Robotics designers can now take advantage of the AX2500. This microcomputer-based dual-channel dc motor controller module drives up to 120 A on each of two independent channels, at up to 40 V. Applications include automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and underwater remote-operated vehicles (ROVs).
The controller accepts commands from either a standard R/C radio for simple remote-controlled robot applications or a serial port interface. With its RS-232 serial port, the device can be used to design fully or semi-autonomous robots by connecting it to single-board computers, wireless modems, or wireless local-area network adapters.
The controller's two channels can also be combined to set a vehicle's direction and rotation by coordinating the motion on each side of the vehicle. The motors may be operated in open- or closed-loop speed modes. Using low-cost position sensors, they may also be set to operate as heavy-duty position servos.
The AX2500 features analog and digital I/Os for accessories and sensors, battery voltage monitoring, thermal protection, programmable acceleration, an input command watchdog, and nonvolatile storage of configuration parameters. It can be programmed in the field by downloading new operating software from Roboteq.
An extruded aluminum case serves as a heatsink for its output power stage.
Priced at $485 each, the AVX2500 comes complete with cable and configuration software.