Motion sensor + 12volt Motor

Hello all,

I am very new to the arduino world but very interested in its possibilities. Im a sculpture student and I'm currently attempting to use arduino brains in my work. My newest project is simple but i need help on where to start. I plan on triggering a 12 volt motor with a motion sensor. The motor powers a kinetic sculpture that craws on the ground. The sensor will be mounted to the sculpture so i need to program the arduino to turn off the motor after 30 sec and stay still for 5 sec so the motion sensor won't continue to trigger.

The basic effect i am going for is a 12 volt powered sculpture that crawls after the viewer when they pass in front of it. It will then turn off after 30 sec and remain still while it waits for another person to trigger it.

Thank you for any help or advice.... :slight_smile:


You can't directly control a 12V device with an Arduino. You can control 5V relays, MOSFETs or garden variety transistors that can control the 12V device.

Which you choose depends on the current that the 12V device consumes.

Making the device move for a period of time, then stop, is pretty simple. The millis() function acts like a watch.

Reading the motion sensor is simple, too.

Turning the device on and off is trivial - digitalWrite(somePin, HIGH) or digitalWrite(somePin, LOW).

Thank you for the response i do have a couple questions since i am a noob. What would you suggest 5V relay, MOSFETs or garden variety transistor to work with a 12volt windshield whipper motor powered by a 12 volt 8.0 Ah battery?

I guess my first step is to start ordering some parts. I have an arduino board and the sculpture has been built. I think all that is left is the relay and a new PIR motion sensor.

Before i decided to use an arduino to control the sculpture i used a basic 12 volt motion sensor and it was a fail so i thank you all for your help in making this thing a reality. BTW i will post more pictures of the sculpture and a video of it in motion this afternoon but until then i do have one image i can post...

The sculpture is made up of metal square tubing, found wheels, hardware and some basic electronics...