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The SlushEngine is an advanced motor driver that works with the Raspberry Pi to move motors with precision, speed, and simplicity.
The SlushEngine is an advanced motor driver that works with the Raspberry Pi to move motors with precision, speed, and simplicity.
The SlushEngine is an advanced motor driver that works with the Raspberry Pi to move motors with precision, speed, and simplicity.
69 backers pledged CA$ 14,646 to help bring this project to life.

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SlushEngine Stepper Motor Driver - by Roboteurs project video thumbnail
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SlushEngine Stepper Motor Driver - by Roboteurs

CA$ 14,646

69

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.

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Update: Stretch Goal Hit!

We hit our Stretch Goal with 48 Hours remaining!

Let's try one more! 

$15,000 (Double our original Goal)

If we hit $15,000 there will be a python based 3D printer example code included in the open source hardware!

Let's Do This!

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Update: Stretch Goal - $13,000

4 more days!

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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 

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 Demonstration on Roboteurs Delta Robot

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

About Roboteurs

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.81

    Permanent Love

    $1 doesn't usually get you much these days, but at Roboteurs, we want to make you feel special. We'll have a page on our website for all of our backers, but give us a dollar and we'll write your name on our office wall in permanent marker and take a photo for you!

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    Pledge CA$ 6 or more About $5

    Stick it!

    Lets face it, Roboteurs has a pretty cool logo. Pledging $10 will get you on our wall of support, plus we'll send you some stickers of our Roboteurs logo! (includes shipping in Canada - international shipping extra)

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    Pledge CA$ 7 or more About $6

    Robot Love (Card)

    $7 will get you on our wall of support, but those extra few dollars will get you a hand written letter saying THANKS!

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    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $32

    Put us on!

    We all know it so let's just get it out there...robots are sexy. So why not wear some sexy with a Roboteurs T-shirt? $40 will get you our exclusive Roboteurs Kickstarter t-shirt and your name on our wall of support! (includes shipping in Canada - international shipping extra)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 80 or more About $65

    SlushEngine: Model X Mini

    Like the SlushEngine, but feel it's a little overkill? We have a simpler version with a single motor driver that will be perfect for you! This pledge includes the first official run of the SlushEngine Mini.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 99 or more About $80

    SlushEngine: Lite

    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. This pledge includes the first official run of the SlushEngine: Lite.

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    Limited 10 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 190 or more About $154

    SlushEngine: Model X (Early Bird)

    Here it is! The full SlushEngine in all its glory. And as an early bird you get it at a special rate. This pledge includes the first official run of the SlushEngine.

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    Limited 23 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 230 or more About $187

    SlushEngine: Model X

    Here it is! The full SlushEngine in all its glory. This pledge includes the first official run of the SlushEngine.

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    0 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 280 or more About $227

    SlushEngine: Model X Basic Kit

    This pledge includes the first official run of the SlushEngine, PLUS you'll get a Raspberry Pi 2 (1 GB).

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 450 or more About $365

    SlushEngine: Model X Supreme Kit

    This pledge includes the first official run of the SlushEngine, PLUS you'll get a Raspberry Pi 2 (512 MB), 4 x NEMA 17 SINGLE SHAFT 60 oz-in stepper motors, and a 24V DC power supply.

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Funding period

- (20 days)