Let's Make Robots!

360bot - Stepper motors are cool!

So far just a Stepper motor hooked up!


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Strange, some Google videos are down. Link to the one down now when writing this, here.


So I thought; With 360 degrees overview, I am unbeatable, I can navigate anything. I took an old toy-tractor and in amazingly short time got everything fitted onto it. That tractor was made for this, I thought.

I knew that it would be crap at steering, as the wheels where big, and the rear wheels (or front sometimes, this is 360!) where locked to each other, giving no differential steering, and slow turns.

But after a short while I got really tired of it; It is turning not on a plate, but on a big football stadium! :)

So it is going to die now, 360bot will not be on a tractor. Still I thought it looked cool :D And so I took some snaps just before I now go back and tear it apart. Click on image for more images..






I wanted to transfer power and signals to the moving part. I tried all sorts of stuff, but did not relly manage. So in the end I just gave up and used a 3.5mm jack-stick. Simple and easy.. but only 3 lines open.. So i had to give up on my first thought of having several LED's spin around. The thought was that they should sort of draw a rotating "radar image": Closer objects would make LED's closer to the axle light up.

However, I really like the sound of it spinning, and I will make something up! Added new video with the jackstick-trick. The LED on it is simply using the Sharp signal directly - that is actually quite a nice hack in itself :) I will always add a LED on the sharps from now on, nice indicator!

For a long time I wanted to hook up a stepper motor, and finaly I got to it!

Wow, these are cool! I enter this as a robot because I simply have to make a robot with this. I do not have much time, but now I have told you all that I am going to make a robot with a stepper motor, and so I will have to find the time :)

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You found steppers !! Now there is no way back!!! Muahaaa haa haa haaaa!! You are hooked dude;)

Check out the date of the post:

Hello, i have two spear steppers laying around, taken from an old broken printer. One of them looks exacly like the one you used.

I'd like to use them, but i'm completely clueless about how to control them.. Why don't you write a nice tutorial fritsl ? :P Soemthing like "how to use a stepper with a picaxe board" :)

I am not going to make a tutorial on this one because:

A) I have other tutorials waiting for me already

B) I neither have a clue :D

However, here are my instructions, if all is 100% like mine, this will work, it is straight off the picaxe site, you may want to use high/low instead of "let pins", if you are using other 4 pins for something:

' If you use the wires in the 6 pin connector
' order the following program will cause rotation
' Black +12V
' White +12V
' Yellow output7
' Red output6
' Brown output5
' Orange output4
main: let pins = %11000000
pause 10
let pins = %01010000
pause 10
let pins = %00110000
pause 10
let pins = %10100000
pause 10
goto main

Oh - and Wikipedia had some nice notes on how they work in general :)


You connected the stepper straight to the PICAXE?  I would think the PICAXE would get angry about the current draw.

This post is timely to me.  Thanks,

No, read the axe020.pdf manual, page one (no link, no time, google the manual: "axe020.pdf")


Yes.  No need to google or get more info.  The manual is clear on this.  I thought maybe you found that the PICAXE was way over spec'd or found a magic low current/high power stepper motor.

well that's some info to get started, anyway :)

No, my stepper is a Sanyo, it has this id that i can't find anywere i03 -556-0270. Probably is a very old stepper.

Anyway it has the same wires as your.. now i just have to find a 12V input and i'm done. Burning my picaxe, i mean :)

No need to use 12V! Just hook it up through the darlington, and give it the 5V's that the Picaxe is getting!

for maximum torque i'd suggest using the following pin sequence:






If you're looking for less torque and more accuracy you can use the following: