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Description: Detailed construction notes for creating robots based on direct-drive stepper motors salvaged from disk drives. A PIC 16F84 is used for control. Diagrams and schematics.
I have build a number of stepbots: small PIC-controlled robot vehicles using stepper motors. The basic idea is to use two steppers which are directly connected to the front wheels, and a real wheel which can turn freely. The two steppers take care of the propulsion and steering. The steppers from old 5.25 disk drives are very practical, requiring 100 mA (per coil) at 12 Volt, which can be provided by 10 penlight NiCads. A 7805 regulator provides the 5 Volt required for the PIC 16f84 brain. A single ULN2803 interfaces the brain to the two stepper motors. I use either a 24 Volt wall wart to charge the NiCads and series resistor in the robot that selects the appropriate charge current, or a removeable NiCad pack.
Size: 719 chars
Creation Date: 2001-08-14