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What Is a Microcontroller Motor?

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  • Written By: Geisha A. Legazpi
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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A microcontroller motor is usually an electrical motor driven by a microcontroller, which is usually a single circuit board computer with microprocessor, memory, and interface components. Together with the single board computer, the microcontroller motor is used in standard and embedded systems. Besides the microcontroller motor, other devices that can be controlled by a microcontroller include solenoid actuators, valves, and relays. A single board computer is very common in many applications that require a small to medium degree of automation.

An embedded single board computer is best suited to applications that do not require extensive computer control. Examples of embedded systems include protection and safety devices. There is unlimited potential in applying embedded system solutions to existing systems and products. In any situation where a form of artificial intelligence can help, embedded single board computers may be used. Many single board computers are already deployed in all kinds of gadgets and home appliances.

The microcontroller motor is a popular project for hobbyists and enthusiasts because the associated mechanical movement makes it easy to appreciate the computer-machine interaction. A microcontroller motor may either be a standard continuously rotating direct current (DC) motor or a stepper motor. Stepper motors, which are discrete angular displacement motors that turn a specific angle at a time, are useful for positioning mechanisms such as in printers and scanners.

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Robotic projects usually use a microcontroller motor. Arduino™ projects, which are single board computers that come with separate components and boards, may be delivered fully assembled. Most people use programming languages, such as Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) or Java™, to perform simple to medium complex operations. The peripheral interface controller (PIC) is a microcontroller that uses fewer commands in its instruction set, and it is also known as a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) microcontroller.

A common component of the microcontroller is the microprocessor, which is made up of registers, or 8-, 16-, or 32-bit-wide single-word storage. While the microprocessor has an internal data bus that interconnects all the registers, an external data bus interconnects it to volatile and non-volatile memory, such as random-access read/write memory (RAM) and random-access read-only memory (RA-ROM). Mass-produced microprocessors have a predefined instruction set. The processor clock circuitry regularly fetches a new instruction from a location based on the previous instruction. If the previous command was a jump instruction, the next address in memory to be executed depends on the previous arguments.

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