Cal Poly Senior Project Help Needed!!!


I am currently working on adaptive feeding device for my mechanical engineering senior project. The device will feed people at the touch of a button. My team needs to control 2 servo motors and 1 linear actuator for our project. We need basic help just getting the code started. The linear actuator needs 12 volts and 1 amp, and the servos need 5-6 volts and 1 amp. The arduino and the linear actuator are connected to the 12v battery, and the servos are connected to the 5v output of the arduino uno board. Is this correct or do the servos need a power supply independent of the arduino?

Any basic code help or general tips would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

Thanks very much, look forward to talking with you!

Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering


SLO is such a cool place to hang about, you are lucky to be in such a fine area and great school.

So on with your project. Yes your servos should have their own independent regulated +5vdc power, budget one amp per servo and you should be gold. Controlling the actuator depends on what kind of signal control input it expects, and if they have internal position feedback/controller or not. A linear actuator can be either self contained just like a servo, or more primitive where you need to bolt on some feedback sensor and do it in your own code.

Anyway good luck and keep us posted, problems or not.


Firgelli Automations sell linear actuators that have potentiometers built into the unit so you can use an A/D pin to measure this and determine the position of the actuator. You have to write your own code to do this measurement and then move the actuator but in the end you essentially get a linear actuator that can be controlled the same way as the simple RC servo motor. Here is a link to one of the actuators that firgelli sells with the built in pot. They have many different sizes if this one does not work for you: 12 Volt DC Electric Linear Actuators | FIRGELLI