SparkFun MiP ProMini-Pack

The MiP Robotic Platform is the first self-balancing robot that you can drive, dance, plays games, battle with other MiPs, and that you can control via a compatible iOS or Android device. But did you know you can hack it? With the SparkFun ProMini-Pack you can access the robot's built-in hacking port to add increased functionality and a miniature Arduino to your MiP. All you will need to do to get this pack integrated into your MiP are a few simple hardware modifications to the robot's chassis. Once those modifications are complete you will have your very own ProMini attached to your MiP that you can start programing with your own code in no time flat! This is the same Pro Mini board you know and love, now in a form factor that allows it to be easily incorporated and secured into your MiP.

Like the Arduino Pro Mini, the MiP ProMini-Pack utilizes SparkFun's minimal design approach to the Arduino platform while still only requiring 3.3V to power and running the 8MHz bootloader. The ProMini-Pack screws into the MiP's battery pack and gives the user a two small soldering areas and a 4-pin Expansion Socket that can, when used in conjunction with an Expansion Cable, be connected to the MiP's hacking port. The hacking port that has been pre-soldered to the ProMini-Pack breaks out the following signals: GND (a ground connection to the battery on the MiP), RX (a 3.3v signal level UART receive pin), TX (a 3.3v signal level UART transmit pin), 6V (Raw battery power).

  • MiP Back Pack Form Factor
  • ATmega328 Running @ 8MHz
  • Expansion Socket Pre-Soldered
  • Two Prototyping Areas
  • Optional FTDI Connector Area
  • DC Input 3.3V - 12V
  • Max 150mA Output
  • 3.3V Regulator
  • Over Current Protected
  • Analog Pins: 8
  • Digital I/Os: 14

SparkFun MiP ProMini-Pack Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

2 Robotics

Skill Level: Rookie - You will be required to know some basics about motors, basic motor drivers and how simple robotic motion can be accomplished.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #759071 / about 7 years ago / 2

    I see this product is now retired. That's really too bad because this could have really opened up what the MiP can do. I've been banging my head against a local copy of Sparkfun's github library for this device. Is there anyone who can help implement the library? I see that a function to read data from the MiP has never been implemented. I've been trying on and off for the last couple years and can't seem to get it right. Has anyone out there written the code to do it? Or is the fact that the device is retired an indication that there are problems using it to read from the UART port?

    Thank you.

    • Member #53 / about 6 years ago / 1

      A newer revision of the Eagle design files for this board which correct the UART issue can be found at This GitHub project also includes a more complete Arduino library with examples that demonstrate almost all known MiP features.

  • Hey all, I got the library up. there isn't much right now but I am working to clean up some documents I have been working with. Sorry for the delay and confusion.

    • kirby g / about 9 years ago / 1

      Thanks Casey. My MiP is now burping and farting in the kitchen.

      Do you have a list of all the sounds? I was just editing the code to go through the sounds, some are hard to define what the sound is.

  • Member #445152 / about 9 years ago / 2

    When are the libraries going to be posted on Githib? I am thinking about buying this but would like to know what the whole command set looks like first.

  • Member #458884 / about 9 years ago / 1

    One of the things I'd like to do with the MIP is articulate the arms. The arm sockets look like they can accommodate small pancake type steppers or DC motors. If I get get ones powerful enough or get them geared that way, I can at least get the arms moving at the shoulders. Is that possible? It seems that there are plenty of PWM channels available.

  • knuckles904 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Yo, don't be whiny please. Invest that time/energy in googling!

    Wowwee posted an official list of all the commands for controlling via either bluetooth or UART on their github. Take a look here for the protocol, and all the commands:

    Now help build out that library and empower others!!!


  • EvilTwin / about 9 years ago / 1

    Teach is to say "I'm Looking for Sadda Conna"

  • Member #394180 / about 9 years ago / 1

    For the caption contest that's sure to come with a still of the Mad Max MiP firing his flamethrower in the product video -

    All orders are delayed 3 weeks while SparkFun moves into their new new building.

    Remember, you saw it here first.

  • teflon / about 9 years ago / 1

    so what's up with the github arduino libraries?

    there's nothing there yet.

    And why a 8 mhz arduino? and 3.3 v? just curious…..

    • 3.3v@ 8mhz because the mip is 3.3v and the arduinos are unstable at 3.3 volts 16mhz

    • Sorry for the confusion, we are re organizing our repositories to better fit with the new Arduino Library manager. The should be fixed by the end of the day.

      • kirby g / about 9 years ago / 1

        Thanks, the tutorial link is still wrong.

        I got mine together and working tonight. I like how the code was already on it. Its walking around burping in the kitchen.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5

Based on 3 ratings:

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works perfectly fine, But the needs a more complete library

Worked fine, except that the fitment is not flush(due to some fancy interlocking on the MiP Battery compartment) without sanding. The example code loaded just fine, and even the standup function(from the MiP's documented protocol) worked fine. Serial mux is useful for debugging, once you know how it works(change mux control input with delay before reading/writing). Wish the Sparkfun's github library had more MiP functions implemented.

I have added the headers. The board refused my attempt to use USBASP to program a bootloader. Still cannot get the board to do anything. Very disappointed. I have lots of other Atmel328, Arduino boards that I do not have problems with. Right now this board is useless junk.

Have not done much with this yet. I soldered a header to the main communications location and tried to download code to it. The download failed. I think the problem is that the bootloader is not running the baudrate that Arduino expects. Without the six pin header pattern for attaching a USB dongle I have to wait until I solder headers in to give it a new bootloader. It does seem to run (led blinks).

Awesome dev board for MiP

Worked right away with my usb to ftdi cable. Already contributing to MiP library and having fun making my kids robot misbehave.