The Motor and Encoder are the important to making robots move. There are different types of motors we can use but what is described here are low-cost DC motors with low-cost potentiometers/encoders for developing low-cost robots.
Motor Selection is important when you are planning to build a robot of your own. Choosing the right type of motor with the right features and sufficient torque will ensure that the robot works and moves the way you want it to. There are quite a few links that are helpful for those who want to find out how to do this right.
These are some useful links
- Panasonic Industrial Motor Selection Sheet
- RobotShop DC Motor Selection Tool
- RobotShop Motor Comparison
- RobotShop Motor Selection Tutorial
- Pololu Motor Driver, Controller Selection Guide: This is a useful site to get a comparison of the drivers and controllers (for robotics) on the market. Pololu is one of my sources for robotics components.
Potentiometers (Absolute Encoders)
This potentiometer can be attached to the shaft of the motor thus saving space for building systems that require absolute rotary displacement. This is a single turn device and useful for rotation of less then 360 degrees.
Potentiometers are simple for position feedback and they are low cost hardware with low cost electronics (1 ADC channel) requirement as well. But these are not used for high performance systems. These potentiometers are ideal for position control up to 1 revolution or less. Relative encoders should be used for mobile base robots.
Brand – ALPS, Murata.
Motor Controller Boards
Various Motor Controller Boards are available that integrate motor drivers and a microcontroller for simple applications. These boards are available at Pololu. There are various drivers available as well that can be integrated with Arduino boards as well.