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DC motor controller targets mobile robots

Roboteq, Inc. has introduced the AX2860 dual-channel DC motor controller capable of directly driving up to 120 A on each channel at up to 60 V. Targeted at designers of mobile robotic vehicles, the controller accepts commands from standard R/C radio, analog joystick or RS232 interface, and, when using the serial port, can be used to design fully or semi-autonomous robots by connecting it to single-board computers, wireless modems or Wi-Fi adapters.

The controller's two channels can be operated independently or combined to set the direction and rotation of a vehicle by coordinating the motors on each side. The motors may be operated in open- or closed-loop speed mode. The AX2860 includes inputs for two quadrature encoders up to 250 kHz, and four limit switches, for precise speed and traveled distance measurement.

Intelligent current sensing and controlling automatically limit each channel's power output to 120 A, and an optional single-channel configuration version can be ordered, capable of driving a single load up to 240 A at 60 V. Other features include analog and digital I/Os for accessories and sensors, thermal protection, programmable acceleration, short-circuit protection, input command watchdog and non-volatile storage of configuration parameters.

The AX2860 is packaged in a 9.0 x 5.5 x 1.6-in. extruded aluminum case, which also serves as a heat sink for its output power stage. It is available now at $720 in single quantities, complete with cable and PC-based configuration software.

Roboteq, Inc. , (602) 617-3931, www.roboteq.com

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