There appears to be a discrepancy in the TB6612FNG datasheet with respect to the minimum motor voltage (Vm). In the datasheet provided at the Pololu website, the table “Pin Functions” (page 2) list the range for Vm as 2.5V to 13.5V, but the later table “Operating Range” (page 3) states 4.5V to 13.5V.
Checking the Toshiba motor drivers webpage, the version of the TB6612FNG datasheet there consistently states the minimum Vm as 2.5V.
So, is the minimum motor voltage 2.5V or 4.5V? It would be wonderful if it really was the lower voltage, as I want to run my system from a single ultralight Li-Poly (3.7V, 100mAh) cell, with a boost regulator for the Baby-O and sensors that need 5V, but power the micro-motors from the pack directly.
Alternatively, are there plans for a 3.3V version of the Baby-O?
Thank you for pointing out this discrepancy between the datasheet on the Toshiba website and our copy; I will update our version of the datasheet. Our parts are recent, so the 2.5V minimum on the more recent datasheet should be valid, though we have only tested our carrier down to 4.5 V. Please note that the carrier has a reverse-protection MOSFET on the motor supply voltage that will be less on at lower voltages. This might still be acceptable for your application, or you could potentially connect your positive motor voltage on the other side of this MOSFET (you could solder a wire to the motor voltage capacitors or directly to the MOSFET package).
You can use the Baby Orangutan at lower voltages if you run it at a clock speed below 10 MHz (i.e. change the fuses so that it runs off of the internal 8 MHz RC oscillator or swap out the resonator for a lower-frequency one). The Baby Orangutan has a low-dropout regulator, so you won’t lose too much voltage between Vbat and Vcc.
Thank you for the speedy reply! That’s all great news!