A lot of people have been asking questions about wheelchair motors
lately so I will just list some of the ideas behind using a wheelchair
Note: I am assuming that you are buying the wheelchair motors along with the gearbox attached. Why choose a wheelchair motor? Wheelchair
motors are very powerful and can handle 300+ lbs. They are relatively
cheap for their size(~$75 ebay) and are very easily found online or in
repair stores. Try to buy a motor with the wheels still attached.
Controlling Wheelchair Motors When
using wheelchair motors I would recommend having differential drive(
two motorized wheels and one caster in front). This makes controlling
the drive system easy and it allows for on the spot turning. To control
the motors you can either use relays or a motor driver. Im also sure
that an electric wheelchair includes a controller with joystick, so
just hack that. But for most of us who are buying the motors separate
from the wheelchair , make sure that your relays or motor drivers can
handle at least 5 amps more than the motors draw( better safe than
sorry). I personally used automotive relays bought from All Electronics
Corp to control my wheelchair motors.
Mounting the Wheelchair This
varies by motor but most have mounting holes on the gearbox so all you
would do is drill through the base material( i recommend wood) and
stick a bolt in through the wood into the motor.
Even if your motors are rated for 24V they will run on 12Volts except theyll be slower.
a Kill Switch : And also remember wheelchair motors are powerful
machines. They are meant to carry 300 pound people @ 5 mph. Thats
really strong so be careful! My biggest mistake with using wheelchair
motors was too not install a kill switch. The robot just kept moving
forward on a test run and I was not able to hold it down( luckily I
pulled out the wires in time) Now I have one R/C kill switch and
another tactile kill switch. The button should be really big so
you can hit it while the robot is moving. Also it should be a direct
kill switch, meaning not a switch that goes through the micro
controller, but a switch that separates the motors from the batteries
If the robot does not stop it will either damage itself, your belongings, your house, or you!