Tuning Power Curves

What a great start to the day; I awoke to the sound of the doorbell, dragged myself downstairs, and as I opened the front door was presented with a pleasant young man who, in his outstretched arm, was holding the new motor controller!

I hooked it up to the robot/wheelchair/thingummygubbin and was delighted to see the thing working post fire. Taking no chances this time, I welded another plate to the frame to act as a mount for the components and whilst I was at it, I designed and printed a clip-in holder for the radio transmitter which holds the antenna in the optimum angle:

I also finished designing and printing the chain guard for one side of the robot and applied a www.mountainwheelchair.com sticker. Hopefully this will prevent any little fingers being from being sliced off!

You’ll see in the picture above that I also have the robot hooked up to a laptop. After the fire I decided to spend a little extra on the motor controller and this one will not only provide more power to the motors but also provides the ability to fine tune the firmware and control power curves and a host of other things. Although at ¬£100 it’s twice the price of the previous controller, I think it was money well spent. Especially if it doesn’t go up in a ball of flames.

Speaking of which, the burnt controller has been sent back to the good people at RobotShop.com who in turn have given me a refund.

In other news, I’m making good progress with the cowling, NextKarting have very kindly donated a lightweight go-cart seat, I’ve had considerable help designing and fabricating a skid-plate, and a new motor controller arrived for the smaller prototype today. I’ll post more details on each as things develop.

Controlling the Beast

I’ve spent a lot of time watching the current prototype climbing over large obstacles and it appears that when it’s in an awkward position it might be very useful to have complete control over which wheels have power going to them. If the motors are embedded in the wheel hubs then this would be easy to achieve. The only thing that needs to be given much consideration here is the user controls. The image below shows an initial concept of what these controls might look like:

Whilst this is just a concept, research could be done into ergonomics and inspiration taken from gaming controllers:

As mentioned though, delivering drive to individual wheels is easy if each wheel has an embedded motor. If one motor is used for each side of the vehicle, so one motor for three wheels, it becomes far more complicated. I’m not sure how this would work but I imagine it would have something to do with engaging and disengaging gears.

This page was last updated on April 18th, 2018 by .
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