Let's Make Robots!

Dagu Rover 5 & Arduino Uno /Help

Hello everyone.

I'm trying to make a robot for experimentation, something i can use in my studies aswell. I'm studying Electronics & Computer engeneering, first year, and i want a platform that i can improve in the years to come. 

I started playing around with LEDs and an arduino some time ago, this week i bought a Dagu Rover 5 with 4 motors and 4 encoders. The problem is i don't have the 4 channel DC motor controller. 

I tried to figure out what other hardware i need to buy to make the robot move, but no clear answer yet. Plus, i am on a very low budget, so i can only get a certain amount of hardware per month.

The main things i need to know, before i buy any new hardware, are:

- Can i make the thing move with an arduino uno and the 4 channel DC motor controller?

- If not, why?

- What can i substitute the 4CH DC motor controller with?

- If i have to substitute the arduino uno, what should i choose? Arduino Mega1280 or Mega2560 or Spider?

- Does anybody know any Swedish companies that sell the hardware i need? i only know lawicel-shop.se, but they don't have the Spider Controller.

- If anyone can help me make the robot work with the arduino uno, i would be very glad :) 

Thank you :)

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I saw some distributors' websites describe the PC board in the Rover 5 photos as being available from the manufacturer, and being able to support the mounting of an Arduino board to it.

Please let me know how to find some details and vendors for that PC board.

[edit] Ok, I see now:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B__O096vyVYqOWUzZGM5MGUtNTgyNC00NmU1LWFjYWUtZWZlNjVlYmIzM2E3/edit?pli=1

http://robosavvy.com/store/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/35/products_id/2083

Do any USA distributors sell this Explorer PC Board?

Thanks,

=Cliff

The first part o my project is: Get the Rover to move and using a Sharp infrared distance sensor to scan a certain area and that data visualized in real-time in the Processing language. I found lots of tutorials concerning serial input and data visualization, but would be better if anyone could refer me to a specific forum thread or previous projects that are similar . 

Another thing to keep in mind, when you look at the capabilities of the 4 channel motor controller and compare it to ANYTHING else out there--it can't be matched at the price.  The 4wd Rover 5, combined with the 4 channel motor controller and a Redback spider controller is a combination that is difficult to beat.

Yes, i saw that too, i figured that it's a must have (the 4 channel motor controller) if i'm to utilize all the available resources on the rover5 (encoders etc...). I'm still waiting for the delivery. i'm going to wait for the Redback Spider for a month or two, for now i'm going to use it with the arduino uno, and i will try to wire it up as though there are only two wheels on the Rover, Left and Right. 

Start saving for the Spider controller :)  I have the Dagu 4 channel motor controller and Spider on my Rover 5. The benefit of the Spider is that it has 3 pins / input/output and a 3A 5V regulator. Which makes it much easier to connect everything.

After some reading i decided to go with the Dagu 4CH motor controller and arduino uno for now. Later i will upgrade to the Spider, but first i will try to recreate the project i saw on this page http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?topic=82618.0

 

You can wire the left and right motors in parallel. Do this with the treads off so that you can make sure that the motors are both spinning in the same direction.

This will let you drive the Rover 5 with a two channel motor controller but it must be able to handle at least 4A per channel. L298N motor drivers are not recommended as they are very inefficient and get very hot. Sparkfun have recently released a new motor shield recently that can do this easily.

The Uno is OK to begin with but later on you are better off with an Arduino Mega or Spider as you will want the extra external interrupt pins, timers, ADC's etc. If you wish to use mecanum wheels at some point then I suggest going straight to a Spider and DAGU 4Ch motor controller. They have the same footprint which allows them to stack up to save space.