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Summary and other motor control possibilities

In this chapter, you have learned about methods and theories about autonomy in beginning to think about the BS2 as an executive controller that ties multiple parts together. You have also learned how to properly solder and attach heat sensitive parts to a soldered circuit board. As you can see the L298 is a powerful H-Bridge that can control one or two DC motors from a few volts DC up to 60 volts DC. The Hall effect sensor is also a powerful feedback device when combined with the magnetic field of magnets.

Other motor control possibilities.

There are other motor controllers as well available from motor control from Parallax. The PWMPAL peripheral that fits under the BS2 and provides four PWM output channels and up to four control/counter input channels to the BASIC Stamp module. The Motor Mind C has been designed to function as a versatile DC motor control system for controlling one or two motors. The module is ideal for use in small robotics projects for controlling two-wheel axles. The Motor Mind C BASIC Stamp 2 Carrier Board was designed to simplify connectivity to and ease control of the Motor Mind C.

The Motor Mind B  provides DC motor speed and directional control up (up to 30 VDC). Pololu Micro Dual Serial Motor Controller allows you to control one or two DC motors with a BASIC Stamp and programming board.  Using one serial output from this motor controller, you can independently set each motor to go forward or backward at any of 127 speeds. The BiStep Motor Controller includes the capability of driving one or two stepper motors, each of which being either unipolar (4-pole) or bipolar (2 pole).  This unit is a good choice for those designing products using linear actuators, especially since the micro stepping features will reduce noise levels and can increase positional accuracy by a significant amount. 

The Little Step-U Motor Controller is a complete, serially controlled, drive system for unipolar stepper motors. The desired operating speed, ramp time and drive mode can be configured once and then a single command used as required, to move to fixed or relative positions. While the motor is in motion, a BUSY output is active and the movement can be optionally interrupted by one of the two external inputs. The unipolar stepper motor is ideal for precision control, and may be easily operated in forward and reverse directions at varying speeds. This four-phase motor has a step angle of 3.6 degrees and requires 12 VDC for operation.

ULN2803A Darlington Array is required to interface to Stepper Motors to prevent the damage of the BASIC Stamp module's I/O pins. The UCN 5804 (now discontinued) though can be purchased for high $ is also a very nice chip and can drive stepper motors with a PWM from your BS2.


[1] Walter, W. Grey, "A Machine that Learns," Scientific American, August 1951, p60-63.
[2] Valentino Braitenberg. Vehicles. Experiments in Synthetic Psychology. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (USA), 1984
[3] Erwin Driessens & Maria Verstappen website: http://www.xs4all.nl/~notnot/
[4] http://adaweb.walkerart.org/context/events/moma/bbs5/penney.html
[5] http://www.raaf.org/Electronic_Works/Grower/Grower_frames.html


Additional research

Levy, Steven, "Artificial Life" Vintage Books, 1992, p 282-284.
Morris, Brian, "The World of Robots," Multimedia Products, 1985, p23
Holland, Owen E., "Grey Walter: The Pioneer of Real Artificial Life, Artificial Life V: Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems , Christopher Langton Editor, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1997, ISBN# 0-262-62111-8, p34-44
Walter, W. Grey, "The Living Brain," W. W. Norton, New York, 1963.
Walter, W. Grey, "An Imitation of Life," Scientific American, May 1950
Walter, W. Grey, "A Machine that Learns," Scientific American, August 1951
Grey Walter, The Living Brain New York: W. W. Norton, 1963
Holland, Owen E., "Grey Walter: The Pioneer of Real Artificial Life", *Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Artificial Life, Christopher Langton Editor, MIT Press,
Erkki Huhtamo: The Seven Misunderstandings of Interactive art
David McFarland, Artificial Ethology. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
Scott Canazine, Jean-Louis Deneubourg, Nigel Franks, James Sneyd, Guy Theraulez, & Eric Bonabeau, Self-Organization in Biological Systems Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001
Joseph L. Jones and Anita M. Flynn, Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation, A K Peters, Wellesley, MA, 1993
Luc Steels, "The Artificial Life Route to Artificial Intelligence," in Chris Langton, ed., Artificial Life (MIT Press, Cambridge Mass: MIT Press, 1997).
Luc Steels, "Language Games for Autonomous Robots," in IEEE Intelligent Systems, September/October 2001