The project is to make a 4WD car using arduino uno(clone) and four toy dc motors. I am using a adafruit motor shield v1.2(clone). The car is required to run autonomously, please suggest batteries for the arduino and the shield. Also when I am using external power connector for arduino, all the motors start at different timing.

  • 1
    You can use anything from a 3V coin cell to a 24V truck battery... And if you want, even generators are fine, even if I'd personally avoid nuclear generators, but that's only because fuel is a bit hard to get (see Doc in Back to the future I). If you want a more precise answer, give more details, such as the power needed, the duration you expect, if you want a "ready to plug" battery or you can add circuitry, what is your experience and so on
    – frarugi87
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 9:45
  • 5 minutes is the required duration and the motors are 4v each. Ready to plug battrey is required. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 9:48
  • 4V and.... estimated current consumption?
    – frarugi87
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 9:51
  • Sorry I have no idea. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 9:56
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    Then, IMHO, it is better if you start thinking at this... Otherwise you'll end up with a heavy oversized battery or a too small battery. In any case, if your motors are pretty small go on with Mikael's solution. If you want a better but harder solution, maybe 2S LiPo batteries are ok for this; just buy a balanced charger for 2S batteries, a LiPo battery big enough to give you enough power (for instance, if your motors draw 1A each and you have two you can get small 1Ah 2S batteries for around 5$ and go for half an hour), then just use a DC/DC circuit to lower the voltage to 5V
    – frarugi87
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 10:09

2 Answers 2


I've been using usb power packs.

  • Easy to source (can be found in all electronics stores and many general stores).
  • Come in many sizes (500mAh to 20,000 mAh are common).
  • Rechargable, usually by using a generic phone changer with a usb micro connector.
  • Not costly.
  • Quite roubust.
  • Most Arduino boards and many motor driver boards are designed to be powered from usb.

Make sure you get one that is rated for enough current for your project.

  • I usually think about LiPo batteries but I have to admit that USB power packs are usually cheaper and easier to use.. +1
    – frarugi87
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 10:03
  • power delivery of the power pack tends to be around 1A or 5W max per pack though (if you are lucky). Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 11:14
  • It is wonderful to bypass the auto-off circuitry of USB powerbanks.
    – user2497
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 20:43

Car batteries are wonderful, and almost never explode. A badly mistreated Li-{Fe,Po,Ion}, however... ouch. Otherwise use banks of NiMh/NiCd.

If you don’t fear death, use Li-Ion batteries with a TP4056 + DW01A IC, it can handle charging from USB, and provides over-discharge protection, so your batteries don’t die. https://www.addicore.com/TP4056-Charger-and-Protection-Module-p/ad310.htm It also has current limiting built-in.

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