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Playing with the Pololu 3pi Robot

High-Performance Mobile Platform

Jameco Builds logo By Bradley Eckert

Description: Pololu 3pi Robot
Assembly Time: Less than 30 minutes
Skill Level: Intermediate

3pirobot The Pololu 3pi Robot is a fun interface to program. It has two motors, a display screen, LEDs, three buttons, light sensors and a ton more places to connect anything you want. This could be a beginners' learning toy or an expert's launch pad, either way it is fun to use. The Pololu 3pi robot is at its heart an Arduino, making it open source and able to be programmed to do anything. It can be a maze solver, an autonomous moving robot, a moving sound player, etc. Use your imagination and come up with something cool.

I enjoyed making this robot and installing programs on it. It comes with enough accessories that you can make something really cool. Have fun!

Parts List:

4 AAA batteries
USB AVR programmer with 6-pin connector

3-pi Robot3-pi Robot

Parts you needRequired Parts

Step 1: Remove the display screen by pulling it straight up.


Screen removed Screen Removed

Batteries inserted Batteries Inserted

Step 2: Insert batteries and reattach the screen.


Screen replaced Screen Replaced

Power button Power Button

Step 3: Hit the power button next to the screen on the opposite side of the 6-pin port.

Step 4: Use the B button to select the demo program, then the left button or right to select an option within. Play with the demo program.


Hitting B button to use demo programHit B Button to Use Demo Program

Attached 6-pin AVR programmer to 3piAttached 6-pin AVR Programmer to 3pi

Step 5: Attach your USB AVR programmer to the 6-pin port and connect to the computer.

Follow these instructions.

Step 6: Program the Polulu 3pi to do whatever you would like using your chosen interface.

3pi example programs are shown here.


Brad Eckert grew up in the Bay Area and now attends MIT. He wants to become an engineer and loves to make things and play with robotics.