[Q] Thoughts on using stepper motors as drive motos for mobile robot?

I’m working on a project to make a wheeled robot robot with very fine positioning. I was planning on using regular dc motors with encoders to drive the wheels and then write a controller to keep the motion precise.

However, one of my teammates thinks that stepper motors would be a good idea since they have very precise motion and good torque at low speeds (our robot will be fairly heavy and slow).

It seems to me like a stepper isn’t as good of an option because it is precise in position control, but for a drive wheel you really need velocity control since you care about the relative velocities of the wheel and not the relative positions. Obviously I could make a velocity controller for the stepper motor, but that seems to be losing a lot of the benefits of using a stepper.

I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts on this.

submitted by /u/cant_thinkof_aname
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