IQ Motor Module

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Aug 30, 2018

Sample Testing

We placed the order for the production motors about two weeks ago, so we figured it was about time for an update! We’ll be getting samples next week and putting them to the test before we give our manufacturer the green light to do a run of 1,000 motors. The tests will be split up into two categories: quality assurance and R&D testing.

Quality Assurance

The goal of quality assurance testing is to ensure the motor design and firmware are working as expected. Essentially these tests will allow us to quickly figure out if there are any flaws with the samples. The prior generation of IQ motor modules have already met the specs promised in our campaign, so we’ve set high expectations for the motors our backers will receive.

We made slight changes to both the motor and PCB to improve module performance and increase our yield rate on the manufacturing side. While these changes were small, they still present some risk. Luckily we’ve run these tests hundreds of times, so if the modules are misbehaving, we’ll be able to quickly diagnose their issue. Here are a few specs we’ll be testing, as well as the basics about how we will implement the tests:

**Note: This testing is made a lot easier because the motor is smart. We can get a lot of test data from the motor itself, such as speed, power, and temperature information.

  • High reactivity
    • Time measurement between various thrusts and RPMs
    • Equipment: load cell
  • Efficiency
    • Thrust per watt curve
    • Equipment: load cell, 4S & 5S battery, current & voltage sensor
  • Positioning
    • Repeatability test (after X tries, how precisely does it go back to same spot)
    • Equipment: angle sensor
  • Smoothness
    • Cogging torque measurement
    • Equipment: force torque sensor
  • Torque
    • Static & dynamic torque measurement
    • Equipment: force torque sensor, calibrated weights, current & voltage sensor
  • Load test
    • Temperature measurement of the motor under load
    • Equipment: current & voltage sensor, temperature sensor

R&D Testing

We know our customers are going to push IQ motors to their limits. To date, we haven’t had enough motors in stock to justify setting a bunch aside to blow up for the sake of science. Thanks to our backers, we can now afford to do that! R&D testing will give us valuable information about the motor’s performance limits and the harshest conditions in which IQ motors can run. Here are a few of the R&D tests:

  • Lifetime
    • Spin motors at various speeds until failure
    • Equipment: current & voltage sensor, temperature sensor, data logger, test chamber
  • Thermal
    • Spin at various RPMs, measure heat change
    • Equipment: temperature sensor, current & voltage sensor
  • Drop
    • Drop test, drop from various heights, measure performance after
    • Equipment: meter stick
  • Impact
    • Stopping propeller abruptly at various RPMs
    • Equipment: metal rod

Other Considerations

We’ve worked hard to make our motors robust and reliable, and these tests will allow us to make the final touches before we move forward with the big production run. Other than motor performance, there are a few other things we’ll be assessing with the samples. We’ve made our own user interface, so we need to make this as user-friendly as possible. The final and perhaps most important consideration is safety. IQ motors’ default settings will allow users to push the motors close to their limits, but we plan to make all settings changeable for advanced users. We need to make this as safe as possible, so we’ll likely make users check a box if changing the settings could cause issues.

Our next update will be when we receive the samples and test them!

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Credits

IQ Motion Control

Born out of the University of Pennsylvania’s robotics lab, IQ Motion Control is a tech startup that delivers the ultimate drone motor module for versatility and performance.


Jon Broome

Co-founder

Matt Piccoli

Co-founder

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