Guidance needed for proper hardware selection for the project

Hi All!!

I am completely new to using Arduino so need your guidance for my project!!

We are having an application where we need to interface 200 digital proximity sensors with the controller and control 200 small DC stepper motors (24VDC) from controller.

Kindly suggest the appropriate Arduino controller and additional hardware components that may be required to accomplish this task.Thanks.

200 for one application? Not 200 instances of an application ? Tell us more.

Hi!! Thanks for the reply.

We have 200 small conveyor belts to be controlled with stepper motors and a proximity sensor on each conveyor to detect the presence of object placed on conveyor.

So i think it will be Instances of application.

It does sound a quite ambitious project if it incorporates 200 conveyer belts.
Just to try to build up a big picture of what you are doing with the rather limited information you have given so far, lets focus in on one conveyer belt.
What is the length and width of the conveyer belt ?
Do you need a sensor which simply detects if there is an object on the conveyer belt, or do you need to know if the object is at a specific position on the belt ?

Are you going to give some information about the purpose of all this ?

These conveyor belts will be used for transferring the medicines in a huge medicine storage room.As soon as the sensor senses that medicine has reached pick-up position,a robot will be pick the medicine from the conveyor belt.Hope this gives you a big picture.

We want the sensor to detect the object when it reaches a specific position on the belt.
The length and width of conveyor belt are yet to be finalized as we are in initial design stage.
We have information about the sensors. We just need to identify the type of controller and its additional hardware to accomodate the required inputs and outputs.

Sensor: break beam or what are you using?

For the conveyor: you plan to buy those off the shelf, or build your own?
I assume a simple on/off will do - but if your product is not too stable you may have to add a slow-down. How this can be done depends on the motor you use for the conveyor - AC or DC, low or high voltage, power draw.

Then the other end of the process: the product being placed on the belt. How does that work? Someone places it on a running belt - the belt running until the product reaches the robot pick-up position and then stops until the product is removed? Or is the belt somehow activated when a product is placed on it? Is it possible that there are multiple products on the same belt - basically in transit?

We just need to identify the type of controller and its additional hardware to accommodate the required inputs and outputs.

You will need to know the forces involved in driving the conveyor before you can select a suitable motor. And you will need to identify the motor before you select a suitable motor driver.

If you have already identified a suitable motor then post a link to its datasheet.

I have a lot of doubt about whether a stepper motor is necessary for driving a conveyor.

If you think of one project as an Arduino, a sensor and a motor driver and motor then this should be easily accomplished by an Arduino - and then you can build 199 replicas. But getting a single Arduino to control 200 systems is not realistic.

Your reference to "medicine has reached pick-up position,a robot will be pick the medicine " suggests that the 200 Arduino/conveyor systems will be part of a larger system but you have provided no information about how the larger system will need to interact with the 200 Arduino systems.

Of course if you are still at the project exploration stage an Arduino can be a very convenient means for testing the feasibility of different options. Just don't try to explore all 200 at the same time. Figure out one of them first.


You will need 200 robots, with 200 robot controllers, for 200 conveyors. why not focus on integrating the sensor into the robotics control program and hardware?

missed Robin's reply. so, ditto.

Hi Friends!! Many thanks for your inputs and suggestions!!

I will post the conveyor and motor details once we finish the design.The sensors we are using are through-beam type photoelectric sensors.