing with any I2C board. We plan on using the existing firmware tools by writing our own configuration specific to the RobotCat HAT. This library then uses CircuitPython running on the Raspberry Pi to control external servo motors and other sensors.
  2. Custom CircuitPython Script - we plan on using CircuitPython to write a script that emulates the actions of a PCA9685 which is used widely by the Donkey Car Community. In this script, we will be able to employ custom actions such as direct control of the servo motors by the RC controller Input pins (removing all latency from control) and safety features such as detecting a stall when too much current is drawn from the battery.

We should be able to provide you another update in two weeks time with the latest developments.

$9,265 raised

of $2,500 goal

370% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices


Standard Kit

One Robo HAT MM1, and a cable pack which includes main battery cable, ESC cable, a set of peripheral cables (7pin (SPI), 6pin (UART), 4pin (I2C)) and screw set for mounting.


Sensor Bundle

One Robo HAT MM1, a cable pack which includes main battery cable, ESC cable, a set of peripheral cables (7pin (SPI), 6pin (UART), 4pin (I2C)) and mounting screw sets, External Pressure Sensor / Barometer (BME280), External SPI IMU (MPU9250) and External GPS Unit (Ublox NEO-M8N). NOTE: Raspberry Pi not included. Previously called "Drone Starter Bundle".


Exploration Kit Bundle

One Robo HAT MM1, and a cable pack which includes main battery cable, ESC cable, a set of peripheral cables (7pin (SPI), 6pin (UART), 4pin (I2C)), 1 strip of 10 NeoPixels and RM Smart Car Kit


Robotics Masters

We create hardware platforms for autonomous vehicles and other robotics applications. These hardware platforms are accessible to all skill levels while providing the best functionality for a diverse range of robotics applications. Our expansion boards work with many existing software platforms such as CircuitPython, Adafruit SeeSaw, Donkey Car, DroneCode, and many more.

Hans-Joachim Michl


Cian Byrne

Software Developer

Peter Pan

Electronics Engineer

See Also

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