$1 Motor Driver Circuit for Arduino





Introduction: $1 Motor Driver Circuit for Arduino

Digital Life 101 Challenge

Runner Up in the
Digital Life 101 Challenge

The story of this motor shield is that I wanted to make a robot for my multifunctional brainwave controlled system and I decided to share this with you. It's a very simple circuit I used the L293D IC that is a dual bridge motor driver IC. I also added an output for a servo motor. Finally this circuit was able to control 2 DC motors or 1 stepper motor and a servo motor.

So let's get started!

Step 1: Gathering the Parts

For this project you'll need only a few parts:

  • 2 Screw Terminals
  • L293D IC
  • 3 Header Pin
  • 9 Header Pin (90 degrees)
  • 1k Resistor
  • Red LED
  • Wires
  • A PCB Board


  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Wire Stripper/Cutter

Step 2: Soldering

As you can see I used a LinkIt ONE but you can use an Arduino UNO as microcontroller. And you can connect the pins to any I/O pin of the microcontroller. First insert the parts in the holes of the PCB then solder to it.

Step 3: Wiring Up

I used some copper wires and following the schematic connected the pins of the IC to the header pins. Doesn't matter that which pin goes to which header pin, just remember that were did you connected them. The LED is connected in series with the resistor and in paralell with the 5v VCC.

Step 4: Powering Up

I simply connected a 5 volt power source to the test the circuit.

Step 5: Connect the Motors

Connect the motors to the motor driver circuit. Then the digital pins to the header pins. Example if D6 is high the motor starts spinning because the IC pulls up the output pin to HIGH. So if the selected pin is HIGH the motor spins to the programmed direction.

In my Case:

  • D11---> Motor 1 Right
  • D10---> Motor 1 Left
  • D6---> Motor 2 Right
  • D5---> Motor 2 Left

Step 6: The Code

Copy this Code in your IDE then upload as you see every pin controls a direction of the motor.

#include <Servo.h>
Servo MyServo
void setup() {
  // initialize digital pin 13 as an output.
  pinMode(11, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(10, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(6, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(5, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(3, OUTPUT)
  MyServo.attach(3); //connect the servo to pin D3
// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(11, LOW);
  digitalWrite(10, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(10, LOW);
  digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(5, LOW);
  digitalWrite(6, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(6, LOW);

Step 7: Thanks for Watching!



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It's a wery good Idea! Can You write about phone controll, pl?!

Sorry for the late reply, look at my BB-8 instructable...

it's not opto isolated so it could potentially damage other compontents, but it still super useful good job.

Oh my god I love your little helper hands, which are glued to your desk :'D

Those are so adorable and I'm SO going to copy that idea, to make little helper-boards for electronics with my students x)

Thank you and you're welcome!

Since you didn't specify the wiring for the pin header, I strongly suggest keeping the power pins much apart. In the photos, the +5 VDC clip is too close to the ground clip!

Probably the most important picture is missing - that of the underside of the board.

It's a bare board, with no copper traces. You have to wire it according to the schematic. Which is faster than making a board this simple.

thanks, Jim

Hello: I am interested in the working with brain waves and read "multifunctional brainwave controlled system" in the introduction of the instructable, so this attracted my interest. Will you please indicate me where can I get more info on the subject?

Best regards