Feather can make a great base for your next robotic project. We've got two Wings that make easy work of adding motors.
Best of all, these two FeatherWings only use I2C, so they work with all Feathers. The I2C address can be changed with a solder jumper, so you can add multiple Wings for lots of motors, or use them with any other Wings. (Just make sure you have each wing with a unique I2C address)
Both of these Wings are designed for driving fairly powerful motors, easily 1A draw each. For that reason, we do not run the motors off of USB or the LiPo battery - they are dedicated for running the Feather only. Instead, the 'loud and messy' power supply for the motors is provided via a terminal block.
We recommend something like our 4 x AA battery pack, with NiMH rechargeable batteries.
Most of our Feathers do have PWM/Servo outputs, but often they are shared or there's not enough of them. With this Wing you need not worry about jitter or timer allocation. The 8 x servo outputs are completely driven by a I2C-controlled chip. All the outputs have the same PWM rate, but have individually controlled duty cycles @ 12-bit resolution.
- There's an I2C-controlled PWM driver with a built in clock. That means that, unlike the TLC5940 family, you do not need to continuously send it signal tying up your microcontroller, its completely free running!
- It is 5V compliant, which means you can control it from a 3.3V Feather and still safely drive up to 6V outputs (this is good for when you want to control white or blue LEDs with 3.4+ forward voltages)
- 6 address select pins so you can stack up to 62 of these on a single i2c bus, a total of 992 outputs - that's a lot of servos or LEDs
- Adjustable frequency PWM up to about 1.6 KHz
- 12-bit resolution for each output - for servos, that means about 4us resolution at 60Hz update rate
- Configurable push-pull or open-drain output
If stacking these, we recommend using right-angle servo connectors:
Motors require both GPIO and PWMs, and they quickly start hogging all your pins up. With this Wing, you get 4 full H-bridges, so you can control up to 4 DC motors, 2 steppers, or 1 stepper and 2 motors.
Motor FeatherWing Specs:
- 4 full H-Bridges: the TB6612 chipset provides 1.2A per bridge with thermal shutdown protection, internal kickback protection diodes. Can run motors on 4.5VDC to 13.5VDC.
- Up to 4 bi-directional DC motors with individual 12-bit speed selection (so, about 0.02% resolution)
- Up to 2 stepper motors (unipolar or bipolar) with single coil, double coil, interleaved or micro-stepping.
- Motors automatically disabled on power-up
- Big 3.5mm terminal block connectors to easily hook up wires (18-26AWG) and power
- Polarity protected 2-pin terminal block and jumper to connect external power, for separate logic/motor supplies
- Completely stackable design: 5 address-select jumper pads means up to 32 stackable wings: that's 64 steppers or 128 DC motors! What on earth could you do with that many steppers? I have no idea but if you come up with something send us a photo because that would be a pretty glorious project.