5V Air Pump Guide

We have a number of small 5V air pumps and silicone tubing available for students to borrow for small-scale inflatable projects. These can't fill a lot of space, so for inflatables larger than about a balloon's worth of volume, you might want to get something more powerful. They are ideal for silicon soft robotics projects!

These pumps cannot be used to pump water: for liquid pumps please come and chat to us, as we have a small number of peristaltic pumps available to borrow. The other main constraint of these pumps is that they are unidirectional -- to both inflate and deflate something you will need two!

Basic Setup

The setup for an air pump is basically equivalent to that of a DC motor, and like a DC motor requires the use of an external power supply, to manage the flow of current to the pump. The easiest way to do this is to use one of the IRF520 MOS modules we have in stock, which can be controlled using an Arduino. These can be used to control DC motors, or things like air pumps, using a PWM signal.

Parts List

All of these parts may be borrowed from the technical office.