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Hackaday Awards Entry: Cheap Industrial Servo Control


[Oscar] Wondering why hobby projects ignore all the powerful brushless motors that cost so much less than equivalent stepper motors, especially when advanced technology can be used to overcome their shortcomings. He figured it must be because there simply wasn’t a good, cheap, open-source motor controller to drive them accurately. So, he made one.

Stepper motors are great for their purpose, which is open-loop positioning along a grid, but they’re not really the best technology when it comes to industrial motors. Stepper motors win on the cost curve because they are simple to make and easy to control, but when it comes to higher end automation, it’s always servo control. The motor is more powerful and the closed-loop control can be more precise, but requires more control logic. [Oscar]The board is designed to fill this gap and take full advantage of this motor control technology.

For a product with a target price below $50, the board can do some impressive things. It supports two 24-volt motors with peak currents up to 150 amps. It can use encoder input for full closed-loop control. It supports battery regeneration for braking. You can even enhance a more modest power source by adding a lithium battery to allow for occasional 1 KW peak motion. You can see the board demonstrate some of its capabilities in the video after the break.

Atmel
microchip
Digi-Key Electronics
supply framework



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