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Brushless motor

3D-printed actuator for walking robot

Published 2018-07-27

Paul Gould won one of the Hackaday Prizes 2018 for his walking robot actuator, which is connectable to CAN.

The joints are 3D‑printed and the motors are connected via CAN to some sensors (Photo: Hackaday)

The open-source project initiated by Paul Gould includes a 3D‑printed actuator based on a CAN‑connected motion controller. The 3D‑printed cycloidal gearboxes are paired with multi-rotors. Magnetic encoders are used for the positional feedback. “I don’t see the need for an optical encoder. There are two absolute magnetic encoders in this actuator. One for the motor position, so it can do field-oriented control and one for the final joint position. It runs a fuzzy/PID loop on final position,” wrote Paul Gould in his blog. He designed the motion controller board by himself. It is equipped with a CAN interface. The network links all together. The robot arm project is ongoing. The used brushless motors are made in China. There are three prototype sizes of the cycloidal gearboxes with 44‑mm, 60‑mm, and 78‑mm diameter. The size of the motor, number of poles, and their shaft are also selectable.