Which motor driver and dc motor combo do I need with arduino


I want to make a straight line robot/machine. I have an arduino and am new to all of this. I expect to use a wheel diameter of 50mm, and if my calculations are right I will need to only turn that wheel at between about 1rpm and 10rpms. This will in turn give me a linear speed of between 250mm/min and 1500mm/min.

I am thinking that I would need a geared motor for this. Lets work on the value of about 10kg for the weight of my contraption. I plan to make it move at a very precise regulated speed so that I can attach a welding gun to it. And then I can make my welds real pretty etc.

An encoder will also be needed to make sure that the motor is traveling at a constant speed. I have had a quick look at the pololu motors and I think that I would need a larger 37D sized motor.

I also would like to be able to enter the distance I want the bot to move. So say 1200mm to move forward, then enter a speed and hit a start button on the machine. Also if I could make another drive mode where I enter the total distance to drive, the enter a weld length, then a gap or space where there is not welding. This is called stitch welding. It would also be cool if I could program in the individual welding speeds, then when it stops welding and has to “jog” to the next start position, if I could enter a faster speed for that it would be great.

So for a motor controller, I guess I could make it go backwards as well as forwards it would be handy too.

I think I can provide a supply voltage of 18v. This way I can then use a cordless drill battery. It might be hard to physically make it fit and look good but it’s an idea. Otherwise I will have to use a heap off AA eneloop batteries or a typical RC plane/car battery.

Can anyone let me some help to select a motor and driver combo for this project of mine…


Hello, Peter.

That sounds like a very ambitious and potentially dangerous project. I recommend starting simple, like maybe getting one or two of our 37D motors moving first. After that, you could try using them to move a platform. If you want to have feedback for speed control, you might consider getting the version of those motors with an encoder. To control those motors I recommend either our Simple Motor Controller 18v15 or the dual VNH5019 motor driver shield.

- Grant