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Electronic Design

GUI Mitigates Motor-Control Setup Woes

Nuremberg, Germany: Toshiba Electronics Europe held court at Embedded World with “Motormind.” The free PC software package eases development of motor-control applications built around its ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers. It simplifies setup and management of key motor control functions via a GUI. The GUI has a digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) function that can take “snapshots” of internal motor parameters during operation.

MotorMind’s GUI makes it easy to visualise what’s happening in the registers.

According to Thomas Haase, senior software engineer, with MotorMind software, it is usually possible to get a motor up and running in half an hour, marking a vast improvement.

Designers can easily tweak motor, PI-control, and system behaviour settings without recompiling firmware. Parameters set via the GUI are transferred directly to an evaluation board (supplied with the relevant MCU starter kit), and the motor can be immediately run with the new settings.

It provides various views, including a speed and torque display, a “statistics view,” and a CPU load monitor. These allow for real-time observations of various motor-control parameters, and when they’re modified, how it effects motor behaviour and MCU performance during acceleration, operation at target speed, and deceleration. Parameters can be easily exported to a header file for subsequent compiling into firmware. Thanks to a storage and loading function, the software can be used with different motor applications.

The DSO capability promises easier identification of bugs by allowing a view into the MCU vector engine. Up to eight VE and firmware parameters and variables can be logged. The oscilloscope’s resolution is 50µs at a PWM frequency of 20kHz. Triggering can occur on rising and falling edges, and left and centre. For longer log time periods, it’s possible to log every ‘nth’ value (where n is up to 256).

Toshiba Electronics Europe

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