Motor controller with optical encoder inputs targets mobile robots

Designers of mobile robotic vehicles have a new motion controller choice from Roboteq Inc. See photo.

03/12/2009


Roboteq AX2860 controller
The Roboteq AX2860 controller is built into a 9.0”L x 5.5”W x 1.6”H (228mm x 140mm x 40mm) extruded aluminum case that also serves as a heat sink for its output power stage.

Designers of mobile robotic vehicles including

automatic guided vehicles (AGVs)

, underwater remote operated vehicles, and mobile robots for exploration, hazardous material handling, and military and surveillance applications have a new motion controller from Roboteq Inc.
Roboteq has introduced an intelligent dual channel dc motor controller capable of directly driving up to 120 A on each channel at up to 60 V. The AX2860 controller accepts commands from either standard R/C radio for simple remote controlled robot applications, analog joystick or RS-232 interface. Using the serial port, the AX2860 can be used to design fully or semi-autonomous robots by connecting it to single board computers, wireless modems, or WiFi adapters.
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 mode. The AX2860 includes inputs for two Quadrature Encoders up to 250 kHz, and four limit switches for precise speed and traveled distance measurement. The controller also features intelligent current sensing and controlling that will automatically limit each channel’s power output to 120 A. For higher power application, the product may be ordered in a single channel configuration, capable of driving a single load up to 240 A at 60 V.
The AX2860 is built into a 9.0 x 5.5 x 1.6 in. (228 mm x 140 mm x 40 mm) extruded aluminum case that also serves as a heat sink for its output power stage. Features include support for analog and digital I/Os for accessories and sensors, thermal protection, programmable acceleration, short-circuit protection, input command watchdog and non-volatile storage of configuration parameters.
Roboteq was founded in 2001 by engineers specializing in embedded computing and power electronics, and its controllers reportedly are now used in over 500 original robot designs. Product information, application examples and software can be downloaded from the company’s web site.

– Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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