After engineering the steering mechanism, we needed a software & hardware system that can control the steering motor. We need to send commands to the motor from the Jetson to control its turning.
Initially, we landed on the TB6612 motor controller by SparkFun. After burning six of them, Michael and I decided to check on the amperage of the steering motor. It turns out, the amp for the motor running with no resistance is around 0.4. However, the amp needed to turn the cart, which has tremendous resistance, is around 6 amps. 6 amps! The TB6612 can handle 3.2 at most!
We needed a different motor controller, a more robust motor controller. The one in the video below can handle 43 amps. We think it’s enough.
An Overview of the program