Make:DC Motor Driver Board Information
An overview of the Make:DC Motor Driver Board
The Make:DC Motor Driver Board (MDMDB) is meant to be a cheap and cheerful motor driver for use with small motors (the driver chips are rated at 3A) and simple microcontrollers. Even in a relatively small quantity, the MDMDB shouldn't cost more than about 6.00$US, and can be much less in quantity, and if some of the nonessential parts are left out. It is easy and quick to build, too.
As part of the Make:DC mission, to facilitate learning DIY skills, and to create unique building blocks that can be used as the basis for all kinds of projects, the MDB is an important stepping stone that enables a whole range of creative possibilities. The MDMDB will join the Arduino and multiplexed LEDs as the subject of an upcoming Make:DC workshop. Once the workshop has taken place, we will link the artifacts here on the Make:DC website.
The design was inspired our interest in robots that can exhibit interesting group dynamics- we are especially interested in distributed task sharing by very simple robots- think of how ants or termites work together to build large structures. The problem is in keeping the costs low enough that you can afford to build a bunch of robots at one time. We have primarily been testing with with a variety of Arduino types, as well as a Basic Stamp and a bare PC parallel port, driven by a simple user-space Linux program.
The MDMDB board design, and all of its associated artifacts (schematics, PDB layout, code, etc.) is Creative Commons licensed and available for download at this site. The design, too, draws much from the work of others- in particular, I was inspired by a design by David Cook, at RobotRoom. David has a wide range of really great articles for beginning (and not-so-beginning) roboticists. You can get everything you need to build and use an MDMDB from the tabs to the left. The Tools folder has the PCB design files (in image format as well as Eagle format) so you can build your own, as well as sample Arduino code for testing them out. The Build folder has a step-by-step set of instructions for assembling the parts. The Media tab has pictures and movies of the MDMDB in use!
We are very interested in your experiences building and using the MDMDB- if you build one, or if you have any questions- feel free to write us at: mdmdb a(t) epotential do(t) com.