Traditional stepper motors must be driven with high current without position feedback to avoid skipping steps and can not be driven in stall conditions to apply smooth torque like servo motors can.
The options of current hybrid stepper drivers are very limited and dated let alone open source.
Some use cases allow for a bit less precision and smoothness than a perfect servo for thousands of dollars could deliver and are out of reach for most hobbyists and diy projects.
This is where steppers come into play when paired with a sub microstep precision encoder and a smart foc based controller constantly monitoring the position and applying torque in the desired direction with a set power and electrical target angle.
By using a standard powerstep01 stepper driver a robust driver with precise power regulation is available without having to manage this in the main controller.
It can supply power up to 10A 80V and can be managed via spi and setting the electrical FOC angle is done by sending bursts of steps to correct the position via the stepclock interface.
It will be controlled by an stm32f4 which is also capable of usb HID communication and that opens the possibility for the main inspiration for this project: Force Feedback.
An interesting use case comes from the simracing community.
Force feedback racing enthusiasts often use industrial stepper motors with expensive controllers as direct drive wheels. While i researched the available options there were none that really satisfied my idea of a diy ffb wheel as most options were very expensive servo drives or commercial products with a premium price tag.
Stepper motors are much cheaper for comparable torques and make a hybrid stepper perfect for direct drive wheels.