controlling 4 dc motors to produce 5 input keys

Dear all, I'm working on a project to control 4 DC/stepper motored robotic legs, controlling the direction , speed [not very important] sequence of operating of the 4 motors - what the list of requirements to get this done my design requires the programmed board to be stand-alone after programming but only operated by 5 input buttons activiating 5 types[sequences] of movement for the robotic legs [ Standing up - walking - walking up the stairs- walking down the stairs- sitting down] Motor voltage is 6:12 volt battery Please advice :-/ :-/

As you're here on the Arduino Forum, you'll get the advice, that the Arduino can do this. Connecting 4 motors and 5 buttons is no problem for the Arduino Uno or Duemilanove.

However, and here lies the harder part, you need to drive your motors because you can't connect them directly to any microprocessor. You just would fry the output pins. Depending on the type of motors you're using, you will need a matching motor driver circuit. For some type of motors, there are nice motor shields available for the Arduino, there are also some robotic kits out there that provide just this.

So for you the next step before posting another question here is:

  1. Decide what kind of motors you want.
  2. Look on the web for a matching motor driver. (Arduino, H-bridge, motor shield, stepper driver are all good key words to look for)
  3. Check if the driver can switch enough current (that's the A or mA rating in the spec sheets) for your motor.
  4. Look for the software samples provided for the motor drivers and understand them
  5. Start writing some basic programs to move one motor.
  6. Once this works, move to the more complex tasks required by your homework
  7. Once you have your basic setup running and still have problems, this forum is the right place to ask. Just check first on google if there isn't already a good tutorial available for your problem, driving motors or reading buttons with an Arduino is a very common task.

If you don't care too much about the motors, you can also switch Step 1 and Step 2 and first decide on a motor driver and then get matching motors.

I hope that helps to get you going. Have fun and a merry Christmas.

Korman

I'm working on a project to control 4 DC/stepper motored robotic legs, controlling the direction , speed [not very important] sequence of operating of the 4 motors - what the list of requirements to get this done my design requires the programmed board to be stand-alone after programming but only operated by 5 input buttons activiating 5 types[sequences] of movement for the robotic legs [ Standing up - walking - walking up the stairs- walking down the stairs- sitting down] Motor voltage is 6:12 volt battery

I'm a little confused here - are there four legs, or are there four motors (and how many legs then?).

Regardless of this - where are the requirement for sensors? I can guarantee you that your robot will -not- be able to walk up and down stairs (heck, walk at all, unless this is a six-legged differential-fixed-gait "walker") without at least some sensors so that it knows which feet are touching, something to detect balance, etc...

Has this walking machine/robot been built? Or is this a project still in the design phase? If there are only four motors, I am really unsure how such a walking machine will be able to move over any terrain more aggressive than a flat surface, let alone stairs...

:-?

/genuinely curious here...