I paid a visit to my local electronics hobbyist store to find something fun to complement my HiFive1 board today. I ended up buying a SparkFun ESP8266 WiFi shield  as I’ve been thoroughly spoiled by the connectivity offered by the RPi3. As it interfaces over the UART it’s not going to be the world’s fastest IP device but it’ll suffice for wireless control and data logging.
I had a bit of success in hacking SparkFun’s Arduino library to get it to run on the HiFive1 but the ESP8266 IC is getting alarmingly hot. I don’t know yet whether that’s a result of an electrical characteristic of either board, indicative of a FUBAR’d shield or just to be expected when pushing WiFi-levels of power over such a small IC …
If I get a bit more time I’m hoping to have the safety of the shield on the HiFive1 verified and the interfacing code moved out of Arduino-land and into native-C by the end of the week.
I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this but the combination of PWM and wireless connectivity may encourage me to pull some of my old robotics kit out the closet.