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I'm taking an online course on Arduino robotics, produced by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The lectures are translated into English, but all of the parts referenced are by the Russian company Amperka.

It seems the key parts I need to follow along are

As fun as it would be to order from the Russian store, there are several practical reasons I'd prefer an American (or Western) equivalent. If they even ship to the US, payment would be difficult, shipping slow, instructions in Russian, etc, etc.

I've spent time and money shopping around Adafruit and SparkFun, but as an Arduino beginner, I'm not 100% sure which parts are analogous to these Russian ones. If a more experienced hobbyist recognizes any of these and can help me identify it, that would be most appreciated.

I think the Troyka components are a necessity, but the Matryoshka Z is a "nice to have" bundle of components. I'm using Arduino Uno, so compatibility with that would be preferable, but I think one of his Russian controllers is supposed to be a clone of the Leonardo, so if these parts only work with a Leonardo that's fine too.

The shield is shown here:

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In this view it's combined with its modules using this special snap-together PVC:

enter image description here

The instructor said that he helped invent the PVC components, so I guess there may not be an American version of that yet (or is there)?

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This probably has no complete, general solution.

The Troyka Shield looks to be just a prototype shield with footprints for ground/power/data cables. Likely you can just use a different mechanism to connect things, solder some additions to an everyday proto shield, or you could relatively quickly duplicate this in a PCB design program and have boards made.

There are probably many alternatives for the mechanical structure, ranging from cardboard and foam tape or hot glue to various toy building block sets, or you could try to duplicate their idea by making some grids on an everyday 3D printer. Likely none of these satisfy formal ESD concerns - but then, Arduino projects are usually considered disposable enought that people rarely worry about this.

The modules are going to be the most problematic part. They seem to encompass many of the peripheral parts and chips usually used in Arduino projects, and most of those are already available in canonical modules from a range of vendors like Adafruit, Sparkfun, Seeed, etc on down to clones and simple executions of chipmaker's recommended circuits. So for most of these, you'll probably have no problem finding a substitute, the possible complication is if you have enough understanding of the details of each assignment to make any necessary changes to accommodate for differences in pinouts, components values, etc between the specified Troyka module and the chosen substitute.

You may in the end find it's better to just follow tutorials written around the specific parts and modules you find more readily available for purchase, and thus avoid the needs to translate the details.

Do beware however, that there are some really bad tutorials out there on the Internet - some in places like Instructibles are simply terrible engineering to the point where it is a minor miracle if they even worked once for their authors, and even some on the Arduino site cut corners in ways that can't be recommended.

  • Thanks, I upvoted; will accept as the answer if no one comes up with any direct solution. You're right - it's supposed to be some sort of expansion board that reduces the need for breadboards. I guess it is supposed to make the sensor modules more plug n play. It would've been nice to kind of accelerate things. I especially wanted the PVC plastic holders because right now trying to connect multiple sensors is just kind of a mess and I'm worried about the connections coming loose when I move from room to room or plug it into the computer to upload code. – Hack-R Jul 23 '17 at 22:31
  • You really could make your own version of that shield from a cheap proto board, a few snappable headers broken into 3-pin pieces, and an hour or two soldering bus wires across for the power rails and soldering short wires from the signal pins to the corresponding Arduino ones. – Chris Stratton Jul 23 '17 at 22:34
  • You have a very high opinion of my skill level! ;) But seriously, how concerned should I be that the Russians are beating us in the Arduino race?? This is feeling more and more like a matter of national security. Jkjk. It might be a good business opportunity to sell it domestically though. I really like those plastic holders for the parts. It's a minor thing but looks convenient and cool IHMO. – Hack-R Jul 23 '17 at 23:20
  • This one looks kind of like the shield adafruit.com/product/… – Hack-R Jul 23 '17 at 23:29
  • That's the sort of generic proto shield I mean you could adapt. If you like the modules in the question, you could contact them about being an importer/distributor. I'm not yet seeing anything revolutionary in the collection of physical parts. – Chris Stratton Jul 23 '17 at 23:46

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