Whilst visiting a different university, Robert Zacharias was asked to build a microscale sliding stage - a device that can move a horizontal platform at an incredbly slow speed, in the range of between one and one hundred microns per second.
At first thought this might seem incredibly difficult, however with some effort and parts manufactured with extremely tight tolerances Robert rose to the challenge and completed the stage. The platform is moved with a stepper motor which can naturally be controlled very easily with an Arduino and an appropriate driver shield. A simple user interface with an LCD has been added so the control unit can be self-contained.
If you're looking into starting with Arduino and robotics, such as controlling a stepper motor (or DC motors) from your Arduino or compatible, check out our new HBRIDGE: DC/stepper motor shield. Based around the powerful Allegro A4954 H-bridge driver IC you can control two DC motors with complete ease, or one bipolar stepper motor. With connections for external power management, a complete beginners' guide and documentation - motor control couldn't be any easier. For more information and to order, visit the HBRIDGE: page.