Let's Make Robots!

Motor Driver Choice Help


   I've built a Parallax Boe-Bot which has servo driven wheels but have decided to move to Arduino and dc motors. I do not have specific motors in mind yet just some salvaged ones to play with for now. So my questions are:

1 - Is it worth getting a driver shield/kit or should I save the money and try something like a l293d on my breadboard?

2 - What shield/board do you recommend? I was considering the following:

         A - Adafuit motor shield - I love their site and stuff always good, Has an Arduino library, has four H-bridges and can do two steppers which I am also interested in playing with

        B - l298 Compact Motor Driver from Solarbotics - recommended by Frits, simple, I like the led indicators, can power Arduino 

        C - Robot Builder's Shield - cool idea combo driver/proto shield, abundance of three prong headers, can power Arduino

I have searched the forum but would love to hear what you guys are using and why!

EDIT: Can anyone recommend a good place to read up on motor and driver selection?

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There are motor upgrades for that Tamiya set that work OK at 5-6V, like this one from Pololu.

I use that on one of my robots and it work fine.

Or, keep the original motors and use one of the drivers Pololu recommends under 'Complementary Products'.


Full disclosure, yes, I am very much in favor of buying local --even if our "LMR local" happens to be quite global. Even without this fact, it is still a solid board. Everything one would need is there via female headers, solder pads and 3-pin "servo" connectors. There is room for a breadboard, screw terminals for motors power --everything is right where it should be. Beyond that, there is nothing else and thats a good thing. No crap, no gimmics, clean, every inch of the board is used and everything is in its place. The hardest thing to do is design a really perfect, simple thing. This is just that, simple and straight forward with no BS. A great board.




Thanks for the info. I also appreciate simplicity in design and like buying from someone here on LMR or even Adafruit who also give a lot to the community. Speaking of buying local have you found any where here in Mass you can buy anything? I am from the north shore even You-do-it never seems to have what I am looking for. By the way Walter is AWSOME! and I saw  you copper and wood guy on I think on the Make blog. Nice work.

I have found nothing. Then again, I am on the Cape so there is not really much of anything, let alone robot parts. I am sure there has got to be something in Boston, but I have not found it yet and at one point I found a "electronic surplus" place out in western mass, but again, never been there. If I order something that is non-Ebay, I pretty much stick to SparkFun and Pololu --both have awesome shipping times and you will get your stuff in 3 days with Priority shipping. HWV (HVW?) has most of the picaxe stuff one would want and even from Canada it is pretty quick. Other than that, and I hate to say it, Radio Shack has a few of the things you may need. --Ugg.

Robot Builder's Shield, hands-down. Period.

Can you elaborate? What are your favorite or most useful features? (Other than being designed by a LMR member which is totally cool!)