Robotic Accessories for your Arduino

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Arduino is a great fundamental microcontroller development board for robotic applications. Whether it’s for a cool hobby project, a college-level project, or a real-world application, the Arduino is flexible enough to be applied to any robotic project. Here are some of our recommended accessories and add-ons for Arduino robotic projects.

DC/Stepper Motor Driver Breakout Board

While Arduinos are capable of many features, they usually don’t have enough power to drive motors. In order to get around this, you can use Adafruit’s TB6612 1.2A DC/Stepper Motor Driver Breakout Board.

This breakout board can spin either two DC motors, step one bi-polar or uni-polar stepper, or fire off two solenoids with 1.2A per channel. These dual H-bridges will allow you to control motors without a Shield (specifically the Motor Shield v2) making it easy to include on any solderless breadboard or perma-proto. Make sure that your motors are good for 1.2 Amps or less of current. It does have a built in kick-back diodes internally, so you don’t have to worry about the inductive kick damaging your project or driver.

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DC/Stepper Motor Driver | 2448

Adafruit Industries Power Management Development Boards and Kits View

Stepper Motor

This stepper motor has a 1.8 degree per step (200 steps/revolution) for smooth motion and a nice holding torque. This motor has a max of 350mA, making it easily driven with motor drivers and a wall adapter or lead-acid battery. Perfect for any robotic needs.

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Stepper Motor | 324

Adafruit Industries Stepper Motors View

DC Toy/Hobby Motor

If you’re looking for a more simpler DC motor, this DC Toy/Hobby Motor will provide you what you need. This motor comes with a wider operating range than most toy motors; from 4.5 to 9VDC instead of the usual 1.5 – 4.5V. This range makes it perfect for controlling with an Adafruit Motor Shield or Driver.

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DC Toy/Hobby Motor | 711

Adafruit Industries Brushed DC Motors View

DC Motor in Micro Servo Body

The DC Motor in Micro Servo Body is a bit more unique than the first two motors, as it is more like a DC motor and a plastic gear-train in a box. It is not the most powerful motor, but it does well as a little robot wheel and more cost effective. It runs on 4 – 6VDC, though you’ll need to have a H-bridge to run it (like the breakout board mentioned earlier). It also comes with 2 screws and 2 nuts for mounting to a chassis.

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DC Motor in Micro Servo Body | 2941

Adafruit Industries Servo Motors View


Now if you’re trying to incorporate the Arduino MKR into your robotic project, the MKR2UNO can fix many obstacles that may pop up. This helpful shield can easily turn your Arduino Uno Shields into an MKR based one. You just mount your Arduino MKR onto the MKR2UNO adapter and then plug in any of your Uno shields.

Just keep in mind that the MKR2UNO is just a form factor adapter and so it does NOT present any voltage translation.  Unlike the Arduino UNO, the MKR2UNO Adapter does NOT have I2C signals on A4 and A5 and SPI on pins 11, 12 and 13. Be careful before connecting a shield since shields without IOREF level shifting capability may not work properly.

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MKR2UNO | TSX00005

Arduino Corporation Development Kits and Tools View

Grove Starter Kit v3

Robotic projects don’t just include motors, but also sensors they can use to navigate and gather data, essential to IoT based robotic projects. This Starter Kit is perfect for anyone beginning to build a robotic project. This gives users convenience and rapid prototyping by proving Grove modules to the Grove Shield, which contains a multitude of sensors and actuators.

Parts include the base shield, Grove modules like the sound, touch and sound sensor, LEDs, Servos, Cables and much more!

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Grove Starter Kit v3 | 110060024

Seeed Technology Co.,Ltd Development Kits and Tools View

Arduino MKR Connector Carrier

Similar to the Grove Starter Kit, this Shield allows the Arduino MKR boards to be a perfect companion with the Grove ecosystem.  You can rapidly start prototyping by easily connecting sensors with Grove connectors, allowing you to build applications with different IoT connectivity. The only thing is that it does not include any Grove parts.

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Arduino MKR Connector Carrier | ASX00007

Arduino Corporation Development Kits and Tools View

These accessories and add-ons for your Arduino Board and MKR based board will be good start for your robotic project. Whether you want a simple rover robot or a more complicated IoT robot that senses the environment, these parts can get you to the right path!

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