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Vacuum cleaner robot - microcontroller input/output help!

Hi everyone! I am going to build a three-wheeler vacuum cleaning robot! Right now I am looking for parts and am wondering what kind of microcontroller would be optimal for this kind of robot. It's going to have:

*Engine powered by battery
*2 Sensors http://acroname.com/robotics/parts/R144-GP2Y0A02YK.html
*Home-built vacuum cleaner

From what I can tell, the only input is from the sensors with the rest being outputs. Am I right and will one engine be enough to power all these things? I don't wanna fry anything! Thanks in advance!


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Although you can get powerful processors, If your robot is simply going to clean the floor then a standard Arduino or Picaxe is more than enough for your needs.

If for example you choose an Arduino Mega over a standard Arduino then you will get more analog inputs, more digital outputs and more PWM pins but not more processing power which is un-needed anyway.

Perhaps you should consider what motors you want to drive.

For example, a Spider controller is only designed for driving servos.
A Micro Magician can drive 1A motors, has an accelerometer for collision detection and an IR receiver for remote control.
A Wild Thumper controller can drive 2 motors up to 12V @ 15A.


Could you maybe give an example of what choosing a higher pin microcontroller will get me? Will it perform better with what's already there, or will it just enable me to mash more things into it like a lamp or sound device? Thanks!

are moved and turned by a total of 2 motors/servos. If you use 2 motors for differential steering, you will need some kind of motor driver/h-bridge. That said you will reasonably require 2 pins per motor + 2 pins for your sensors, and maybe one to turn the vacuum on and off. Based on those numbers, you could get away with a PICAXE 08m2. You would be better off to choose a higher pin count microcontroller though, because, you may find you want to add more functionality to your robot than 5 or 6 pins will allow.