Dan Ruscoe

Controlling a Robotic Arm with an Arduino Board

14 Apr 2013

A while ago, I bought the Edge robotic arm kit with the intention of modifying it to be controlled by an Arduino board. The Internet being what it is, somebody had beat me to it and created this in-depth guide to doing exactly what I planned.

What I couldn't find was a good breadboard diagram to use as a reference, so I created one using software from Fritzing.

Arduino Robotic Arm Breadboard Diagram

Full-size breadboard diagram

Follow this guide for assembly directions and the code required to program your Arduino to control the arm's motors.

A few things to be aware of if attempting this project:

  • The wires included with the robotic arm kit are stranded and not much use for breadboarding. Solder some headers onto them for best results.
  • The arm uses DC motors, so there's no feedback on the arm's current position. This makes automating tasks tricky.
  • There's nothing in place to stop the motors when the arm reaches the limits of its range of motion. The gears will just start to slip and make a really unhealthy noise.

The finished product looks like this:

Arduino Robotic Arm