Wiper Motors in Robotics with Arduino

 In the world of robotics, where precision and power are paramount, the use of specialized motors plays a crucial role. Among these motors, wiper motors stand out as versatile components with a wide range of applications. From automotive systems to DIY robotics projects, wiper motors offer robust performance and ease of integration, especially when paired with Arduino or other microcontrollers(ATmega328p microcontroller, ATmega32A, STM32, PIC32 etc). In this post, we'll delve into the workings of wiper motors, explore their utility in robotics, and provide an Arduino example to demonstrate their capabilities.

Understanding Wiper Motors:

Wiper motors are electromechanical devices primarily designed for controlling the movement of windshield wiper arms in vehicles. They consist of a DC motor, gearbox, and associated control circuitry. The motor generates rotational motion, which is then transmitted through the gearbox to provide the necessary torque for windshield wiper operation. Typically, wiper motors feature reversible rotation, allowing for both clockwise and counterclockwise movements.

Harnessing the Power of Wiper Motors in Robotics with Arduino

Why Wiper Motors are Useful in Robotics:

  1. High Torque Output: Wiper motors are known for their high torque output, making them suitable for driving various mechanical components in robotic systems. Whether it's lifting heavy payloads or moving robotic arms, the torque provided by wiper motors ensures reliable performance.

  2. Cost-Effective Solution: Compared to specialized robotic actuators, wiper motors offer a cost-effective alternative without compromising on performance. This makes them ideal for hobbyist projects, educational initiatives, and prototyping endeavors where budget constraints may be a consideration.

  3. Availability and Accessibility: Wiper motors are readily available in salvage yards, auto parts stores, and online marketplaces. Their widespread availability ensures easy procurement for robotics enthusiasts and engineers alike. Additionally, the abundance of resources, such as datasheets and tutorials, facilitates seamless integration into robotics projects.

  4. Robust Construction: Designed for automotive applications, wiper motors are built to withstand harsh operating conditions, including temperature variations, moisture, and mechanical stress. This robust construction ensures durability and longevity, essential qualities for robotics components subjected to rigorous use.

Example: Controlling a Wiper Motor with Arduino:

Now, let's explore a simple example to demonstrate how to control a wiper motor using an Arduino microcontroller. For this example, we'll use an H-bridge motor driver to facilitate bidirectional control of the wiper motor.

Components Needed:

  • Arduino Uno or compatible board
  • Wiper motor
  • H-bridge motor driver (e.g., L298N)
  • Power source (e.g., battery pack)
  • Jumper wires

Wiring Instructions:

  1. Connect the motor terminals to the output terminals of the H-bridge motor driver.
  2. Connect the input pins of the H-bridge motor driver to the digital pins of the Arduino (e.g., IN1, IN2, IN3, IN4).
  3. Connect the power and ground pins of the motor driver to the corresponding pins on the Arduino and the external power source.

Arduino Code:

// Define pin assignments const int motorPin1 = 2; const int motorPin2 = 3; const int motorPin3 = 4; const int motorPin4 = 5; void setup() { // Set motor control pins as outputs pinMode(motorPin1, OUTPUT); pinMode(motorPin2, OUTPUT); pinMode(motorPin3, OUTPUT); pinMode(motorPin4, OUTPUT); } void loop() { // Rotate motor clockwise for 2 seconds digitalWrite(motorPin1, HIGH); digitalWrite(motorPin2, LOW); digitalWrite(motorPin3, HIGH); digitalWrite(motorPin4, LOW); delay(2000); // Rotate motor counterclockwise for 2 seconds digitalWrite(motorPin1, LOW); digitalWrite(motorPin2, HIGH); digitalWrite(motorPin3, LOW); digitalWrite(motorPin4, HIGH); delay(2000); }


Wiper motors offer a compelling blend of power, affordability, and reliability, making them valuable assets in the realm of robotics. Whether you're constructing a robotic arm, a mobile robot platform, or an automated mechanism, the versatility of wiper motors opens up a myriad of possibilities. By leveraging Arduino or other microcontrollers such as ATMEL ATmega328p ATmega32 and appropriate motor control techniques, enthusiasts and professionals alike can harness the full potential of wiper motors in their robotics projects. Here we showed with Arduino code example how to use L298N motor driver with Arduino to control a wiper motor. We can use such salvaged car wiper motor part in other RC car projects like the NodeMCU WiFi controlled Arduino car. So, roll up your sleeves, tinker with some gears, and unlock the endless possibilities of wiper motor-driven robotics!

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