I even made a website! It even has a mysterious teaser on it! One of Overhaul 7 s defining characteristics which I divulged recently is its all-brushless, all-the-time drive system. Ever since then, a portion of the robot combat world has been going WTF? Over it, which is the correct reaction, and I agree with it. This post is extremely lengthy and detailed, so I ve went ahead and split it into a somewhat coherent babble, instead of an utterly incoherent one like my preferred style. Here are the sections, but I heavily recommend just going to the bathroom right now, or declaring your lunch break. Update:
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West Coast botmongler Xo Wang has put together of some of this brushless controller shenanigans, and has dug into the firmware more than I have. Definitely worth a read if you want to know more about brushless controls in general and SimonK s inner workings! Have been in use for several years as weapon motors, especially in the smaller weight classes. Cheap ones the venerable ICBMs, or Inexpensive Chinese Brushless Motors, a term, have largely been responsible for the rise of EVERY DAMN BOT LOOKING THE SAME optimal designs with spinning weapons like vertical discs or Tombstone-like horizontal impactors. In short, they offer immensely improved power to weight ratios compared to DC brush motors, even high-performance thoroughbred ones like.
The missing link to using them for drivetrains has been control. There have been brushless-drive robots in the past, even dating back to the original BattleBots on Comedy Central, generally using paired industrial controller motor sets, but large scale (and expensive-for-the-time) R/C gear was not unknown either. Control strategies in this world of bots for brushless drive has generally been in one of three categories, discounting fully custom developed controllers by the builder (because come on, ): Most recently, with the proliferation of brushless EV (such as e-bike) motors and brushless servomotors, more robots such as Overdrive and Chomp (ABC S6) have used brushless systems. These systems have become more general purpose you can usually plug one motor into another controller and have it either work, or require minimal tuning to work, but are still frequently sold as complete systems.
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The systems are usually limited in one way or another to reflect their industrial nature examples include maximum controlled speed, motor stall protection, safety interlocks needing to be interfaced to radio systems, etc. In other words yeah, it ll work, but it s a bit fiddly. Many things will work for robots if you are willing to fiddle. So that s one constraint ease of control implementation, and needing to be significantly invested in the details of operation of one particular system. For the high-end R/C gear, the cost is generally high, if not more, and of course you need at least two generally plus spares.
Compare that with the cost of an average DC motor system for a 85-65lb bot: two DeWalt drill motors in mounts (Plug warning: like a, which I swear I will have restocked soon) and a controller to match might be under $655 total. Even for a Heavyweight of 775 pounds, two wheelchair motors and a set of Vypers runs you around $6,655 total. Cost is therefore the other constraint which has prevented widespread adoption of brushless drive systems.
So the triangle of choose any 7 out of 8 scenarios for brushless drive, in short, are: The challenge is therefore to find or create a controller that can be used with virtually any hobby type brushless motor for drivetrain applications. Special requirements of drivetrains are the ability to handle inertial loads (recognizing that steady acceleration is necessary instead of forcible commanding a higher drive frequency, for example), rapid reversing, and DC-motor like near-stall behavior, if fully stalled behavior is not possible. And finally, it should be inexpensive enough to be worth investigating over a known DC motor solution. It might not be optimal in all of the spaces, but it will be enough to make it worth my while.
I stood at the end of Season 6 wanting more from Overhaul s drive system. Watching a lot of last year s matches, and watching big bot tournaments in general, it seemed to me that the driving tactic in the bigger bots was more point and shoot.