[TriEmbed] Voltage regulation for battery driven mobile robots

Charles West crwest at ncsu.edu
Sun Jan 19 23:14:54 CST 2014


Hello,

I'm building a mobile robot from an RC tank.  I'm hoping to have a
Raspberry Pi with a Webcam, Wifi dongle and speakers for the top layer,
connected via USB to a Teensy 3.0 board (3.3 volts), which will be doing
PWM with 2 H-bridges to control the motors and feeding back data from 3
HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensors (5 volts).

The motors/batteries are suppose to be at 6 volts.  I think I could boost
that to as high as 9 volts without problems (though it will oscillate as
the motors are used).

The Teensy can be powered from USB from the Raspberry Pi and will just be
switching transistors (so the current draw shouldn't be much).  It looks
like most everything else besides the motors will be running at 5 volts.  I
could just use a linear regulator, but with the Raspberry Pi and
accessories I think the wasted power could be substantial.

I could use a switching regulator, but the ones I've seen so far seem to
need a lot of external components (this is mostly on breadboard at this
point).  Do you guys tend to use complete PCBs (like this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/171193232080)?

This is my first battery operated project, so I don't really know the
common solution here.  If I may ask, what would you advise?

Thanks,
Charlie West
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