5 days ago •
The UART feature is now ready for testing.
Many of you have been waiting for the ability to control the ODrive from another microcontroller, and so this feature complements the USB and let's you do exactly that.
I have also made a first revision of an Arduino library that lets those of you who wish to use Arduino get started quickly. If you don't use Arduino, you can still have a look at the library to see how the communication is implemented, and copy that to your platform.
The UART feature is currently in a pull request, which means that the documentation on the master branch hasn't updated yet. Please check the documentation on the uart branch instead. Here are some of the important things that are new for UART:
If you have any problems, or if everything worked perfectly, or anything in-between: please help us with feedback. Once this feature has been confirmed to work for enough people, we will merge it to the devel and hence master branch in the next release.
10/02/2017 at 04:09 •
It's so awesome to see what kind of cool stuff people are doing with the ODrive. Here are 3 demos of fairly different nature. I think they are awesome, I hope you do too!
Willam Osman put ODrive on a PowerWheels. This video is actually a few months old now, and I probably should have posted it earlier. Anyway, watch that thing do doughnuts:
The Arduino library and UART communication is under way, a usable release should be ready in a couple of weeks. Check out the first demo:
Bauerslab posted his awesome Skittle Sorter on the ODrive forum. It's really awesome to see the diverter teleporting around. If you wanna skip to the action, it starts at 6:15.
08/25/2017 at 03:40 •
It’s good to know what voltage range people want to use ODrive for in their application. Right now the voltage rating is for 24V, but it’s fairly easy to change. There is a current handling penalty to increase it though, so it might be useful to offer two versions. To help us decide between the different options, please answer the poll about what supply voltage would be the most ideal in your application. You may check multiple options if they apply to you.
08/13/2017 at 07:57 •
Thanks to the help from the community, recently we uncovered a hardware bug that affects all ODrives manufactured to date (v3.3 and earlier).
In short, the bug means that the GND on the GPIO pins and the M1 motor gate driver has significant spikes of electrical noise. This causes glitches on the control signals on the GPIO pins, and motor control glitches on M1.
If you plan on using M1, it is strongly advised that you apply this fix. You can follow the instructions as linked above. If you do not feel comfortable applying the fix, you can also send the board to me (San Jose, CA, USA), and I will apply the fix for you, free of charge (you pay shipping to me, I pay shipping back to you). If you need help to apply the fix to your board, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can arrange it.
We have already started applying the fix to all the ODrive v3.3's:
The fix applied to an ODrive v3.3.
Applying the fix to all the ODrive v3.3.
08/04/2017 at 23:50 •
Quite a few of you have requested sensor-less operation: running the motor without an encoder. This is now a reality:
Video shows open-loop startup speed-ramp followed by switching to closed loop FOC velocity control.
The main limitation of this mode is that it's not able to provide precise control at very low speeds (it can however spin up to speed using not-so-precise control). Therefore, this mode is great for applications where the primary operational regime is at speed. So not great for CNC machines or polargraphs, but great for electric skateboards and conveyor belts.
If you are interested in the technical details, or have an ODrive and want to try this out, please see the Sensorless mode post on the forum for more detail.
07/18/2017 at 02:40 •
The first version of the much requested interface for ODrive, step/direction signals, is now ready. If you want to try it out, check these instructions.
Step/direction is the most common interface used by existing motion controllers to talk to stepper motor drivers. With the support of step/direction, you can use existing motion controllers and let ODrive be a drop-in replacement for the stepper drivers. In the above demo, a TinyG is used, but the signals are the same as used by the Smoothieboard, Rambo, Mach3, RAMPS, well basically all of them.
07/09/2017 at 02:20 •
ODrive Robotics, Inc has now been incorporated in the state of Delaware.
This may sound very fancy, but it's actually still just me working on this. But hopefully that will change soon!
Fundraising and Recruiting
With the company entity formed, I can now start equity fundraising and give shares in the company in exchange for investment money. Hopefully I can raise enough money to hire another full-time developer. Alternatively I might find someone who is interested in joining as a late-stage co-founder.
In either case, I hope to grow the headcount to 2 imminently, which should help to speed up development significantly.
Interest in ODrive v3.3
Since the sign-up for getting notified when ODrive v3.3 is available opened about 6 weeks ago, there has been an average of almost 4 signups per day. This means that the coming batch of 100 ODrive v3.3's is already oversubscribed. So just a head's up, they may sell out fairly quick once released.
I'll make sure to send out the notification of when exactly they will be released a couple of days in advance of the release.
ODrive v3.3 signups over time.
06/17/2017 at 20:05 •
v3.2 ODrives sold out very quickly. I was not planning on manufacturing a new batch until the firmware alpha is over. However, demand for alpha stage hardware has been so high, I decided to do another batch while still in alpha.
The new boards are expected to arrive in mid July. If you want to be notified as soon as they are available, you can sign up here.
I took the opportunity to sneak in a couple of minor hardware changes. Below are the changes made, straight from the CHANGELOG:
- Power LED
- Pads on DC rail, for secondary power connection, on the opposite side of main power connector
- GPIO Pinout. See spreadsheet.
- Fliped LDO and C29 to bot side, for better clearance on top side for enclosure style heatsinking.
- Changed all screw terminals to 7.62mm pitch
- Encoder pullup resistance 1k -> 3.3k, to be compatible with 2mA push-pull encoders without desoldering pullups.
- AUX_V voltage measurement no longer available
The most significant change is the GPIO Pinout change. This brings about the following possibilities over v3.2:
- All GPIO pins are now 5V tolerant (on v3.2 and earlier, GPIO 2 and 3 are 3.3V max).
- Timer peripheral in capture mode on 4 GPIO pins allow:
- Higher step rates on the step/direction interface.
- up to 4 channels of PWM input.
- Two UART interfaces (we had a single RX pin before).
- We get a 5th GPIO pin. This could be used for anything, but specifically it could be used as an Enable line, which was very highly requested for a "step/dir/step/dir/en" setup.
- We get 4 Analog capable GPIO pins. This enables the possibility of 2 channels worth of sin/cos encoders.
06/07/2017 at 03:56 •
EU ODrives Shipped
Two weeks ago the ODrives going outside the EU were shipped. Due to VAT and customs, the shipments going to the EU were routed through Sweden. After being stuck in customs for a long time, finally the non-kit ODrives for this batch have now shipped in the EU too.
After the motors finally arrived, I have completed the design of the test jigs. I have been manufacturing the pieces, and I'm about to assemble and glue them together. I will also be drilling the 3D printed couplets to get a better tolerance.
Here are the design files, in case you want to make your own: Onshape Link.
Kit Manufacturing Pictures and Videos:
We are making ODrive test jigs!
Laser cutting is so much faster than 3D printing!
3D printing took forever..
05/28/2017 at 23:09 •
Last week I was at the 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire. It was really fantastic to meet other people who are into building cool stuff. Thank you for all the praise, suggestions, interesting discussions and ideas!
Also, Juha Kuusama, the man behind the Liteplacer, flew over from Finland to hang out, and to help man the booth. Thank you!
Below are some pictures of the booth we managed to put together with a very last minute effort. Huge thanks to my girlfriend for all the help!
ODrive booth, shared with an unrelated exhibitor.
Left to Right: Hardware showcase (see next picture), newsletter signup laptop, handcrusher5000 (seriously, several people didn't take the hint from the acrylic shields).
Hardware showcase, top to bottom: Motors and encoder, with prices from Hobbyking/aliexpress (many people were very impressed with the kW/$), old versions of ODrive, and finally the last of the ODrive alpha stock for sale. I marked up the price from the nominal price of $120 because they were selling too fast, and I still sold out on Sunday morning ;D
Handcrusher5000 in action. You can see the ODrive to the right of the laptop dancing to the accelerations.
Brakeresistor heatsinking on extrusion. It was cool to feel the heat gradient along the extrusion ;D.
The first batch of Alpha boards were shipped out on Tuesday. Here are some pictures.
Boards in boxes.
29/30 boxes ready to go. The last one I filled after I realised it was missing, after I took the picture.
30/30 boxes ready to go!
The shipment of 21 ODrives going to Sweden to be resent from there, due to the exquisite dance of following VAT regulations, has been stuck in customs for a week. I supplied them with the additional information they needed on Friday (two days ago), so hopefully it will be released ASAP. I will keep you posted on any updates.
The order of 40 motors from Hobbyking is still on backorder, with no estimate when they will have additional stock. All they tell me is that "we usually get new stock every 30 days".
In any case, knowing that shipments from China likely has problems, I made a backup order of 40 similar motors from Aliexpress. They also took forever to get here, but they actually came in the end. Specifically, they are the EMP C4250 - 500kv. The motor has very similar dimensions, it is a slightly faster motor (slightly higher kv), and it seems to have a bit more cogging torque.
EMP C4250 - 500kv with the included accessories.