The original Hack-E-Bot kit was designed to start kids off with the Adafruit Trinket, a small Arduino chip, for use as the robots brain. The Trinket is quite powerful for it’s size but somewhat limiting for a robot. We have now decided to upgrade that brain to the Adafruit Trinket Pro with no additional change in the price of the kit.
Some limitations of the Trinket come down to it’s ATtiny85 processor. The 8K of flash memory and 512 bytes of RAM just will not support the full range of Arduino code. The Trinket also has 2 Digital pins and 3 Analog/Digital pins, though two of those pins are also used for programming the chip and that does present some issues.
On the other hand, the Trinket Pro uses the Atmega328P processor to provide 28K of flash memory, and 2K of RAM. The Trinket Pro can be programmed by using a USB cable or with an FTDI programmer, for more advanced access to the processor. The chip can also support many more sensors with 12 Digital pins and 6 Analog/Digital pins for a total of 18 dedicated GPIO pins to play with. This chip is almost identical to the Arduino Uno, but much smaller and will ensure that you have plenty of power for even the most complex robots.
This is like increasing the Hack-E-Bot’s brain power by over 300% and, as I said before, the price of the basic kit is not affected by this upgrade!