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High Performance Motor Control
 
 

Hobby Motors For Robotics

Stepper motors are ubiquitous in hobby robotics projects: If you make a robotics or automation project today, it is very likely you will use them. Almost all DIY projects from 3D printers and CNC mills, to various custom robots and automation solutions use them. However in industrial automation, brushless servomotors have taken over, and it's clear why: They don't lose steps, are much more powerful, efficient, and silent. 

Brushless motors are not unique to expensive industrial automation equipment. In fact, you can get some very powerful and cheap motors at hobby shops. The electronics to drive these motors are also dirt cheap. So how come virtually no non-industrial automation systems use them? 

To be honest, I have no idea. Seriously, a driver that allows this should clearly exist. 
But since it didn't, I decided to make one. 

And you are invited! 
This project is open source, both in hardware and software, and I warmly welcome anyone who wants to join.

- Oskar Weigl

 
 
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Key specs

  • Controls two motors.

  • 24V and 48V versions available.

  • Peak current >100A per motor.

  • Continuous current depends on cooling: Details.

  • Encoder feedback for arbitrarily precise movements.

  • Supports two braking modes:

    • Brake resistor.

    • Regenerative braking.

  • Optional use of a battery means you can achieve very high peak power output with only a modest power supply.

  • Open source: Hardware, Software

Interfaces

  • USB -- Custom protocol, open source

    • PC, RaspberryPi, etc.

    • ROS node (coming soon).

  • Step/direction -- Existing motion controllers

  • UART -- Arduino (with library), mBed, etc.

  • Servo PWM/PPM -- RC Recievers, Arduino, etc.

  • CAN -- Synchronise multiple ODrives (coming soon)

  • Some general purpose digital and analogue pins

Protocols

  • Many types of command modes

    • Goto (position control with trajectory planning)

    • Position commands

    • Velocity command

    • Torque command

Version 3

This is a demo of ODrive v3 with Turnigy SK3 motors, retrofitted onto the LitePlacer, a pick and place machine. The GT2 belts used on this machine limits the admissible torque, and hence we are only able to achieve a peak power of 250W. The motors and the ODrive remain completely cold.


Version 2

This is a demo of the 2nd version of the project. The peak power output in these tests were only about 60W.



Community Projects


Reviews


Feature demos

Community

Ask questions, share your ideas! Join the ODrive community.



Motors

Check out the ODrive motor guide. You can also read this post about outrunner motors, and this post about encoders.


Applications

  • 3D printers

  • CNC mills

  • Pick and Place machines

  • Polargraphs

  • Robot arms

  • Walking robots

  • Exosuits

  • Motion simulation platforms

  • Heavy duty camera gimbals

  • Camera dolly/slide

  • Cable cam

  • Mobile ground robots

  • Various art projects


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