3pi Robot

Tabletop Robotics is all about small robots! Most of the work on this website is done on Pololu 3pisOpens in new window (pictured right), but we've begun to branch out a bit. The sum of these efforts form several different projects.

Our Projects

The radio_multi Library

Tabletop Robotics has developed a Wixel library which supports communications between multiple Wixels. It does so by relying on unique Wixel IDs (set in the Wixel Configuration Utility) rather than by changing radio channels like Project Paw Print. It attempts to ensure reliable communications between devices using a simple ACK protocol.


The Flipbot is a small remote-controlled vehicle on tracks, with a Pololu Wixel as the main robot controller. Technically, it isn't a robot since it doesn't do any thinking on its own, but remote controlled applications never seem to lose their appeal. Even when upside down, the robot will still drive in the correct direction. This is achieved with an accelerometer to detect the vehicle's orientation.

Project Paw Print

Paw Print is a global vision system created to control a large, varying number of m3pis so that they maintain a stationary formation. The project is intended to teach eager minds about wireless communication, global vision, and multi-agent robotics in general. A video and written overview of the project is available here.

Project Tabletop

Tabletop is a collection of interesting 3pi applications, all accessible under a single menu-based 3pi program.

Some of the more interesting applications developed include custom barcode reading, multi-agent grid navigation and creating spreadsheets from serial data. All of this work and documentation is freely available. The difficulty level of each sub-project varies, but a basic understanding of programming and robotics is assumed.

An overview of the project is available here. Video demonstrations are included. All the source files are also available for download.

What's New

June 7, 2015
  • Allow us to present the radio_multi Wixel library, which allows communications between multiple Wixel devices. It uses a simple ACK protocol to help ensure reliable communications.
  • Additionally, the source code for Paw Print is now available for download.
May 24, 2014
  • We're currently in the process of updating all of our older videos. Some are already up...stay tuned!
Oct 14, 2013 May 5, 2013
  • Finally, we've achieved our goal of creating a simple global vision for m3pis! Check out Paw Print here.
  • We've come up with a short list of 3pi challenges, for those of you who are feeling ambitious or have too much free time.
July 25, 2012
  • Due to the number of inquiries we've received regarding Atmel Studio 6.0, we are now offering Project Tabletop as AVR Studio 4 and Atmel Studio 6 project files.
July 20, 2012
  • Our multi-agent project is finished! Due to the popularity of the grid navigation project, our aim was to create something that added to it. The result was a multi-m3pi system whereby the robots utilize A* pathfinding to navigate around each other to various destinations, as controlled by a PC. Check out the project here.
  • Additionally, this next version of Project Tabletop includes improvements and bug fixes. As usual, source and pre-compiled projects are available for download.
June 18, 2012
  • We're branching into multi-agent robotics! We're currently working on an exciting application involving multiple 3pis, to be added to Project Tabletop. Expect to see improvements to existing projects as well. Stay tuned!
May 26, 2012
  • Tabletop version 1.1.0 is available for download. It includes more thorough documentation and some bug fixes.