Let's Make Robots!

Simple Servo Drive Help.... ie small - light and simple.

What is the simplest processor i can use for driving a single Servo plus   1 input/1 output (digital)

I am talking minimalistic here - ie small - light and simple.

My Plan is to construct a light weight Flight Robot.

It could be i use a servo or maybe a custom linear actuator for steering...

Muscle Wire example is one idea last video (thanks emuller)

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Well I'm surprised nobody suggested the Ardupilot yet, lol all-in-one! :P



Make sure you check out Google videos, search Ardupilot and check out some of the videos.. some pretty badass stuff!


6 pins - VCC, GND, RESET (which can be used as I/O if needed), and 3 I/O pins.   1K Flash.  32 bytes RAM (ouch.) Supports PWM for a servo and is not bigger than 3mm x 3mm.  Can operate on 1.8 to 5.5 Volts.



Would muscle wire be lighter for your purpose?

It seems to have a pretty fast response, but I have no idea of the power requirements, etc... at least it would save you the weight of gears, motors etc. 


Muscle wire uses resistive heating to contract, so the current required for rapid actuation can be comparatively high. Also the contraction vs. relaxation delays are typically quite different, with relaxation time being determined by how fast the air cools the wire down.

I bought one of these things recently and know that they have replacement parts, like super micro servos. unfortuanly no specs on them, but Idon't think they require much.


Thanks for the impulse for servo idea - i was wanting to custom make one (for lightness) now i can rest easy it just a pager motor connected to a mini potentiometer. wow (brain now has to shrink micro style).

The Atmel tiny25/45/85 is my favorite choice, for small apps. 8pin PDIP/SOIC housing. Internal oszillator, only a 0.1µF cap as external component needed. Up to 6 IOs (analog, digital, PWM). Runs at 1.8 (2.7, 4.5) V with 4 (10, 20) Mhz. Datasheet

I want to change processors - however with these specs my arm can be twisted.......

This looks a nice chip - 8 legs and more possibilities ...Hmmmmm

Here is even a simple example of controlling a servo with an attiny45:


Wot can i say - super link -  I will have to install a "SwingOmeter" on top of my Compy screen (better than a voting system-they seem to be driven by "Fuzzy Logic" these days).

(at the moment its leaning into the Atmel half :-)    

(however this would be the easy way out for me........ maybe the challenge is in the aeroplane mechanics)

Will have to workout the Battery requirements - Lift verses Weight.