Control System with multiple motors.

Hello everyone, I am very new at controls and am currently working on a project that needs to capture real time feedback for three very high resolution components. There are two linear actuators, and a DC stepper motor. The system will be controlled from a LabView program. From my current understanding of controls, all I have for the design so far is this:

The three motors will be able to be connected to a single Arduino board. I am unaware of how to get a correct signal from the Arduino to show up on the computer screen. I believe that it would be simple to hook a NI myDAQ up in between the micro controller and the computer. Also, if the motors purchased do not feature a built in encoder, how do I add one?

I would appreciate any help and guidance I can get on this problem!

Thank you very much!

What signals do you want to feed to the Arduino?
Speed, Current, Power?

What levels of Speed, Current, Power?

In what format?
4-20mA, 0-10V, RS232, RS485,PWM?

What is the application?
What do you want the Arduino to do with this data?
Can you tell us your electronics, programming, arduino, hardware experience?

Thanks.. Tom.. :slight_smile:

I will be collecting position data for the actuators, which need to be precise. Would collecting the voltage of each motor be the easiest for this? And also will motors with built-in encoders be needed?

The resolution of the actuators are around the range of 1 to 10 microns.

I am not sure which format we will go with as of now, possibly a combination of the above.

It is for the purpose of moving a syringe to create a small fluid flow, and also for the movement of a pipette which will require two of the motors.

I have taken a control theory class, but it focused on all theory and little hardware. I have taken labs in school using arduino setups on LabView, and testing setups using a myDAQ configuration. I am a Mechanical Engineer so am not totally comfortable with electronics.

Also, a lab I am currently in has a control setup for opening a padlock that uses an NI compact Rio, however that seems too expensive for my budget.

You need to provide links to the datasheets for the actuators and the stepper motor.

Will the Arduino be controlling those devices or only collecting position data from them

The resolution of the actuators is probably irrelevant to the Arduino. What will be important is how the position data is produced by the device and how often it is updated. That information is essential for knowing if the Arduino is suitable for the project.

It would also be much easier to give sensible advice if you explain what the machine is for and if you provide a diagram or photograph of it.