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.

What happened

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

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 10.48.46 PM.png



Posted by:NeilNie

Student at Columbia University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Prev. software engineer intern at Apple. More than six years of experience developing iOS and macOS applications. Experienced in electrical engineering/microcontrollers. From publishing several apps to presented a TEDx talk in machine learning. Striving to use my knowledge, skills, and passion to positively impact the world.

9 replies on “Steering Motor Control System (SMCS)

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