the Heart & Brain

Other flavors of the Spot-Micro project mostly use Raspberry PIs, along with complicated ROS or other robot control systems. Personally, and because I am simply a hobbyist, I prefer to take the more raw approach, regardless of the level of difficulty, in attempts to learn all that I can about a project along the way. That being said, I first chose to use Arduino for Nova, which did indeed pose a lot of challenges, but also provided greater satisfaction of accomplishment in the end.

However, once all sensors, motors, and components were put through their paces simultaneously, performance issues began to arise. After lots of debugging and code refactoring, I decided it was time to consider a different board to drive Nova… and so the Teensy version was born!

I have recently made major changes to my original electrical designs, by where now Nova runs TWO connected microcontrollers: a Teensy 4.0 and an Arduino Nano

The Heart

Nova uses a Teensy 4.0 for her heart. This board is connected to and controls the following components:

  • PWM Controller & Motors
  • MPU 6050
  • PS2 Remote Receiver
  • Battery Voltage / Amp Monitoring
  • Power Distribution Components
  • MP3 Player
  • Arduino Nano (Nova’s brain!)

UPDATE: 2021-07-16
Nova has a PCB!! Get yours at


Wiring Diagram for Teensy v5.0


The Brains
Nova uses an Arduino Nano for her brain. This board is connected to and controls the following components:

  • OLED Display
  • Ultra-Sonic Sensors (2)
  • RGB LEDs (4)
  • OLED & RGB Controls
  • Teensy 4.0 (Nova’s heart!)


Wiring Diagram for Nano v5.0


This video describes the electronic components, but please note, this was prior to replacing the Mega with Teensy, and before adding the Arduino Nano, which will be clear in the video following this one:


Here is a video describing how and why I decided to add a second microcontroller to the project:


MPU6050 Inertia Measurement Unit Demonstration


PWM Controller and Servos Demonstration