Suggested Control Method of Actuator?

Hey everybody.

So, for the project I’ve undertaken, I am using 2 linear actuators (each one is driven by a single dc motor, drawing a max of 1.5A) with no feedback wires, so only positive and ground, to rotate the load around the bearing (somewhat irrelevant). Additionally, I’ll be using two Myoware muscle sensors, one to signal both actuators to push and the other to signal when to pull.

So the issue I’ve been trying to resolve is what would be the best and preferably most compact method of controlling the actuators and muscle sensors, in regards to potential controllers which can be used.

For example, would it be possible to use say the micro maestro (Servo controller) to connect to a relay if I wire the actuator to the relay, and instead the maestro would simply activate the switch in the relay based on the information received from the muscle sensors, to allow the actuator to push and pull accordingly. Or, is a dc motor controller a must.

Also, needless to say, if there are any suggested controllers it would preferably be compatible with the myoware muscle sensor, since I’ve not found an alternative.

Any methods suggested are appreciated, as I have no experience with controllers, circuits, etc. and have been stumped for several months trying to figure this out. If any additional information is required to help or make a suggestion, just ask and I’ll do my best to provide.

Thanks in advance to all.


You might consider using a pair of Simple Motor Controllers, which can use the analog voltage output from the MyoWare Muscle Sensor as control inputs. In particular, our 18v7 Simple Motor Controller would be the most appropriate motor controller for a maximum current draw of 1.5A.

From your description of using one MyoWare’s output “…to signal both actuators to push and the other to signal when to pull”, it sounds like you might want to use the Simple Motor Controllers in “Analog” Input Mode with both controllers’ “Mixing Mode” set to “Right (-)”. You can read more about how that configuration works to see if it matches the behavior you want under the “Using the Analog Channels” header (inside the “Connecting a Potentiometer or Analog Joystick” section) of the Simple Motor Controller’s user’s guide, which you can find under the Resources tab of the 18v7’s product page.

Please note that the analog channel inputs on the Simple Motor Controllers cannot handle voltages above 3.3V and the MyoWare outputs a voltage as high as the voltage it is powered from. So, you should take special precaution to ensure that the output does not exceed 3.3V. For example, you can power your MyoWare from a 3.3V supply or adjust the gain to lower the maximum output voltage. (I recommend using a 3.3V supply, since that would make it harder to accidentally damage or destroy the Simple Motor Controllers.) The Simple Motor Controller has a couple 3.3V sources you could use to power your MyoWare Muscle Sensors: the " potentiometer +" pin, and the 3.3V BEC pin (located in the RC power section of the board, which is labeled in the diagrams under the “Connecting Power and a Motor” section of the user’s guide). The 3.3V BEC pin can provide enough current for both of your MyoWare muscle sensors, while the “potentiometer +” pin should only be used for a single MyoWare.