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SwarmDrive is a motor driver (development) board intended for learning and experimenting with electric motors. It’s an approachable mechatronics platform for users who want to learn and start experimenting with (small) electric motors and BLDC (Brushless DC) motors in particular. The SwarmDrive board contains a basic motor driver setup together with a powerful, Wi-Fi-and-Bluetooth-enabled microcontroller (ESP32) and USB connectivity.
SwarmDrive enables professionals as well as students to learn about different commutation algorithms and all other aspects of electric (BLDC) motors in a convenient way - with a single, integrated board and strong educational documentation.
Specially designed console firmware as well as example code can be downloaded to get started quickly and easily. The code is well documented and open source and is based on the well-established ESP-EDF framework and RTOS. SwarmDrive can be used as a starting point for getting insight into the inner workings of algorithms for driving a motor.
SwarmDrive could be used for a range of applications, such as exploring and experimenting with different types of commutation strategies, PID experiments for balance plateau or balance robots, cartesian gantries and spatial navigation, drive by wire and wireless, swarm intelligence experiments, Etc.
The ‘Swarm’ aspect of the SwarmDrive is hinting upon the vast communication possibilities of the ESP32, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which enable the board or motor to communicate with other boards/motors. his allows for ‘Swarm’ type implementations or just plain remote control of the board/motors.
|SwarmDrive||M. Anton Consulting BLDC Motor Driver||ST STEVAL-IHM043V1||Separate shield board|
|Integrated buck converter||Yes||No||No||Separate|
|Back EMF sensing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Some|
|Price||$75||$90||$80||$25 - $50|
SwarmDrive will be fabricated and assembled by PCBWay in China. There, each board will be electrically tested before being sent to our facilities in The Netherlands where they will be functionally tested and flashed with "getting started" firmware. After that they will be sent to Crowd Supply for fulfillment. We have worked with PCBWay before and are confident this production run will go smoothly.
All SwarmDrive development boards will be delivered to Crowd Supply’s warehouse for final distribution to backers worldwide. Please see Crowd Supply’s guide on Ordering, Paying, and Shipping for more information about delivery, VAT payments, etc.
We have produced several prototypes and are confident that we have eliminated most of the technical risk. Our most likely source of risk is an unforeseen delay with PCB assembly caused by part shortages or shipping complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked to mitigate these risk as much as possible, however, and will let you know if anything arises that might affect our estimated ship dates.