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Drill, wheelchair or windscreen wiper motor?

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New Member
Hey everyone. I'm starting on a project to build a segway-imitation, quite similar to this guy's one: Building a Balancing Scooter. My question is what motors I should be using - the three types that first came to mind were the motors from a wheelchair, windscreen wipers, and from a drill.

I have not used powerful motors before for a project like this, nor do i have any around to test / play with, so was hoping for some input from you guys:)

The wheelchair motors were a pretty obvious choice, but the ones I've seen before are quite big and I'm not sure how much space I'm going to have available. Also I'm not sure where to get hold of a pair at a good price... (any suggestions?)

The windscreen wiper motors I thought of because I know they're used quite a lot with battle bots (robot wars and the like), and if a 100kg robot can be moved about pretty quickly i figure it should be able to move me around. I can also get a pair of these fairly easily from a used car parts shop.

The drill motor appeals to me because of it's very compact size compared with the other motors^... would you think they'd be as powerful as a windscreen wiper / wheelchair motor?

I know this is all kind of vague and is like asking how long a piece of string is, but what's your gut feel? Any motors that I'm overlooking?


Active Member
I would go with the wheelchair motors, simply because I doubt that the wiper or drill motors would be powerful enough. Battlebots do sometimes use wiper motors, but I would guess thats for weapon actuation, they are often prewired for reciprocal motion which would be helpfull for a hammering battle bot, but a problem for your platform.
Also, whatever you use should be a continuous service rated motor, which drills and windshield wipers are not.
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Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I would use a brushless DC motor, as are used in all sort of model cars and airplanes today. Lots of power available in many different sizes from quite small up to a couple of kilowatts and almost instant reversing.

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Power drills are going to be brushed, not a good idea, better wheel chair motors may be brushless. The controller itself is the hard part as it really will make or break the responsiveness, especially with something that needs to self ballance which really needs some serious high speed PID loops.
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