A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
What is the AMC1280USB motion controller?
It's a simple interface between the computer and the mechanical part of a motion simulator platform or in other words, interface between simulated world and real world. Allows to bring out motion cues from Game simulations as feedback to the real world and then generate feedback (pilot or race drive reaction) back to the game. A motion platform improves dramatically the realism of a simulation game and often aids the user to react better in situations without having to relay to visuals or instrumentation as these motion cues give a direct and fast indication of the vehicle or the environment conditions. Some simple examples:
-Pilot is able to experience the side-winds or lift power during rotation. Or "feel" a imminent stall situation and adjust flaps to compensate. Not to mention the effects of weather during flight, that otherwise are non existent in non-motion simpits.
-Race car driver can have a motion cue indication that the vehicle is slipping or overturned and apply corrective maneuver. Can get accurate motion cues indicating his acceleration or deceleration in any axis as well have a better idea for the road condition to adjust his handling.
The Motion Platform can have from 2 to 6 Degrees Of Freedom (2DOF - 6DOF).
With minimal knowledge on electronics you could also build a Motion platform for gaming, does not have to be full 6DOF Stewart platform, a small 2DOF with DC motors could help get familiar with the system.
So how it works?
The AMC1280USB is connected to the gaming computer via USB. You will also need a motion software that will connect to the simulation game and capture its motion cues to send them to the AMC1280USB as position demands that the AMC1280USB will have to fulfill in the shorted amount of time (2ms response usually).
You can use any motion software available for any DOF (Degrees of Freedom) motion platform. The most common are X-sim, Simtools and Ian's 6DOF BFF motion software. Each one has it's own list of supported simulation games, but all are compatible with AMC1280USB. Its not uncommon to have all three installed and switch between then depending on the simulation game you are using. I have been participating in the development of many of these motion software since their birth, I started working with Keith in 2005 beta testing his 2DOF motion software for MS flight simulator 2002 along Ian and Roland, from which Ian continued and evolved the motion control software adding classic washout filters and motion cues for 3DOF and 6DOF later with his BFF motion software. I also help in the development of the first 6DOF plugin for the x-sim software that was build to fully support the inverse kinematics math needed for the positioning of 6DOF platforms with first prototypes of AMC1280USB motion controller.
The AMC1280USB motion controller is not only limited to the above motion software solutions, it can be used for other type of simulation like the recently developed VReeMotion project that uses Virtual Reality and 8DOF support (6DOF platform + force feedback steering + force feedback pedals), all done via a single controller. The full detailed command set to access all functionality of the AMC1280USB controller is available to programmers or system engineers for developing their custom application with it.
I need your support to expand the availability and reduce the cost for this unique motion control interface. You are not only pledging for the rewards but also for the expansion of what started as a hobby to a serious and reliable product.
The past years many early AMC1280USB prototypes were build but with much higher cost as they were made mostly with through hole parts that require lots of manual labor and lots of testing to guarantee quality. The cost was one thing but the manual labor to solder all the parts was a limiting factor on the evolution of the controller with additional connectivity and functions. The AMC1280USB was redesigned this year to almost complete SMT parts so its production can be automated in a large degree.
The quality of the PCB boards and assembly is now professional level. At the start of 2017 ordered a partially assembled small batch (40 boards) that were manufactured in modern Pick and Place facility and had received no defective boards. All has passed the necessary quality tests. It's important to have a reliable motion controller since it's a direct interface to the real world and can cause real harm if was to malfunction during simulation. All and each motion controller have to pass a full series of tests for its inputs-outputs and for reliable and fast communications.
With your support pledging for this Kickstarter campaign, you will help outsource the assembly of the boards for larger batches lowering the price not only for this kickstarter but for later availability. Also will boost the development progress more, not only in hardware level but in firmware as well as will provide resources for better tools. I need your help to mass produce the AMC1280USB and provide more of this unique interface for motion simulator platforms to as many motion simulation enthusiasts out there in a cost effective way. Pledging for this project will allow me to refine the design even more and perfect it, to be as user friendly is can be. The production version controller boards that will be produced by this kickstarter campaign, will be even better than the existing prototypes. I plan rearrange connectors for easier access upon wiring to the rest of the platform hardware.
Existing AMC1280USB owners could also pledge even a small amount to help with development cost of the firmware updates that add additional functions, that otherwise take longer to be ready for release. Its great motivation to continue knowing there are people out there still have your back.
AMC1280USB Motion controller features:
Easy to use LCD menu for setup of parameters needed by each type of motion platform. More parameters and options are added often as part of the continuous support for all existing users.
Communication Speed 250kbps / 16-bit position demands (65535 position) via stable USB FTDI chipset.
PID latency is 2ms for stabilization reasons. Internally the PID runs 1000 times per second. It can settle on an oscillation as fast a 4ms (4/1000 of a second).
Easy connectors for the newly supported 12-bit SSI all digital absolute contact-less magnetic position sensors AEAT-6012-A06.
Filtered connectors for the Analog feedback Position sensors for less noise. Any 0-5volts position sensors can be used.
On-board PWM driver for 12-bit resolution PWM for DC motors that can be re-routed to the original PWM connector. It can also be used to create RC mini servo signals for creating scale models of motion platforms(function is about to be added in next firmware release).
12 limit switches connector for platforms that use analog sensors with single analog out driver (Sabertooth for example).
New position for the LCD menu encoder knob and motor test buttons. The AMC1280USB Deluxe version also has front panel.
Select modes of operation and platform type (2DOF - 6DOF).
Upgrade on the 6DOF ext board: Adding a 12-bit DAC in parallel to the existing 8-bit DAC, that can be re-routed to the outputs in many combinations. Best used with the Servo signal Conditioner to output 4096 positions for AC servos that accept analog absolute position signal.
The firmware is always backward compatible so all existing and future users of the motion controller to get FREE updates or additional functions on their motion controllers. New firmware revisions are often provided via the projects Dropbox storage that also holds other related files or utils which is available to everybody.
The Firmware for the motion control is written in Bascom-AVR with combination of direct Machine Assembly code for the real-time critical processes.
You can see below the final layout of the new PCB boards that were redesigned for the kickstarter version of the controller:
What motors or motor type can it control?
It can control almost all kind of motors. I said almost because it does not support Stepper Motors that usually require step and direction. The reason is that AMC1280USB outputs Speed and Direction information, allowing it to slowly accelerate and decelerate motors to fine position converting to servos even industrial motors that normally are not designed for such use like the AC motors with VFD inverters (normally open loop system with limited direction change). Any size motor or actuator length is compatible, from small DC motors to large industrial 6HP Servomotors or AC motors or BLDC motors. What matters is the motor driver to be compatible with the control signals received by the AMC1280USB motion controller.
Type of motors and drivers and minimum reward requirement selection:
(AMC1280USB main board PWM) Any motor driver that can accept 5v PWM or analog 0-5v (Sabertooth) for DC motors. Teknic Clearpath Servomotors are also compatible via PWM or Burst Pulse control mode.
(AMC1280USB BASIC and DELUXE) Any AC inverter that can accept 0-10v speed and 24v Digital inputs (Source type is better). Requires 6DOF extension board.
(AMC1280USB BASIC and DELUXE with Servo Signal Conditioner) Any AC servo driver that can accept -11v to +11v (Uni-directional control, requires Signal Conditioner add on).
As requested here a link to example platform design:
-Some additional rewards will be announced during the campaign if the funding reaches the $10000 that is the minimum requirement for a decent size mini production. The additional rewards will include a set of three or six linear servomotor actuators kit with stroke 400mm and 1kw motors. The kit will come with servo drives and mechanical links so it will easy to mount them and create a motion platform If you already pledged for an existing reward don't worry, you can change your pledge later to the one that include them. See more information here: http://motionsim.blogspot.com/2017/06/new-linear-servomotor-actuator-solution.html
-Other rewards that will be also unlocked if the funding reaches the $10000 goal, are sets of linear actuators with BLDC motors that can work from a set of batteries, that are even more strong and efficient than the AC servomotor actuators mentioned above. I'm in talks with the manufacturer of them to negotiate a very low price for these kits just for this kickstarter campaign. These linear actuators are designed for use especially for motion simulators and you can see some specs below:
1200W BLDC, 3.8NM 3000RPM motor
Adjustable speed by varying pulleys 50/50 default.
10mm Pitch ballscrew
Max 15KG full actuator weight @ 600mm travel.
Includes universal joints.
Construction is Aluminium / Carbon composite
820mm compressed length, 1420mm extended length.
The timeline mentioned above describes the worst case, that includes some unpredictable delays. If everything goes well and this Kickstarter project is funded, the rewards will all be manufactured in August and start shipping out in September. All the production details are already known and set to go as soon the funding is there.
Follow this Project for updates on Twitter or spread the Word now:
Motion Platforms that are supported
Any kind of motion platform and actuator arrangement you can imagine. From 2DOF up to 6DOF (8DOF was made also with 2 additional axis). Here's a break out:
2DOF - combined motion of two actuators for seat motion (example1 and example2)
2DOF - independent 2 axis rotation Roll / Pitch (Joyrider)
Many thanks to the Motion Simulator Software houses for their contributions:
Other supported motion solutions
Risks and challenges
I'm fully committed to this project success. I have a fully functional prototype that has been adequately tested since its creation early 2017. Despite the difficulties when this project started I had always found ways to overcome obstacles and always deliver. In the course I found good partners that I can trust with the production the sourcing of the parts as well for the unparalleled quality. All is already set and standby for production, and the estimates of fulfillment of rewards is as close as realistically can be. If any delays in production are introduced, all the backers will be notified if the delay affects their reward delivery time.
If the Kickstarter campaign fails to get funded, that doesn't mean the whole project will be abandoned. I'll be still be making these motion controllers but unfortunately in smaller quantities, longer lead times and higher price to be able to sustain its development.
Existing AMC1280USB owners can show their appreciation and help the further development of the firmware by pledging this reward. In return they can keep track of the project success and optionally have their names appear on their controllers display in a customized firmware just for them.
Barebones main board of the AMC1280USB controller, with 12-bit analog (0-5v) *see update#2, 12-bit and 8-bit PWM outputs. It can control Clearpath servomotors, DC motors (Sabertooth drivers included) and RC mini servos. Its stripped down of connectors to be added by the users. Offer exclusively for https://www.xsimulator.net/ members
2x Barebone main boards of the AMC1280USB controller, with 12-bit analog (0-5v) *see update#2, 12-bit and 8-bit PWM outputs. It can control Clearpath servomotors, DC motors (Sabertooth drivers included) and RC mini servos. Its stripped down of connectors to be added by the users. Offer exclusively for https://www.xsimulator.net/ members
7 Pieces of Barebones main board of the AMC1280USB controller, with 12-bit analog (0-5v) *see update#2, 12-bit and 8-bit PWM outputs. It can control Clearpath servomotors, DC motors (Sabertooth drivers included) and RC mini servos. Its stripped down of connectors to be added by the users. Offer exclusively for https://www.xsimulator.net/ members