M5Stack's BugC2 Converts an M5StickC Microcontroller Into a Compact, Omnidirectional Robot

Compact four-motor kit includes everything you need to get an M5StickC running around your desk — including an M5StickC Plus2.

Gareth Halfacree
10 days agoRobotics / HW101

Embedded and educational hardware specialist M5Stack has announced a new add-on for its M5StickC family of all-in-one microcontrollers, giving the compact devices what they've always been missing: motorized legs.

"BugC2 is a programmable robot base compatible with the M5StickC series [micro]controllers," M5Stack writes of its latest product launch. "This base integrates four [UMW] L9110S motor drivers and DC gear motors, utilizes the [STMicroelectronics] STM32F030F4 as its core control chip, and comes equipped with two flexible programmable RGB LEDs, an infrared encoder, and a dedicated battery holder."

The reason it's called the "bug" becomes immediately apparent when you take a look at what M5Stack has designed. With the M5StickC sat in the middle, display facing upwards, the BugC2 splays four independently-controlled motorized legs from each corner — allowing the microcontroller to move in any direction.

Driving said motors requires a relatively beefy power supply, which comes courtesy of a 700mAh 16340-format cell slung on the bug's underside. There's a dedicated USB Type-C port for charging, while the motors are controlled from the M5StickC over the I2C bus. As an added bonus, there are two RGB LEDs under user control, access to an infrared receiver, and "brick holes" for LEGO compatible payloads.

M5Stack has launched a bundle with the BugC2 and an M5StickC Plus2 controller, which includes an infrared distance sensor, at $56 on its official store; pricing has yet to be confirmed for a standalone version, for those who already own a compatible M5StickC.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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