Arduino-Controlled Pneumatic Servo

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

2246 Articles

By John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

2246 Articles

Kinetic sculptor David Bynoe of Calgary, AB, sent in this project he’s working on. Looks pretty slick!

For an upcoming project I needed a pneumatic ram with a closed loop control system so I could position it accurately. Didn’t have the budget for an off the shelf solution, so I bodged one together with an ardunio, a couple air solenoid valves, and a pair of potentiometers.

How it works is one potentiometer is the target while the other is mounted to the ram. The arduino code compares the two, figures out the direction that the ram needs to move to match them up, it then cycles the solenoid valves on and off accordingly. Once the values match, it turns both valves on, more or less locking the ram in place. The target pot can also be replaced with any analog input.

Fritzing diagrams and code on David’s website. Also be sure to check out his Blockwatch periscope that we blogged back in ’07.

Explore More From Make: