An Arduino compatible robot controller is something I’ve been working on in my spare time. I wanted to try to combine the ease of use of the Arduino software and hardware with a dual DC motor controller. I thought this could be a good platform for people building their first robot to experiment with. The design has an Atmega328P microcontroller just like the Arduino Uno Revision 3. I’ve also matched the form factor and pin out of the Arduino Uno R3.
The interface to the two Freescale MC33926 H-bridge motor driver chips requires about 10 i/o pins. That’s a lot. Some of these pins provide analog motor current feedback or H-bridge status and really aren’t required to run motors. You should be able to get the number of control lines down to about 6 (2 enable lines and 4 PWM lines). All of the connections between the Arduino pins and the Freescale ICs occur through 1K resistors. The resistors can be removed if the user wants to free up some pins.
I received the printed circuit board last week and finally set aside some time to work on it. Things look pretty good so far. The parts fit and nothing caught on fire when I powered it up. What else can you ask for in life? However, I was limited to about 2 hours of lab time on Friday afternoon before I had to turn off the lights and head home. On Monday I should get the Arduino bootloader programmed into the Firstbot prototype and see if the PCB connections are error free (never happens, but one can hope). I’m looking forward to seeing if this design works right out of the chute. If it does it should be an awesome toy to have around.