The simplest stepper motor driver you'll ever need
Do you have a complex robot or automated project that you just aren't getting done? Looking for a motor driver that's simple to set up and easy to use?
We've developed the SlushEngine which is a smart stepper motor driver that works with the Raspberry Pi and many other devices (ie. Beaglebone and Arduino). By connecting the Raspberry Pi to a network of motor drivers, we can control the motors in realtime without overloading the Raspberry Pi.
Update: Stretch Goal Hit!
We hit our Stretch Goal with 48 Hours remaining!
Let's try one more!
$15,000 (Double our original Goal)
Let's Do This!
Update: Stretch Goal - $13,000
4 more days!
Update: New Pledge! - SlushEngine Lite - $99 (only 50)
The Kickstarter has been going great but we've been getting a lot of request for something at a lower cost but still has 4 motor drivers.
So, by popular demand! The SlushEngine: Lite is a new pledge and a lighter version of the Model X. It's meant for smaller stepper motors and lower current levels. It is designed to handle most DIY 3D printer systems and small scale stepper CNC machines.
SlushEngine: Lite technical specifications
- Controls up to 4 bipolar stepper motors
- Max 3.5A
- 1-128 micro stepping capabilities
- Integrated motion engine
- 4 limit swith headers
- 16 logic level general purpose inputs and output headers
- UEXT expansion connector
- Raspberry Pi fused power supply
SlushEngine: Model X
- Uses a simple Python library
- Compatible with a large number of stepper motors
- Additional features to support your robotic and automation projects
Programming the SlushEngine
The original idea of the SlushEngine was to keep it simple. We wanted it to be as easy as possible to program the board. One of the simplest and most powerful programming languages is Python. It's difficult or impossible to have Python run on standard microcontrollers, so we used the Raspberry Pi to execute the Python code and communicate with the smart motor drivers on the SlushEngine.
We can now program the SlushEngine in 3 simple lines of code.
The above sample is the simplest implementation of the SlushEngine driver. It sets up a motor with a default configuration, then moves backwards 400 steps. When it moves the motor, it also incorporates an acceleration and deceleration curve, to ensure smooth operations.
SlushEngine: Model X technical specifications
- Controls up to 4 bi-polar stepper motors
- Max 7A / motor
- 9-35 V DC operating range
- 1-128 microstepping capabilities
- Integrated motion engine in stepper driver
- 4 limit switch inputs
- 4 general purpose industrial inputs
- 4 general purpose industrial outputs (3A / 24V)
- 8 additional logic level I/O
- Thermistor temperature sensing
- UEXT expansion connector
- Raspberry Pi fused power source
Demonstration of the SlushEngine's Motor Control
SlushEngine: Model X Mini (@ Pledge $80)
The SlushEngine: Model X Mini is a basic version that is just meant to get one motor spinning. It works under the same libraries as the Model X, and can be a handy little board for different projects.
SlushEngine Open Source
We want the SlushEngine to be a continuous project, and to do this we need strong feedback from the community. The best way to get this is to make the entire project Open Source. Once the Kickstarter has been completed, all hardware design and software files will be released as a Git repository to the public. So if you want to implement the SlushEngine software or hardware in your own project you can. Backers will get early access to this repository. This repository will include:
- KiCad board design and schematic files
- SlushEngine Python and C++ drivers
- Examples including G code interpreter, basic movement, delta robot controller, and IoT connected examples
Roboteurs is an Ontario based company focused on the needs of education based robotics for students at all levels of learning. Currently the company has in its pipeline products for high school level students, as well as advanced robotics for University and College level students. Roboteurs is proudly Canadian and looks to grow the education based robotics field globally one robot at a time.The company is always looking for new ways to improve their products, and to teach students the exciting field of robots!
Risks and challenges
Like any Kickstarter project, there are some key challenges and risks in developing our product. These predominately include:
LOGISTICS IN PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY
A lot of Kickstarter campaigns find it difficult to get their hardware into mass production. This includes issues finding partnering companies to help manufacture key components. We think these issues are important, which is why we’ve created relationships with local manufacturing companies to help with scaling our production. It’s just a matter of obtaining the resources and funds to move forward. Also shipping in and outside of Canada is notoriously expensive, but we've been looking at solutions that are the best price for you and cost effective for us.
ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
It’s unlikely that the first time you do something it turns out to be great. That’s why the SlushEnginer has gone through a number of generations, and it’s only with this current one that we felt comfortable sharing it with the Kickstarter community. We feel that this design is ready for a multiple production round, but adjustments may need to be made for optimal performance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)