Maestro as a PIC dev board

I like the Maestros a lot, and I have quite a few lying around my lab and office now. Recently I have been doing a lot of work with Arduinos, and I am interested in exploring the PIC chips as well.

Has anyone gotten custom code to run on a Maestro board? Since you can upgrade the firmware over USB I assume that they must be USB programmable, and the 6 (or 12-24) available pins are more than enough for most applications. $20 or $30 seems like a bargain for getting into programming a microcontroller, and while I know there are other options out there that are sold as dev boards, nothing is cheaper than the one you already have!

Is there anything I need to know, or should I just get a copy of MPLAB X and try it out?

I believe that you cannot program those PICs through the USB, unless a bootloader is resident in memory.
I suspect that the Pololu engineers won’t release much information about their bootloader, but it would be cool if they did!

Hello, ChrisBob.

The Maestro does have a USB bootloader that supports what you want to do. We do not want to post that information publicly but I have emailed you the details about how to do it.