robotic motor controllers



Any robot needs a method to drive its motors. This is done in many different ways, including r/c servos, dc motors, brushless or steppers, pneumatics, etc. . Many robots use high performance dc motors. Applying power to these motors makes them spin, but to make them actually go to a set position and stop, they need a full feedback system to run properly and stably.

I revised previous work done by Matt Hancher of the Robotic Life group, in making these motor boards. Each two-level board contains all the necessary circuitry to interface a robot directly to a computer for full animation control. This includes:

A 100kHz sensing system, sensing position, motor current, and differential encoders on all 8 channels.

A 1 kHz feedback control system, implementing a PD controller with real-time variable gain and position estimation.

An 8-channel H-bridge amplification system to drive motors up to 24V, at roughly 1A continuous power draw.

A direct USB connection to be run from any computer.


high resolution images for press