First Project (Kindda newbie, been through a starter kit tutorial)

Greetings guys, I'm kindda new so please "be gentle" :stuck_out_tongue:

I've been tasked to develop the following:

  • An Arduino board to control 2 Stepper Motors (one of them will be used to move an "arm" in a circular movement arround a ring-like trail, the other one will move the trail up or down as an elevator)
  • The project also requires the use of a LED display and a 4x4 Matrix Keypad for the input of the movement coordinates (arround the trail and in different "floors" there will be some compartment doors that the arm will open by using an actuator, also controled by Arduino)

So my question here is, which Arduino board would be more suitable for the task (price/benefit wise)? Would I need to use more than one (considering that it would control 2 Stepper motors, the LCD Display and the Keypad)? I was looking into it and from what I've read the motor shield wouldn't work considering that the idiot-proof nature of the same kinda prevent us from using the other ports. What motor driver would be the best and easier to handle? I have no exact preference for a specific Stepper Motor so if necessary suggest the one that better suits your advice. Thanks in advance and sorry for putting so many (?)s in the post :slight_smile:

Edit#1 - Found a Dual Stepper Motor Shield for Arduino (http://www.robotshop.com/ca/productinfo.aspx?pc=RB-Ite-53&lang=en-US) that might suit my needs, apparently it preserves some of the inputs (I think, might be mistaken though).

So my question here is, which Arduino board would be more suitable for the task (price/benefit wise)?

Count the number of inputs and outputs you need. If it’s less than 16, any 328-based Arduino will work. More than that needs a Mega ora DUE.

The keypad needs 8. Each stepper motor needs 2. The LCD needs 1 to ?

What motor driver would be the best and easier to handle?

The one that can handle the current and voltage that your stepper motor needs. Seems that you neglected to mention those values.

I have no exact preference for a specific Stepper Motor so if necessary suggest the one that better suits your advice.

Just opening a catalog to stepper motors and ordering one at random is a path to unhappiness. Speed, torque, voltage, and current are all factors to consider. We haven’t seen your arm to know whether you are talking about a 3’ balsa wood arm on good quality roller bearings or a 60 foot cast iron arm on babbit bushings last greased at the end of the 19th century.

The one that can handle the current and voltage that your stepper motor needs. Seems that you neglected to mention those values.

So, the motor I was looking into is the following : http://www.robotshop.com/productinfo.aspx?pc=RB-Soy-13&lang=en-US
And as a driver for it, maybe this one : http://www.robotshop.com/ca/productinfo.aspx?pc=RB-Ite-53&lang=en-US
Thing is, I'm not sure if I'm able to attach both the keypad and the LCD using the Shield as a motor driver, so as an alternative, I was thinking that maybe I could use 2 EasyDrivers : EasyDriver - Stepper Motor Driver - ROB-12779 - SparkFun Electronics

The keypad needs 8. Each stepper motor needs 2. The LCD needs 1 to ?

Thanks for the information, I believe I saw a video of a guy who made a circuit and an algorithm to use a 4x4 Matrix Keypad with only 1 input, not sure if it would be reliable though : Reading a 4x4 matrix keypad with a single pin without ranging on arduino - YouTube

Sorry if I neglected any information that was necessary in the first post, it wasn't due to laziness, only due to inexperience.