Robot made from old dot matrix printer

Has anyone made a robot using the inner workings of an old dot matrix printer? What I am interested in, is the use of the controller card and stepp
motors. I want to use the premade circuit board and modify it to control multiple step motors. After that... not sure what kind of project to take on.
I would like to use the print driver that came with the printer and program using VB 5 or 6
Glen
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I haven`t personally, but surely the print head can be made to move any direction you like by simply sending the partly dismembered printer the usual ESCxx (Hex) commands? Some of our Amiga computer hackers a few years ago actually made the A500`s Floppy Drives "Sing"... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashley Clarke -------------------------------------------------------

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The same thing has been done with a Commodore 64 disk drive. Bicycle built for 2 I believe.
Andy

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You could use the paper feed motor to drive a wheel or wheels and use the printer form feed command to move the robot. Some printers allow you to set the paper length, so you could get finer resolution with something the size of a 3x5 card. The disadvangae, is you would need two identical printers if you want to use differential steering. They might start to get pretty big and heavy.

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I'm just in the process of building my first stepper motor powered rover using salvaged parts from old printers. I've got 2 drive units sitting right here that I only completed today. They will be driven by UCN5804B chips under microcontroller umm...control. Any old printer will do. I particularly like HP inkjets from a few years ago because they have a gorgeous couple of motors and a U-beaut steel gear - perfect for stepping down the gear ratio to the wheel. The controller card? Sometimes you can get lucky and find one with a useful motor driver IC (i.e. one you can find a data sheet for), but many of the old ones use discrete transistors (which I'm sure you can use - if you want) or a mystery IC with no data available. I'm making my own control boards. I'm sure the printer control boards would work fine, but that's a lot of extra weight and power requirements sitting there when a stepper motor controller would do the job. Stepper motors seem to work fine, but you need to pair them up with an identical partner (2 printers of the same type). Give them plenty of juice and they've got ample pulling and holding torque. On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 16:52:04 -0500, Glen Hingston

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I think they were HP 610C's. I don't have them round now to check (strangely enough) but I need 1 more to make up another pair of everything. The paper roller also comes in the form of 3 rubberised wheels and I'm going to have a go at building something using them, but the diameter of the wheels is exactly the same as the metal gear, so they aren't really compatible.
On 17 Jan 2005 09:09:11 -0800, "Too_Many_Tools"

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On 18 Jan 2005 12:59:56 -0800, "Too_Many_Tools"

It's not old equipment, but in some countries cheap battery drills are available. These have high torque and operate off 3.6 to 7.2 V and are available for around $10 to $20. Add a motor controller and bolt them to the chassis with a U-clamp and off the robot goes.
Sig: Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need. -Voltaire, philosopher (1694-1778)
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