Ardumoto Shield Kit Hookup Guide

This Tutorial is Retired!

This tutorial covers concepts or technologies that are no longer current. It's still here for you to read and enjoy, but may not be as useful as our newest tutorials.

View the updated tutorial: Ardumoto Kit Hookup Guide

Contributors: jimblom
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The Ardumoto Shield is an easy-to-use dual motor controller for Arduino. Combined with an Arduino, the Ardumoto makes a fantastic controller platform for RC vehicles or even small autonomous robots.


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 pairs of tires, motors, connectors, and wires. And, of course, it's all stuffed in a classic SparkFun red box (which may come in handy as a robot chassis).

ArduMoto Shield Kit

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 finish with an example Arduino sketch.

The tutorial is split into sections covering:

If all you have is the shield, everything but the "Motor and Wheel Assembly" section will apply.

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 Ardumoto - Motor Driver Shield

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SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

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SparkFun Ardumoto Shield Kit

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Equipping the Ardumoto Shield (Non-kit version)

If all you have is the shield, you'll 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.

As an example, here are the contents of the Ardumoto Shield Kit, which should be enough to get you started:

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:

Needle Nose Pliers

Needle Nose Pliers

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)


Wire Strippers - 30AWG (Hakko)

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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: