New Speed Controller Announced

This article covers the new speed controller that will be in the 2009 Kit of Parts it looks really interesting features include current and voltage sensing.

ah man, no Victors next year ?

Freaking awesome! This means we won’t end up ripping victors off of old robots.

thanks, Vivek

We may still be able to use Victors next year.

Q. Can we use existing components (like speed controllers) with the system?
A The plan is to allow teams to use existing Victors (884), Spikes, and pneumatic solenoids. A few
new options are also in the process of being tested with pricing at or below the current costs
teams incur for these items.

From the FIRST Technical Q&A

I really like the feature set of these, but my primary questions are…

…how many do we get in the kit, and how much will additional units cost? :wink:

Wait sorry, are you SURE there’s no VIC’s any more? that would be good news for us, having two years ago named our robot Sparky after it successfully blew up 4, yes four, VIC’s through out the season! large amounts of flying sparks and magic smoke!

I wouldn’t necessarily blame the HARDWARE for your magic smoke, as IFI’s Victors have proven resilient for us time and time again, but per the article, the new controller does apparently offer a design that is more resistant to metal chips and such getting into the fan/MOSFET area. It also has color coded terminals to make wiring more straightforward and less susceptible to error.

The built in support for limit switch inputs is interesting.

No it was not the VIC’s themselves. We thought metal filings were getting into them and frying them, but when the two replacement VIC’s we put in blew as well, we discovered that two of the four drive motors both had a shorting problem, which caused a surge, which was why the VIC’s sparked. unfortunatly it was too late to swap motors, so we had two CIMs per side but only one was powered.

Here is the Luminary Micro FIRST robotics site.

There’s a website for it:
Seems like a prettied up vic with a few extras.

oops, what are the chances of that?

These look cool! They also look expensive.

They also look like they might take up more mounting space than an 884 array. We’ll have to wait to get the dimensional info.

It’s like old Pontiacs with the plastic body cladding (think Aztek) - I’d gladly do away with the gee whiz turbo look for a cleaner, more compact exterior.

The feature set still looks very promising, though.

Are those black holes RJ45 ports?

Yes, RJ-45 is the new connector style that will connect everything to the cRIO, via CAN communication.

This is interesting news.

I am curious to see how they stack up against the Victor 884s, especially in the price, weight, size, and reliability/durability departments. Since the preliminary indications seem to note that both these and the Victor 884s will be legal this coming year, it would be nice if Luminary Micro began selling them before the kickoff date, so we could test them out first hand on previous/prototype robots.

Also, it’s hard to tell from their CAD model, but where will the fan intake be? The top doesn’t appear to be open, so does it draw from an opening in the back? Or are those little rib-like things in the front of the sides the air intakes? Depending on their airflow patterns, they may be easier to “stack” together to save space…

And for us mechanical nerds, it would also be nice if Luminary Micro posted CAD drawings of these online. Or at the very least, drawings of the mounting hole diameter and locations, as well as information on the counterbored area around these holes. :cool:

Air intake is on the top; the rendering doesn’t show it very well. There are exhaust ports on the sides and back of the plastics. The things on the front are for cable retention.

you seem to know alot about these. Judging from your location what is your relationship with these controllers? do you have any pictures you can post? especially ones with a size comparison to a victor would be helpful.

Do you know the cost or when they will be available?

those are awesome

This sounds awesome – however:

Why would we not be allowed to use the quadrature interface until “…Competitions after 2009”? It seems a bit silly to buy speed controllers with 32-bit ARM chips, and then choose not to utilize the advanced features enabled by the use of such a chip.

It won’t be so awesome for the teams who will have thousands of dollars in effectively useless Victors once FIRST transitions fully into the new control system.

I’m extremely concerned with the size of all the components of the new control system. All these pieces together are absolutely massive compared to what we’ve been using.