Ardumoto Kit Hookup Guide

Contributors: jimblom, MTaylor
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The Ardumoto Shield is a dual-motor controller for Arduino. Combined with an Arduino, the Ardumoto makes a fantastic controller platform for RC vehicles or even small autonomous robots. It's now easier to use, featuring control signal LEDs, while also being much more flexible for advanced users.

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Ardumoto Shield assembled and situated on a RedBoard.

We sell the Ardumoto Shield either alone or with a set of motors and wheels in our Ardumoto Shield Kit. This kit includes the shield as well as pairs of tires, motors and connectors. And, of course, it's all stuffed in a classic SparkFun red box (which may come in handy as a robot chassis).

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Contents of the Ardumoto Shield Kit.

Covered in This Tutorial

This tutorial covers assembly and use of both the Ardumoto Shield and the Ardumoto Shield Kit. Digging deeper, we'll get into some assembly tips and an example Arduino sketch. We will also present some additional resources that can help you get the most out of your board.

This guide assumes you are familiar with the Arduino platform and can successfully compile and load a program to an ATmega328P based board, such as blink.ino.

Required Tools & Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you'll need an Ardumoto Shield or the Ardumoto Shield Kit, and an Arduino or Arduino-compatible development board.

Arduino Uno - R3

Arduino Uno - R3

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

SparkFun Ardumoto - Motor Driver Shield

SparkFun Ardumoto - Motor Driver Shield

SparkFun Ardumoto Shield Kit

SparkFun Ardumoto Shield Kit


Equipping the Ardumoto Shield (Non-Kit Version)

If all you have is the shield, you will also probably want a couple of DC motors to drive. The Ardumoto can control most small DC motors, like any of those in our DC motor category.

You'll also need a handful of connectors to get everything wired up together. We recommend Stackable Headers to connect your Ardumoto to your Arduino, and two or three 3.5mm Screw Terminals to help connect motors to your Ardumoto.

To upgrade an Ardumoto Shield to a kit, add the following components:

Powering the Shield

Both the shield and the kit will require a power source. Batteries are usually your best bet --- we recommend a 9V alkaline battery, which will work perfectly with the included 9V-to-Barrel Jack Adapter.

Required Tools

Finally, you'll also need a few tools, including a soldering iron, solder, wire strippers and a screwdriver:

Pocket Screwdriver Set

Pocket Screwdriver Set

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)

Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)


Suggested Reading

The Ardumoto is a great platform for first-time motor users (and experienced ones too!). There are, however, a few concepts you should be familiar with before clicking over to the next few pages. Here are some tutorials we recommend reading first: