Need assistance for project

Hi guys, this is my first post so I hope you won’t be too critical!

So basically I’m making a robot that uses suction as a mechanism for picking up 2.5" plastic air filled balls from various positions, I’ve got an old vacuum cleaner I no longer need and removed the motor which I intend to use to provide the suction. I also need to drive several other motors, one to move the robot forwards and backwards, and some to move the vacuum tubing.

The robot needs to be <8kg (but may well be similar to this value), just curious as to whether an arduino uno could be used to control these components? Obviously I’d need one power supply for the movement motors and a secondary one for the vacuum motor, how would I go about interfacing the arduino with these power supplies? The power supply that the vacuum utilised provided 240v and was 1300W, this would mean that any portable power supply would be quickly depleted but I only need one that lasts 5 minutes max at any one time. The only real requirement for the arduino is to control when the motors turn on and off and to reverse the current.

Any suggestions/constructive feedback would be very much appreciated.


I think you will find that the startup and shutdown of the vacuum system that you've described is too slow to give you reasonable control. A hoover will develop vacuum over 700ms and after the power is removed, will still give noticeable vacuum after 1000ms.

Likely what would make more sense would be to instead use valves to control the vacuum, and something simple like a pinch valve operated by a servo on a bit of rubber tubing might be good. This should give you 150ms on/off switching.

I rather think that a 1300 watt hoover is more power than you would need. Maybe something like a hair dryer fan to generate the suction, then rubber tubing with control valves of some sort to control vacuum at the pick-up end would be better. The vacuum source would run continuously.

Sparkfun as some small 12v vacum pumps that might be very usefull for your project.

Thanks for the quick replies

Yeah the 1300W is well in excess of what I need, I'll look into the hair dryer suggestion, I didn't think of that. I'll look into the valves and check out the vacuum pump that Senso suggested.

I'll post updates when I get it up and running