How to Program the L298N with Arduino

Arduino L298N motor code

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If you’ve ever tried to build a mobile robot, then you’ll need to learn how to program motor controllers. In our Beginner Bots tutorials, we use the L298N motor controller with the Arduino Uno to drive four motors. You can pick up a Smart Robot Car and follow along with this article if you’d like!

For this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to translate motor controller specifications into the Arduino code.

First, we will take a look at the L298N Motor Controller Specifications. Typically the manufacturer will include a truth table outlining key functionality. I’ve moved a copy of the L298N truth table below, for your reference.

L298N Motor Controller Truth Table

Next, we will create global variables for each of the motor pins. There are three pins per motor, so we will map each pin to a global variable. In the setup() method, we’ll declare each pin as an OUTPUT using the built-in pinMode(...) method.

Arduino L298N motor code

Now, we’ll use the truth table to map out motor functionality for the robot. We want to create methods for forward, backward, left, right, and stop.

Here’s what the forward(...) method looks like.

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Click here to open the code!

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We can use digitalWrite(...) to set the pin to a 1 or 0 (HIGH or LOW), respectively. To control the speed, we’ll use the analogWrite(...) command on the enable pin for each motor. Use a value of 0-255 because digital pins support 8-bit PWM control.

Also, the stop() method will set the Enable pin to 1 and Input 1 and 2 to 0. Then, you can repeat the translations for left, right, and backward moves using the remaining rows in the truth table.

When you’re finished, call the methods in loop() so that they execute on the robot. Be sure to test out your code on the floor and make modifications to the speed and/or direction, as necessary.

Tutorial Video

Are you more of a visual learner? Here’s a demonstration of how to use the L298N with Arduino.

If you have any questions about how to program your robot using a motor controller, be sure to comment below. You can also follow Learn Robotics on Facebook and Instagram for insider tips, robotics news, and updates!

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Liz Miller

Liz Miller

Liz is a Robotics Engineer and the Founder of Learn Robotics. Liz has helped thousands of students start their careers in robotics and automation. Ready to boost your robotics career? Work with Liz
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7 Responses

    1. Hi Graf, Thanks for dropping by. Should work, but it really depends on the application. Good luck! ~Liz from Learn Robotics

  1. hi
    How can I use a L298N driver with an Arduino to make a CNC machine.
    Thanks for your help

    1. I would recommend using a Stepper Motor + Stepper Motor driver (not the L298N) if you’re going to create a CNC machine. Good luck!

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