Brushless DC motor controller designed for mobile robots

11th September 2017
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
Brushless DC motor controller designed for mobile robots

 

Roboteq has introduced the SBL2360, a compact intelligent controller capable of driving two brushless DC motor up to 30A each at up to 60V.

While brushless DC motor controllers are very common, according to the company, the SBL2360 is the world’s first, and most compact controller capable of driving two motors simultaneously. The controller's two channels can be operated independently or combined to set the direction and rotation of a vehicle by coordinating the motors on each side (tank-like steering).

Roboteq’s SBL2360 is well suited for use in Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV’s), warehouse automation robots, police/military robots, or any other medium power brushless motor control application. Combined with Roboteq's MGS1600 Magnetic Guide Sensor, the SBL2360 can be used to design a AGVs with just two components.

Because they have no brushes, brushless motors operate more quietly and have a longer life than equivalent brushed motors. The SBL2360 supports advanced features such as sinusoidal commutation with field oriented control. It is compatible with all common, and less common rotor sensors types: hall sensors, resolvers, sin/cos, quadrature and SSI encoders. It can also operate motors in sensorless mode.

The controller includes up to eight analogue, ten digital and six pulse inputs. Four 1A digital outputs are provided for activating lights, valves, brakes or other accessories. The SBL2360 accepts commands received from an RC radio, analogue joystick, wireless modem, PLC or microcomputer. Using CAN bus, up to 127 controllers can be networked at up to 1Mbit/s on a single twisted pair.

Numerous safety features are incorporated into the controller to ensure reliable and safe operation. The controller’s operation can be extensively automated and customized using Basic Language scripts. The controller can be configured, monitored and tuned in real time using a Roboteq’s free PC utility. The controller can also be reprogrammed in the field with the latest features by downloading new operating software from Roboteq.

The controller's two channels can be operated independently or combined to set the direction and rotation of a vehicle by coordinating the motors on each side (tank-like steering). The motors may be operated in open or closed loop speed or position modes with a 1kHz update rate. The SBL2360 can use the motor’s rotor sensors or to measure speed and travelled distance with high accuracy.

The SBL2360 features intelligent current sensing that will automatically limit each of the power outputs to 30A in all load conditions. The two channels can be joined to drive a single motor up to 60A. The controller also includes protection against overheat, stall, and short circuits. The controller supports regenerative braking allowing the battery to get charged during robot decelerations.

The controller’s operation can be optimised using nearly 80 configurable parameters, such as programmable acceleration or deceleration, amps limits, operating voltage range, use of I/O, and more.

A free PC utility is available for configuring, tuning and exercising the motor. The SBL2360 is built into a compact 80x120x25mm enclosure with an aluminum bottom plate for efficient conduction cooling.

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