Motorised Route Roller

A project I have been working on lately is motorising a ‘route roller’, which is a device which allows you to carry and view an A4 route sheet when on your classic motorcycle. Here is the image of the version sold by the VMCC:


I found the device a little clumsy to use, because you often have to let go of the handlebar and direct your attention to twiddling the knob at the side to scroll the map. I figured that there had to be a better way which would be quicker and would be less distracting, so decided to motorise one.

The idea was to build an extension to the existing route roller so that you could just add the motor unit with little modification. This first version uses two laser cut brackets from 3mm acrylic, two 3D printed plugs that fit into the end of the rollers and hold the two axles, three 3D printed spur gears, and a 3D printed cover. The unit is driven by a cheap stepper motor controlled by an ATTiny microcontroller and a ULN2003 darlington array.

Here are some photos of the unit:


Here’s a (pretty crappy) video of the unit working:

I’ll make the plans and circuit available on this blog when I have perfected the device a bit more and given it a good road test. But if you are interested in making one for yourself and trying it out, then email me and I can send you the necessary details.

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