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I am new to Arduino and looking for advice if Arduino is the right microcontroller for this project.

My project is quite simple, I want to build 3 conveyors using 3 DC motors. At the end of each conveyor I plan to implement 3 IR break beam sensors to each respective conveyor to count when an object passes through. When n objects passes through each respective conveyor and falls into a catching mechanism the DC motor stops until object(s) are cleared. For the catching mechanism for each conveyor, I plan to use IR break beam sensors to detect if it’s cleared or not as well. (If you have an alternative suggestion to IR break beam sensors, please advice)

Question: Can a single Arduino uno microcontroller board handle this project? From what I know, Arduino can only run one program at a time and I’m not sure if my project can be run in one program; I believe it can. Additionally, what if I wanted to add a LCD display?

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Your project is pretty simple, and Arduino can handle it easilly. (Pretty much any microcontroller could do it) It's true that only ome program can be run at a time on Arduino (same as on 99% of other microcontrollers) but that one program can handle all three conveyors at the same time. Though I suggest using 3 different Arduinos and separating the systems. If somethig goes wrong on one conveyor it will not affect other ones. Price of Arduino is very low in comparison to price of industrial conveyors. (I didn't believe how much a meter of conveyor costs when you setup a facory line)

  • Thanks for the clarification on how a single Arduino unit can handle this project. And yes, the cost of industrial conveyors are crazy high!! Also, I will look into separating the systems but is it possible to start all 3 with a single input? – NuWin Feb 4 '19 at 23:03
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    3 motors, 3 IR "counters", 3 IR "check empty" that gives us 9 pins (3 out, 6 in) arduino has 13 digital pins so no problem there. And if you would use I2C protocol for sensors (it's very popular) you can hook up to 1023 sensors to a single arduino (usung only 2 pins of the Arduino) – Filip Franik Feb 4 '19 at 23:10

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