5 VESC control for Mars Rover

Support for creating custom user applications on the VESC.
Posts: 1
Joined: 20 Apr 2018, 21:16

5 VESC control for Mars Rover

Postby alexRover » 20 Apr 2018, 22:00

Hi all,
My team is building a Mars rover which will have 5 BLDC motors on board. We need to control all 5 with independent speeds, and are trying to figure out the best way to do it with VESC's. We don't have 5 UART ports available on our BeagleBone Black control computer, so we are investigating CAN or i2c as alternatives. We want two way communication to send feedback to our control computer, so we don't want to use PWM/PPM.

Current ideas are implementing a 5 VESC CAN bus, i2c bus, or simply adding more UART ports to our system and controlling each individually with the existing VESC firmware.

I read this post which talked about the CAN bus option. Might try to build on that if there isn't another idea but the BeagleBone has not played nicely with CAN in the past.

Any suggestions for ways to implement this system without writing too much additional firmware for the VESC? We are short on time but have decent experience with robotics and software development. We haven't used VESC in the past

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Joined: 25 Mar 2016, 12:29
Location: Delft, Netherlands.

Re: 5 VESC control for Mars Rover

Postby rew » 22 Apr 2018, 13:46

For "neatness" I would add a CAN interface to the beaglebone and control everything from there.
For "lowest amount of hardware" you could consider having one VESC be an uart-CAN bridge.

But that optimization is something that would come back to haunt you later. Not exactly sure how, but it is much neater to have a can interface on the beagle. (Say one of the controllers malfunctions. 1/5 chance that it's your uart-can bridge.... Send a guy with a replacement VESC?)

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