How can I power 8 servos simultaneous?


I been working on a small project at home. I have a mobile robot with 2 servos operating the wheels and 6 others operating an arm, making it a total of 8 servos. I'm currently using Arduino Mega and an external power supply, a modified ATX power supply (5V 30A). I have a battery from a previous R/C car project, 7.2V 4500mAh. I would like to use this battery to power the robot. I've tried connecting it directly but the servos do not switch on. I get a big voltage drop and current drop, as many of you figured out already. I thought if I made a simple voltage follower it would work, but didn't. How else can I power these servos without buying a Servo Controller. I would like to make a circuit with parts that can easily be found locally. Any help that can be offered, would be great.

How else can I power these servos without buying a Servo Controller.

A servo controller really doesn’t play into powering servos. servos are usually powered from the battery ± leads with the ground wires all connected together.

Understood but how can I power all 8 servos using a 7.2 V 4500mAh battery.

Are your servos rated for 7.2v operation? Many are not. If not, you will need some type of voltage regulator.

I power 18 servos off of a higher voltage battery and use a voltage regulator from I got the SWADJ3, which lets me cut select the output voltage, and it handles enough current for my needs.

As for the physical arrangement, I bought a prototyping shield and some pin headers.

Can you show how you currently have power wired to the Arduino and servos with the 7.2v battery?

All my servos are connected in parallel with the battery.

Vince, I like what you did with the voltage regulator. But can you give me a list of the parts you used, the voltage regulator, battery, and the small circuit board switch(what does this do? do I need it?). Also, the pictures are great but are a bit fuzzy to see the connections in detail. Could you give me a quick short summary how you connected these devices.

I'll see if I can get better pictures.

Parts list for my setup:


Pololu Pushbutton Power Switch SV This is a power switch that replaces a mechanical switch.

Small breadboard

Various headers

1065 #966 #965

Power block


Although this comes out of the bread board fairly easily.

I also got wire kits

313 Elenco JW-350 350-Piece Wire Kit

Dimension Engineering Voltage regulator They have many different models to choose from, with widely ranging capacities. This model works for my 18 servos - 12 are standard sized analog, and 6 are standard sized digital.

NKC Mega shield kit

A bit of soldering (like a LOT!!)