December 4, 2013 AT 8:07 am

Adafruit Motor / Stepper / Servo Shield for Arduino (video)

Adafruit Motor / Stepper / Servo Shield for Arduino! The original Adafruit Motorshield kit is one of our most beloved kits! –which is why we decided to make something even better. We have upgraded the shield kit to make the bestest, easiest way to drive DC and Stepper motors. This shield will make quick work of your next robotics project! We kept the ability to drive up to 4 DC motors or 2 stepper motors, but added many improvements:

Instead of a L293D darlington driver, we now have the TB6612 MOSFET driver: with 1.2A per channel and 3A peak current capability. It also has much lower voltage drops across the motor so you get more torque out of your batteries, and there are built-in flyback diodes as well.

Instead of using a latch and the Arduino’s PWM pins, we have a fully-dedicated PWM driver chip onboard. This chip handles all the motor and speed controls over I2C. Only two pins (SDA & SCL) are required to drive the multiple motors, and since it’s I2C you can also connect any other I2C devices or shields to the same pins. This also makes it drop-in compatible with any Arduino, such as the Uno, Leonardo and Mega R3. (Due’s Wire support is still in beta, but once that works well we can test it on the Due)

Completely stackable design: 5 address-select pins means up to 32 stackable shields: that’s 64 steppers or 128 DC motors! What on earth could you do with that many steppers? I have no idea but if you come up with something send us a photo because that would be a pretty glorious project.

Lots of other little improvements such as a polarity protection FET on the power pins and a bit of prototyping area. And the shield is assembled and tested here at Adafruit so all you have to do is solder on straight or stacking headers and the terminal blocks.

Learn more!


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