The RoboClaw motor controllers from Orion Robotics can control a pair of brushed DC motors using 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 60 A per channel (120 A peak).
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This controller has been replaced by the RoboClaw 2x60A with USB (V4). It has a new board design and some new features like USB connectivity, but is otherwise similar to the original 2x60A.
The RoboClaw from Orion Robotics (formerly Basic Micro) is an efficient, versatile, dual-channel synchronous regenerative motor controller. It can supply two brushed DC motors with 5 A, 15 A, 30 A, or 60 A continuous (depending on the model) at voltages from 6 to 30+ V, and it allows for peak currents up to twice the maximum continuous rating.
The RoboClaw features dual quadrature decoding capability. A built-in PID routine can be used for closed-loop speed control, maintaining motor speeds even if the load varies, or the encoder counts and speeds can be read directly from the RoboClaw for use with an external control system. Analog feedback is also supported for closed-loop position control (2x5A, 2x15A, and 2x30A only).
Several interface modes are supported by the RoboClaw: it can be controlled via TTL serial for use with an embedded system or a PC with a serial adapter, RC hobby servo pulses for use as an RC-controlled electronic speed control (ESC), or analog voltages for use with potentiometers or analog joysticks.
- Simple bidirectional control of two brushed DC motors
- 6 V to 30+ V operating supply range
- 5 A to 60 A maximum continuous current output, depending on controller model
- Automatic current limiting reduces duty cycle when motor current is between 1× and 2× the controller’s rated current (2x5A, 2x15A, and 2x30A)
- Three communication or control options:
- Logic-level (TTL) serial interface for direct connection to microcontrollers or other embedded controllers, or connection to a PC with a serial port (external RS-232 level converter required) or USB-to-serial adapter
- Hobby radio control (RC) pulse width interface for direct connection to an RC receiver or RC servo controller
- 0 V to 2 V (5 V tolerant) analog voltage interface for direct connection to potentiometers and analog joysticks
- Dual feedback inputs for PID closed-loop control:
- Speed control with quadrature encoders, up to 19.6 million encoder pulses per second (2x60A: 8 million encoder pulses per second)
- Position control with analog encoders or potentiometers (2x5A, 2x15A, and 2x30A)
- (Open-loop control with no feedback also available)
- Screw terminals for quick connect/disconnect
- Configurable via pushbutton interface (2x5A, 2x15A, and 2x30A) or onboard DIP switches (2x60A)
- Regenerative braking
- Tolerates high-speed direction changes
- Jumper-selectable 5 V BEC
- Battery monitoring and under-voltage cutoff protects batteries from over-discharging
RoboClaw Comparison Table
|Operating voltage:||6-34 V|
|Continuous output current:||5 A||15 A||30 A||60 A|
|Peak output current:||10 A||30 A||60 A||120 A|
|5V BEC(1) max current:||150 mA||3 A|
|Width:||1.7″ (4.2 cm)||2.1″ (5.2 cm)||4.2″ (10.7 cm)|
|Length:||1.9″ (4.8 cm)||2.9″ (7.4 cm)||4.1″ (10.4 cm)|
|Weight:||17 g||63 g||298 g|
1 Battery Eliminator Circuit
Orion Robotics 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.