Linear Actuator Arduino Control


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Linear actuator Arduino controllers is an excellent springboard for engineers beginners to get involved in electronics and linear movement automation. In talented hands, Arduino controller can become not just a toy, but also an excellent chance for realistic robotic and mechatronic projects. This technology can become a great complement for numerous simple and medium-difficulty projects more or less connected with linear motion manipulations.

The ?ontrollers for one of the most spread type of electric linear actuator – 12-volt linear actuators is constructed of everything needed for convenient operation with a microcontroller: 20 digital inputs / outputs (7 of them can be used as PWM outputs, 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro-USB connector, and an ICSP connector for in-circuit programming and a reset button. To start working with the device, simply connect it to your computer using a USB cable. The device is designed the way it can be conveniently placed on the breadboard.

Arduino microcontroller uses an ATmega32u4 microprocessor with an integrated USB controller. This solution eliminates the need to use any additional controllers, and when connected to a computer, allows the Arduino to be defined in the system as well as a regular mouse, keyboard, or virtual COM port.

The recommended current supply voltage is about 7V to 12V. Arduino microcontrollers can be powered via USB or from an external power source – the type of source is selected automatically. As an external power source (non-USB), can be used any direct current power source or a regular battery or accumulator. In this case battery or direct current power supply, terminals must be connected to the Gnd and Vin terminals.

The voltage of the external power source can vary from 6 to 20V. However, a decrease in the supply voltage below 7V leads to a significant decrease in the voltage at the 5V output, which may cause unstable operation of the device. Using a voltage greater than 12V, on the contrary, may cause the voltage regulator to overheat and cause the board malfunction. Taking the above-mentioned into account, it is strongly recommended to use a power source with a voltage in the range from 7V to 12V.

Arduino microcontrollers provide a number of possibilities and functions for communicating with a computer, another Arduino microcontrollers, or other microcontrollers. The ATmega32U4 chip has a UART transceiver that allows communication over consecutive interfaces via digital pins 0 (RX) and 1 (TX). The 32U4 microcontroller supports serial (CDC) communication via USB and can be defined as a virtual COM port when connected with computer. In this case, the chip uses standard USB-COM drivers and can operate in USB 2.0 Full Speed ??mode. On the Windows operating system, only the corresponding .inf file is required. The Arduino software package includes a special program that allows you to read and send simple text data to Arduino.

The Arduino microcontrollers possess recoverable circuit breakers that protect the USB port of the computer from short circuits and overloads. Despite the fact that most computers have their own protection, these circuit breakers provide an additional level of protection. If a current of more than 500 mA is consumed from the USB port, the circuit breaker will automatically break the connection until the causes of a short circuit or overload are eliminated.

Electric linear actuators working on the basis of Arduino microcontrollers receive a variety of functions that seriously broaden their implementation potential. The high-level protection of Arduino microcontrollers directly influences on the successful performance of the electric linear actuators adjusted to them. This technological synergy creates the space for variations when it comes to the technological automation of the linear motion which nowadays are quite widely demanded.

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