To me it seemed like I was just posting a small bit since the copier is huge and I have boxes of parts that I didn't show .
I know the feeling.
A guy delivered a huge copier with sorter a late noon some years ago and since I couldn't get it up the stairs alone, I had to take it apart on the street, as I had to get it out of the way - I was done the next morning at around 9 or 10 (am), hands and arms jarred from sharp sheet metal edges, fingers black from a mix of grease, oil and a generous amount of toner and otally worn out from spending a semi-cold night with a flashlight, but I netted around 100kg of motors, switches opto-interrupters, solenoids and what not
Is the motor driver board useable as is; is it realistic to think I can tap into the logic to use it to drive, e.g. the steppers, or should I just plan on a new driver board or making my own from the parts on this one?
The copier was bild by professional designers and thinned down afterwards by the money men, so it's a safe bet that it is very modular in its construction.
That probably mean that you have driver boards that is nothing but and the input connectors are probably logic level signals.
There might be boards with drivers for more than one motor.
Assuming I can provide the voltages required, are the large drive motors good for robotics or would they not be good for some reason?
You mentioned an 38V motor and that I'd reserve for something stationary for a couple of reasons: 38V is a lot of voltage in a battery setup AND 38V is bordering on dangerous, unless you know exactly what to do. Not good in a 'bot I think.
The 24V units is usable, but you may be lucky enough that it is 12V units with a 24V chopper supply or similar (test and experiment).
In general, I'll advice against 24V in a robot, as it usually mean hauling too much weight in batteries, but if speed isn't an issue, go ahead.
Are these particular steppers useable or do they have major limitations that I should know about before I start planning around them?
Since I don't know the model etc. of your motors, I cannot say, but it's not hard to make a simple driver for testing them at eg. 12V.
Do you have any info on them at all?
What is the marking on them?
You could make a differential drive with just one motor and use two of the electromagnetic clutches to connect each side. For turning, disengage the clutch on one side - Then you don't need paired motors. It cannot spin in place this way, of course, but for eg. a line follower it should be fine.
I realize I have a lot to learn and will need to dig very deep on any given part/project. I was just hoping for a heads up.
If you are able to take macro photos of the driver boards, showing each components name/value and crisp overall shot of both sides (I mean really-really sharp focused photos), you could post them here - you might be lucky that they use known chips etc. even though some of them may be in-house marked and thus will reveal nothing.
If the copier wasn't too old, you should have a nice camera chip good for a large format camera and you may have found a handful of distance sensors which is very usable if you can find datasheets for them
What make and model was the copier by the way?