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Learn and Experiment with Electric Motors --- SwarmDrive

by: Sep 24,2020 300 Views 0 Comments Posted in Activities

CrowdSupply ESP32 microcontroller BLDC motors SwarmDrive Electric Motors

What is SwarmDrive?

SwarmDrive is a motor driver (development) board intended for learning and experimenting with electric motors. It's an approachable mechatronics platform for users who want to learn and start experimenting with (small) electric motors and BLDC motors in particular. 

What it contains?

The board contains a basic motor driver setup together with a powerful microcontroller (ESP32) and USB connectivity. It enables professionals as well as students to learn about different commutation algorithms and all other aspects of electric (BLDC) motors in a convenient way. 

The 'Swarm' aspect is hinting upon the vast communication possibilities of the ESP32 such as bluetooth or wifi which enables the board or motor to communicate with other boards/motors. This allows for 'Swarm' type implementations or just plain remote control of the board/motors.

Specially designed console firmware as well as example code can be downloaded to get started quick and easy. The code is well documented and open source. It can be used as a starting point for getting insight into the inner workings of algorithms for driving a motor.

Features & Specifications

  • ESP32 dual core, 240 Mhz, 4 Mb flash
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/i/k/r (802.11 n up to 150 Mbps)
  • Bluetooth v 4.2 BR/EDR and BLE specification
  • L6234 triple half bridge motor driver, 5 A peak current
  • USB to UART bridge, micro USB serial + power
  • Power supply/battery conn. 7-13 V
  • Motor out + IN/EN breakout
  • All GPIOs + 5 V/3.3 V and GND
  • Boot/reset switch

SwarmDrive could be used for a range of applications, such as exploring and experimenting with different types of commutation strategies, PID experiments for balance plateau or balance robots, cartesian gantries and spatial navigation, drive by wire and wireless, swarm intelligence experiments, Etc.

The SwarmDrive firmware is, like the SwarmDrive itself, open source and can be downloaded from GitHub. Learn more on the SwarmDrive website.

SwarmDrive is currently in the crowdfunding stage in CrowdSupply, go to support it!

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