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.
05/09/2017 at 06:45 •
The first test of the LitePlacer retrofitted with ODrive motors was a success!Running at 40% speed limit and 25% current limit, reaching a top speed of 1.75 m/s. The motor that is currently on the LitePlacer was picked for a system running on 24V, but this test was run on 12V, hence the low speed limit. I have ordered a 24V power supply, so hopefully we can see it go twice as fast soon!
It should be noted that it is possible to pick a motor with twice the kv rating to run on a 12V system, and it would perform respectably.
The LitePlacer comes in a kit, which took about 2 days to build. Below follows the build in pictures.
Here is an empty table; this is where we start. It is where the LitePlacer will be bolted. I chose to get a sturdy table but it still wobbles with the very high accelerations.
A box full of goodies!
Here is everything in the kit, splayed out on the floor, and somewhat organised by type of part. If you are building the kit, I would recommend also sorting the bolts by size, which I did later on.
The build instructions are very well done, with everything detailed in bite sized build steps. A significant time of the build is spent collecting the components for each step. So if you have an assistant, have them help you collect parts for the build steps. Above is our assembly line at one point.
Here is the z-axis (with the lead screw and rails), rotation axis, and the pick mechanism.
Here is the x-axis finished.
Retrofitting the y-transmission with a Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 5065-275kv. Calculations show that it is vastly overpowered for this application. Just the way a demo should be.
Mechanical parts semi-finished.
Tasty kilowatts, aluminium and steel.
05/04/2017 at 19:25 •
I just received a huge box from the factory today, full of ODrives (mango for scale).
ODrive v3.2 looking good!
Now I will be testing to make sure the design works as expected. Once that is done, we are looking good for shipping ahead of schedule!
At the time of writing there are still 10 ODrive v3.2 left in the batch. Get one here.
A huge pile of encdoers have arrived.
Also the first batch of motors for testing have arrived.
Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 4250-410kv looking good!
For the kits we are still waiting on the large order of motors from hobbyking, and the jigs have yet to be 3D printed. The 3D printing should be okay for making the expected delivery date, but the motor order may cause delays. I will make sure to keep you up to date with how that goes.
04/28/2017 at 22:04 •
I'm very excited to announce that the ODrive community forums are up and running. This is the place for all kinds of discussions, comments, ideas, feature requests and queries. It also serves as the main place to get help with your ODrive; where I, and others who will be gaining experience with the board, can all help you and each other. We'd also love to hear about your project: what you wish to do when kilowatts and micrometers meet in an affordable package.
The ODrive website has moved to https://odriverobotics.com. It has also been updated and now has some basic content on it. Progressively more information and resources will be added, and soon enough it will become a fully featured place to find information about ODrive.
04/25/2017 at 19:58 •
For a long time now, the main ODrive demo has been the pen plotter from more than a year ago:
This is about to change! Through a close collaboration with Juha Kuusama, the guy behind LitePlacer, I am excited to announce that there is a demo ODrive/LitePlacer demo brewing. This consists of a LitePlacer retrofitted with the vastly overpowered SK3-5065; able to put out 300N of force on the belts, and hence a theoretical acceleration of the head at 50g. This virtually unlimited power capability should be a good platform to test the actual performance of the full setup, with the ability to emulate the power capabilities of other motors by simply applying software limits.
So if you are in the area, or maybe even if you are not, please do come see the demo at the Bay Area Maker Faire on Sat/Sun the 20th/21st of May.
04/19/2017 at 21:48 •
The preorder period of ODrive v3.2 and the corresponding getting started kits has now concluded. To those who joined the project, thank you for your support, and welcome to the alpha stage team! The batch of v3.2's have now gone to manufacture and we are slightly ahead of schedule for shipping things out by the 15th of May.
I anticipate that there are some people who will want to join mid-way through the alpha stage, so I made sure to order some extra stock. At the time of writing there are 8 kits left and 17 ODrives. They will continue to be available on the ODrive Shop page until stock runs out.
Again thank you for your support!