FPGA Based Robotic ARM Controller using Spartan 3AN

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A robotic arm is a type normally programmable mechanical arm, which can be used to pick and place various objects in the industries from one place to another place. It may be the sum total of the mechanism or may be part of a more complex robot. The parts of these manipulators or arms are interconnected through articulated joints that allow rotational movement. The FPGA-based project is implemented using Spartan3an Project Kit and Robotic ARM kit.

Tool required


Xilinx ISE 11.1i




Spartan3an FPGA Project kit

Robotic ARM

Block Diagram :


FPGA Based Robotic ARM Controller using Spartan 3AN
FPGA Based Robotic ARM Controller using Spartan 3AN


The Robotic arm has 6 movement

DC Motor in Rotating base

DC motor in the shoulder

DC motor in the elbow

Two DC motors in the doll, one to move up and down and one for left and right rotation. And a sixth DC motor at the object pickup area.

Interfacing DC Motor with Spartan3an Project Kit

The Spartan3an Project Kit with external DC motor interfacing is indicated in Figure. 5V DC Motor speed has been controlled through a PWM signal. The motor can run both clockwise/counter-clockwise, Motor speed is controlled by varying duty cycle signals through the program.

Driver IC L293D:

A direct current (DC) motor is another widely used device that translates electrical pulses into mechanical movement. In the DC motor we have only + and – leads. Connecting them to a DC voltage source moves the motor in one direction. By reversing the polarity, the DC motor will move in the opposite direction. One can easily experiment with the DC motor. For example, small fans used in many motherboards to cool the CPU are run by DC motors. By connecting their leads to the + and – voltage source, the DC motor moves. While a stepper motor moves in steps of 1 to 15 degrees, the DC motor moves continuously. In a stepper motor, if we know the starting position we can easily count the number of steps the motor has moved and calculate the final position of the motor. This is not possible in a DC motor.

Robotic ARM Kit interfacing with Spartan3an Project Kit


The Spartan3an Project Kit-based Robotic ARM Control was successfully performed and the object was picked and Placed using FPGA Control.


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