Let's Make Robots!

Thinking about Arduino

I was working on picaxe alot recently and each Idea that i had is facing technical obstacles because am using picaxe. So, am thinking about switching to arduino. However, I am not sure which project board I need. I actually like to build projects such as hexapods with a lot of servos and sensors.... Which projectboard should I have?.....money no object.

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Because you have said you like to build projects with lots of servos and sensors then I think you will need to go to an Arduino Mega or a compatible board like my Spider. These allow up to 48 servos to be driven with the Servo library.

The ATmega1280 used in the original Arduino Mega and my Spider controller gives you 70 I/O pins. This includes 16 analog inputs and 15 PWM pins. All 70 pins can be digital inputs or outputs and all 70 pin have an internal 20K pullup resistor that can be enabled if required.

The only Advantage to my Spider over the original Arduino Mega is that it has a 3A switchmode power supply (7V-32V input), all 70 pins are terminated with a 3pin servo compatible socket as well as a female header and the pin spacing allows custom sheilds to be made with standard prototype board.

If you get the High Power servo sheild then you can run servos directly from the battery as well as from the 5V supply which is handy when you have a mixture of 7.2V servos and standard servos.

Thanks OddBot...i'll go with the mega, i believe its the one..

Depending on what project you want to tackle, there are different boards that might suit you. I suggest to get something pretty much standard, that will allow you to grow, change plans without the need of getting a different board. This is one of the Arduino advantages, you can add or change shields without changing the baseboard. 

So, for a regular size project, you can get an Arduino Uno or an older Diecimila or Duemilanove board. Then you can get the shield that most suits your project, there are hundreds out there. For a large project, like a hexapod, you need to turn your attention to the Arduino Mega or OddBot's Spider Controller. For a tiny project that does not require more than 12 servos, you will be able to get the uServotino pretty soon.

After you get your hands dirty, you will better choose the perfect board. 

Thanks Ro-Bot-Xi guess the mega is the perfect board for me...

It depends on what you are looking for. There are the official Arduino versions like the Uno and the Mega. The Mega is just like the Uno, only bigger, better, faster, more.

Then there are many well known and well supported clones. If you plan to use any shields, be sure to stick to the same form factor.

There are also a few designs by our own Ro-Bot-X that might suit you. The Arduino Robot Shield would complement a standard from factor Arduino board. The uBotino and uServotino are small (2 inch square) boards that include a motor driver and servo interfaces respectively. He's got a new board coming out that is the Arduino form factor and includes an on-board motor driver and basically all the features of his Robot Shield.

Hardmouse already mentioned OddBot's Spider controller.

Thank you ignoblegnome...this is helpful :)

i came across the 'roboduino' the other day:


apparently optimised for use with servos.

I was also thinking about switching to arduino recently when I came across your post and you know what? I have made my mind to give this board a try. Sooooo many features already included!! O_O

You might wanna check out Oddbot's SPIDER on his Chopstick.

What have you looked at so far? Is there anything wrong with any of the "standard" Arduinos? --Or the Megas? --When you found some/any of the servo shields available, did you see something you didn't like or understand? What vendors have you looked into so far?