DC Motor Controller Targets Autonomous Robots


An intelligent controller capable of directly driving three DC motors up to 60 V and 60Amps per channel is the FDC3260. It is targeted at designers of mobile robots and Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs). The 3 high power outputs are particularly effective for XYZ stabilization platforms, flight simulators or for driving three thrusters in underwater robot applications.


The controller accepts commands, and can switch automatically from analog joystick, standard R/C radio, USB or RS232 interface. Using the USB or serial port, the FDC3260 can be used to design fully or semi-autonomous robots by connecting it to single board computers, wireless modems or WiFi adapters.


The FDC3260 incorporates a Basic Language Interpreter capable of executing over 50,000 Basic instructions per second. This feature can be used to write powerful scripts for adding custom functions, or for developing automated systems without the need for an external PLC or microcomputer.


The motors may be operated in open or closed loop speed or position modes with a 1 kHz update rate. The FDC3260 includes inputs for three Quadrature Encoders for precise speed and traveled distance measurement.


The FDC3260 features intelligent current sensing that will automatically limit the power output to 60A in all load conditions. The controller also includes protection against overheat, stall, and short circuits.


The controller includes up to 8analog, 10 digital and 4 pulse inputs. Four 1A digital outputs are provided for activating lights, valves, brakes or other accessories. The controller’s operation can be optimized using nearly 80 configurable parameters, such as programmable acceleration or deceleration, amps limits, operating voltage range, use of I/O, and more.


A free PC utility is available for configuring, tuning, monitoring and exercising the motor. The controller can be reprogrammed in the field with the latest features by downloading new operating firmware from Roboteq’s web site.


The FDC3260is built into a compact 5.5 W x 5.25 L x 2.2 in. H (106mm x 106mm x 30mm) case with an aluminum bottom plate for cooling.


Motor TypeBrushed DC
Max Voltage60
Number of Channels3
Max Amps per Channel60
Continuous Amps per Channel40
ON Resistance (mOhm)2.5
Power ConnectionsFast on
RC PulseYes
MicroBasic ScriptingYes
Control Loop (ms)1
Regenerative brakingYes
Max Analog Inputs8
Digital Outputs4
Max Digital Inputs10
Max Pulse Inputs6
CoolingConduction plate
Dimensions140 mm x 140 mm x 25 mm
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