Speed Controller for Cheap Robots on the DP32

The beauty of the DP32 is in it’s simplicity, and I’m not just talking about its design. It makes building complete projects fast and easy, and the built-in breadboard practically begs to be used for sensors and motor controllers. PID Line Follower RearSlap on a couple motors and a battery-pack, and you’ve got yourself a functioning robot! That’s why I’ve featured it so prominently in my For Cheap Robots series.

Line Sensors For Cheap Robots Title

For those of you who don’t know, the For Cheap Robot series of tutorials on Instructables focuses on making robotics more accessible to new learners, by not only making robotics cheap but by using components and materials that you can find around the house. No waiting for packages, no trying to find specific parts, just craft supplies and robotics!

This brings me to my latest addition to the series, the Speed Controllers for Cheap Robots tutorials! Once again, I’ve used simple materials to make a powerful and complex component, and this time, it’s a doozy! The core of this two-part set of tutorials is a simple shaft encoder made from a bottle cap and pen spring, but don’t be fooled! There’s a lot of potential in this little part.

Shaft Encoder Portrait

The first tutorial focuses on building the encoder itself, but second covers how to use the encoder for a PID speed controller. Not only does this cover how to set up and use a PID, but I go into detail about how PID controllers work, and cover a not-so-simple data filtration method!

The speed controllers have also opened up the possibility for more refined movement from these robots, as well as more complex behavior. I’m using the DP32’s convenient form factor to create a new, much more advanced line-following robot that will explore some of these possibilities.

DP32 PID Line Follower Low Angle Portrait

As ever, I’m aiming to use the DP32, as well as the For Cheap Robot series to make robotics more accessible, and to encourage new makers to start looking for unusual ways to use common stuff. The more learners we turn into makers, the more creativity and innovation we’re going to see, and I think the DP32 is the perfect board to explore that!

PS. If you think these speed controllers are cool, or if you’re a fan of the either the DP32 or the For Cheap Robots series, you might consider voting for me in the Instructables Sensors contest! I’d also suggest checking out some of the other contest entries. There are some really cool ones! Thanks!

Instructables Sensors Contest Banner

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