Brushed DC motors have been the backbone of many industrial and consumer applications for years. Their simplicity, durability, and efficiency make them an ideal choice for a multitude of applications. One of the key components that enable the effective use of these motors is the motor driver. In this article, we will introduce you to the Smart Motor Drivers (SMD) by ACROME, a product designed to revolutionize the way we use brushed DC motors, and explore various applications where these motors excel.
ACROME's Smart Motor Drivers (SMD) are a game-changer in motor control. They are designed to drive brushed DC motors with high precision, efficiency and most importantly with ease. The SMDs come with a range of features that make them stand out. The SMDs are not just about power; they are smart too. They come with built-in safety features such as over-current, short circuit, and thermal protection. The SMDs even have a built-in PID controller for more precise control of your motors. One of the standout features of the SMDs is their support for daisy-chaining. This allows you to connect multiple SMDs together, reducing the clutter of wires and making your projects more organized and manageable. The SMDs also come with a user-friendly API, making it easy to integrate them into your projects. Now that we have introduced the SMDs, let's explore some of the applications where brushed DC motors, when paired with SMDs, can be used effectively.
Conditional motor control is a common requirement in many applications. This involves controlling the motor's operation based on certain conditions, often detected using sensors. For instance, a conveyor belt system might use sensors to detect if an item has reached the end of the belt and stop the motor accordingly.
The SMDs are well-suited for such applications. They support UART communication, allowing them to interface with a variety of sensors. For example, user can use joystick sensor for controlling a robotic arm, or if they built a mobile robot they can use line follower sensor, distance sensor and buzzer. User can connect any sensor they want to use together easily. This, combined with the built-in PID controller, allows for precise control of the conditional motor control systems based on sensor inputs.
One of the common applications of brushed DC motors is in systems where multiple motors need to be synchronized. This is often seen in industrial applications where precise movement and coordination of multiple parts are required. The SMDs, with their built-in PID controller and support for daisy-chaining, are perfect for such applications. For instance, in a conveyor belt system, multiple motors might be used to drive different sections of the belt. These motors need to be synchronized to ensure the smooth movement of goods along the belt. With SMDs, you can easily achieve this synchronization, ensuring efficient operation of the system.
In the following video you will see two SMD Brushed DC motor modules which are connected to the PC via the USB gateway module. The SMD modules are controlling two motors synchronously. We can change the velocities of the motors instantaneously and the system operates in perfect synchronization with the different velocities.
A ball balancing table is a classic control problem and a great application for brushed DC motors. The goal is to balance a ball on a flat surface that can be tilted in two directions. This requires precise control of the motors that tilt the table. ACROME's Ball Balancing Table is a perfect example of this application. It uses two brushed DC motors to control the tilt of the table in the X and Y directions. The motors are driven by SMDs, providing precise control over the table's tilt. This allows the system to balance the ball effectively, even when external disturbances are introduced.
In the following video you will see two SMD Brushed DC motor modules that are connected to the PC via the USB gateway module. They will control the ball balancing table using position mode and the code running on the PC will control the ball’s position in a feedback controlled operation. We can also control the table’s orientation in an open loop mode with our joystick sensor add-on module which is connected to the SMD network as well. For more information on how the closed loop control works for the ball, you can check our BBT blog post.
Mobile robots are another area where brushed DC motors shine. These robots often use these motors for locomotion, requiring precise control over speed and direction. The Autonomous Mobile Robotics Kit from ACROME is a great example of this application. The kit includes a Turtlebot mobile robot, which uses brushed DC motors for movement. The motors are controlled by SMDs, providing smooth and precise control over the robot's movement. Brushed DC motors in mobile robots ensure enhanced precision and efficiency in their movements and they can be used in precision & efficiency specific applications.
Brushed DC motors, with their simplicity and efficiency, are a staple in many applications. The introduction of smart motor drivers like ACROME's SMD has further expanded the possibilities of what can be achieved with these motors. Whether it's synchronizing multiple motors, balancing a ball on a table, driving a mobile robot, or controlling a motor based on sensor inputs, the SMDs provide a powerful and flexible solution for controlling brushed DC motors. Here are the major differentiators of ACROME SMD from other alternatives: