The RoboClaw motor controllers can control a pair of brushed DC motors using USB serial, TTL serial, RC, or analog inputs. Integrated dual quadrature decoders make it easy to create a closed-loop speed control system. This version can supply a continuous 15 A per channel (30 A peak) and operates up to 34 V.
The RoboClaws have a USB Micro-B interface that acts as a virtual serial (COM) port, allowing it to be controlled directly from a computer, and they feature built-in commands for controlling acceleration, deceleration, distance, speed, current sense, voltage limits and more. Several other interface modes are supported by the RoboClaw as well: it can be controlled via TTL serial for use with embedded systems, RC hobby servo pulses for use as an RC-controlled electronic speed control (ESC), or analog voltages for use with potentiometers or analog joysticks.
RoboClaw automatically supports 3.3V or 5V logic levels, travel limit switches, home switches, emergency stop switches, power supplies, braking systems and contactors. Power supplies can be used by enabling the built in voltage clamping control feature. A built-in switching mode BEC supplies 5VDC at up to 1.2 A or 3 A (depending on controller model) for powering user devices.
The RoboClaws can be operated without feedback for open-loop speed control, or they can be used with a variety of feedback types for closed-loop speed or position control. Quadrature encoders with up to 19.6 million pulses per second are supported and can be auto tuned using Ion Studio, which is a free downloadable application. In addition, a wide range of sensor inputs such as potentiometers and absolute encoders are supported. RoboClaw’s closed loop functionality creates absolute control over speed and direction regardless of load changes.
RoboClaw incorporates several protection features including temperature, current, over voltage and under voltage limits. Several user definable settings such as maximum current limit, maximum and minimum battery voltages are provided for more refined control.
Key features of the RoboClaw family
- Simple bidirectional control of one or two brushed DC motors, depending on controller model
- 6 V to 34 V or 10.5 V to 60 V operating supply range, depending on controller model
- 7.5 A to 120 A maximum continuous current output, depending on controller model
- Dual-channel controllers support channel bridging to allow control of a single motor with double the current capability
- Automatic current limiting reduces duty cycle when temperature exceeds 85° C
- Four communication or control options:
- USB serial interface (virtual COM port)
- Logic-level (TTL) serial interface for direct connection to microcontrollers or other embedded controllers
- Hobby radio control (RC) pulse width interface for direct connection to an RC receiver or RC servo controller
- Analog voltage (0 V to 2 V, 5 V tolerant) interface for direct connection to potentiometers and analog joysticks
- Dual feedback inputs for PID closed-loop control:
- Speed or position control with quadrature encoders, up to 19.6 million encoder pulses per second
- Position control with analog encoders or potentiometers
- (Open-loop control with no feedback also available)
- Screw terminals for quick connect/disconnect
- Configurable via pushbutton interface or USB connection and PC software
- Regenerative braking
- Tolerates high-speed direction changes
- Jumper-selectable 5 V BEC
- Battery monitoring and under-voltage cutoff protects batteries from over-discharging
Basicmicro has written an Arduino library for the RoboClaw that makes it easy to interface these motor controllers with an Arduino. The library comes with several example sketches that demonstrate different methods of controlling the RoboClaw. They also have an application note that shows how to use their libraries to control a RoboClaw with an A-Star 32U4 programmable controller.
- RoboClaw motor controller user manual
- User manual for the RoboClaw brushed DC motor controllers.
- RoboClaw and MCP Motor Controller datasheets and other downloadable resources
- Go here to find links to all of the downloadable RoboClaw and MCP resources, including datasheets for the individual controllers, drivers, source code libraries, and CAD drawings.
- RoboClaw Packet Serial with the Pololu A-Star 32U4 Programmable Controllers
- This Application Note covers using the Pololu A-Star 32U4 microcontroller modules to control a RoboClaw motor controller in packet serial mode. Since the A-Star is Arduino compatible, BasicMicro’s Arduino library can be used to easily write programs that control the RoboClaw.
- Basicmicro application notes
- These application notes from explain their motor controllers and some of their features and modes of operation.
|Size:||2.1″ × 2.9″ × 0.9″|
|Control interface:||USB; non-inverted TTL serial (2-way);|
RC servo pulses; analog voltage1
|Minimum operating voltage:||6 V|
|Maximum operating voltage:||34 V|
|Continuous output current per channel:||15 A|
|Peak output current per channel:||30 A|