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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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 :)

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:









I've never tried this, but what are the merits of the sequence





In the case of a 4-coil motor this means that two of the coils are pulling against each other, but would there be any torque benefit?

Here's another thought: You could compromise with a mix'n'match of torque and accuracy:









When the two coils are energised you have more torque (not double the torque, just "more"). You still have accuracy with the single coil steps, but the step might not be fully complete under high torque. 

I'm pretty sure the first step sequence wouldn't work....i think it would just cause the motor to jitter and vibrate....servos aren't as versatile as you think!


the second step is a text-book approved stepping sequence...i believe it's called 'double-stepping'....not sure though.

Don't give up! You are sooooooo close. cut eh back axle and mak teh stepper power only one of teh wheels. Get a brass gear servo instead of aplastic one for the steering. This could be so cool.

BTW - I love the video. Specially the bit at the end where the pile of sticks falls over and the small child laughing. 

PS - why does everything you make have to beep and fart? Next I suppose it will be bashing stuff and recording the sounds it makes? 

I absolutely LOVE the idea of the jack plug!!!


makes wonder why i never thought of that myself and always tried to consider complicated (high-noise) bearing and brush connections!


I'm really starting to love this site....a true testament to KISS ;)

(The last "S" would be me :) But I try to use it to my advantage :D

And you are not the only one to consider brushes etc. I got this far before quitting :)