Hacking the WiFinch, after all its just an ESP8266

A project log for Binder Clip Robot

With our Printabots Maker Robot Kit we decided to make a robot that uses everyday items.

roboteursroboteurs 10/18/2016 at 14:060 Comments

For anyone who has looked closely at the WiFinch you can see that the board is powered by an ESP8266. After the featured article on I figured it would be good to make sure people knew that they could use this board beyond the Android app. Oddly there arnt actually that many WiFi servo boards out there.

When we designed this board we wanted to make sure that we where using a platform that the community was familiar with. To be honest I quite often dont by things unless they have the potential to be hacked at. The ESP8266 has some serious peripheral limitations (which for the cost is very understandable). Driving a bunch of servos straight from the ESP isnt at all practical.

The solution? In this case the solution was to add an IC on the I2C bus to do the clock work of driving the servo motors. Here its a PCA968x. This chip is intended as an LED driver. Most LED drivers have very limited clock adjustment capability. This chip wasn't bad at all and will drive the servos with a good degree of accuracy.

So if you want to hack at the WiFinch check out this link -> WiFinch Hacking

The libraries can also be found on git -> GitHub

There is also a video at this link.