SwarmDrive

by NickStick

An open source ESP32 motor driver development board for brushless motors

View all updates Sep 29, 2020

Launch Announcement!

by Majodi Ploegmakers

First of all, thank you for your interest in SwarmDrive. I hope it will enable you to enter the fascinating world of BLDC motors what I like to call "The Easy Way". For me it did! As you might have read on the SwarmDrive website, I started this project because I felt that there should be a better way to get going with this interesting technology.

Creating SwarmDrive

At the beginning of this project I was surprised to find out that this seemingly ‘older’ technology has so many interesting aspects and is by no means primitive. We do see a revival in working with electric motors nowadays with electric cars, but outside of that many of us tend to think that a motor is just, well… a motor.

When looking into motors a bit deeper I discovered two things:

  1. Working with motors is not nearly as simple as I thought
  2. And I found no easy way to get started

The first I’m still working on, the second is what SwarmDrive is all about.

The Easy Way

My initial thought was that I needed a motor driver that I could control using a familiar mainstream platform like Arduino. Obviously, it should be powerful and versatile. So I decided to go with the ESP32, nowadays a fairly mainstream MCU with many features that is capable of running Arduino code.

At that point my imagination ran wild. If I master motors and have all the powerful communication features of the ESP32 at my disposal, well, perhaps I could do things like swarm intelligence.

So my big first goal was to master electric motor communication and utilize my skills for motion-based projects that require remote connectivity. Hence the name SwarmDrive was born.

I wanted the motor driver I chose to be easy to understand. I knew I didn’t want an all-in-one integrated solution, I wanted something that could be used to learn how things are done. So, a simple half bridge driver with enough power to drive a small BLDC motor or even two brushed motors would be an ideal learning/prototyping platform.

As you can see in this early prototype video, you can put this all together with some perf board, an off the shelf dev board and a lot of wires. But if you are eager to dive into code experimentation this will hold you back. With SwarmDrive you are up-and-running in no time. Hence the slogan "The Easy Way".

I hope SwarmDrive will inspire many makers and students to experiment with electric motor commutation and perhaps contribute to new and exciting innovations. In my updates I will keep you posted on the production process and also, I plan to share some technical pointers to get you going with things like remote access.

Until next time!
Majodi

About the Author

Majodi Ploegmakers

majodi


$635 raised

of $2,500 goal

25% Funded

Pledge Now

$50

Early Bird SwarmDrive

Early Bird SwarmDrive board. Save 33% by being one of the first 10 people to back this campaign!


$75

SwarmDrive

One SwarmDrive board


$135

SwarmDrive x2

Save 10%, and save on shipping, by getting two SwarmDrive boards


$300

SwarmDrive x5

Save 20%, and save on shipping, by getting five SwarmDrive boards

Credits

NickStick

Majodi (the owner of NickStick BV) is a technology enthusiast and entrepreneur with a broad background in technology related ventures. This includes software as well as hardware related development of products and services.


Majodi Ploegmakers

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects: