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Motor Controller Animates Mobile Robots

Designers of mobile robotic vehicles may get a leg up with the AX3500 dual-channel, dc-motor controller, which is capable of driving up to 60A on each channel at voltages up to 40V. Strategically placed on a 4.2" x 6.75" board, the controller accepts commands from either a standard R/C radio interface or via a serial port for basic remote control. By way of the serial port, the AX3500 aids the design of fully- or semi-autonomous robots by connecting it to single-board computers, wireless modems, or wireless LAN adapters. The controller's two channels operate independently or combine to set the direction and rotation of a vehicle by coordinating the motion on each side of the vehicle. Motors can operate in open- or closed-loop speed or position modes. Additional features include inputs for two quadrature encoders operating up to 250 kHz and four limit switches, analog and digital I/Os, programmable acceleration, and input-command watchdog and non-volatile storage of configuration parameters. The AX3500 is available as a board-level unit with heat sink. An optional thermal conduction plate is also available. Single-unit price is $395. ROBOTEQ INC., Scottsdale, AZ. (602) 617-3931.


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