Testing bidirectional control

A project log for Modified ESC for Bidirectional BLDC Control

A cheap alternative to more expensive BLDC controllers, where only simple operation is required. More features may be added as required.

AnthroboticsAnthrobotics 06/09/2020 at 19:290 Comments

Success! We managed to get bidirectional control with an off-the-shelf ESC!

Unfortunately, the type of ESC had to be changed, as we encountered numerous issues flashing different firmware to a generic SimonK-type ESC. Instead we opted to go with a BLHeli_32 ESC. This comes with a number of advantages over the previous model, without incurring a massive price increase:

We are using a T-Motor F35A and F45A ESC to evaluate our BLDC controller design, as they are lightweight (~10 g) and compact (33 x 16 x 6 mm). The cost of each unit runs between $29 CAD and 43$ CAD, which is within our ideal price range, given their specifications. An ESC capable of delivering a higher continuous current will incur a higher cost, as expected. The current rating of an ESC selected for our actuator design will be based around the average current requirement for the intended task (current req. for drive systems for legs on a robot will be greater than that of the arms).

Next up is to experiment with position control of the BLDC motor (using the attached AS5047P Encoder), create a PID controller, and install the motor into an actuator housing. Load tests with a planetary gearbox will also be performed.