Project image
pledged of CHF 75,000pledged of CHF 75,000 goal
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 31 2016 11:01 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 3, 2017


The world's first fully integrated Servo drive with inbuilt Webserver.


The world's first fully integrated Servo drive with inbuilt Webserver.

pledged of CHF 75,000pledged of CHF 75,000 goal
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 31 2016 11:01 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 3, 2017

What is a prototype?

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.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Project supporting material callout image

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.



The HDrive is an easy to use Internet of Things (IoT) enabled servo drive. Both for the inexperienced and for professionals, the HDrive offers a quick and simple start as well as a deeply configurable control system. Thus, you can motorize all your applications smoothly and reliably. Closed loop position control, super-fast communication and fantastic low-speed characteristics will make this motor your best friend.  

comparison chart
comparison chart

We have participated and won the first stage at venture kick, a swiss venture institute - "science to market".


The current state of motor control

Anyone who has ever had to control a motor knows how much work goes into developing the correct hardware and software. They’ve experienced firsthand the almost endless amount of time it takes to realize even simple movement patterns with acceleration and deceleration ramps.

The industry offers a few approaches to reduce this work load, but sadly most of these still require a very specific and time intense configuration. Complex protocols, industrial interfaces with external interface converters, driver installation or getting to know the SPS development environment of a specific supplier often make the fast or easy operation of a motor impossible.

conventional Servo Motors
conventional Servo Motors
HDrive approach
HDrive approach

What makes the Hdrive unique?

The time savings achieved by eliminating device drivers and configuration programs streamlines application development substantially. Especially in the field of research and development, or in an educational environment, application development time can be noticeably reduced. The only thing required for motor configuration is a web browser. Whether you decide to use a PC, a tablet or even a smartphone; if it has a web browser, you can control the HDrive! Set two positions – Assign them to two buttons – Done!

Unlike current servo drives Henschel Robotics doesn’t force you to use complicated and cumbersome control sequences to control movement. One simple and understandable command is all it takes to move an HDrive:

This command sets the motors new target position to 20.2°. Many programming languages enable sending such text commands with just a few lines of code. This easy to use interface makes programming even complex movement patterns a breeze.


The integrated web server provides full access to the motor, and lets you specify your desired position, speed and torque. With the live visualization you get instant feedback on what’s happening.

HDrive Webinterface
HDrive Webinterface


Configure customizable motor target positions via the web interface. Access these positions later on with your mobile phone to add easy remote control functionality to your application.

If your application demands a more sophisticated control scheme, you can control the motor with just a few lines of code. Only three lines of Mathworks’ MATLAB code are needed to control the HDrive.

The HDrive includes a full featured motion planner with an integrated webserver. Skip right to application development and don’t waste your time with wiring, device drivers, cable adapters or software development. These calculations run directly on the HDrive, so you won’t be wasting processing power on motor control algorithms.

Quickly and easily replace the motors used in your 3D-Printer. The configurable Step/Dir interface and the closed loop position control will increase the performance of your printer. The Step/Dir interface is ideal for any application controlled by an Arduino, or other microcontroller.

HDrive 17-ETH
HDrive 17-ETH

The HDrive has been in development for four years, and in this time we’ve evaluated many communication interfaces and hardware parts, to bring you the best user experience you’ve ever had with a servo drive.


Motor Control circuit
Motor Control circuit

To get the most out of the motor, we’ve implemented a field oriented control. This control system is constantly checking which coil need to be magnetized with respect to the motor position. It works like a mechanical commutator for a DC-Motor, but instead of brushes we use programmed logic.

This manner of control lets us spin the motor with up to 10’000 RPM in laboratory conditions. We’re limiting the controller to half of that speed, to make sure we don’t harm the motor bearings.

Position Control

The HDrive includes multiple control algorithms. We are using a PI Current Control, PI speed Control and a PID Position controller. The following example shows how fast the motor exactly reaches a final position. The green line is the Target position, the blue one show the actual HDrive Position. This example also shows the very short system latency over a 100Mbps Ethernet Network of about 10ms.

Position control Chart
Position control Chart

To get a good position accuracy you need a good position sensor. That for we are using a 14Bit Magnetfield sensor from Austria Microsystems. We also have good contacts in this company and are working close to get everything out of the sensor. To reach our motor performance we have developed a calibration procedure to increase the system accuracy to +/- 0.2° at 1 Sigma standart deviation.

Sensor Feedback

To establish the Position control, we used a 14 Magnet field sensor in the center of our electronics. A diametric magnetized magnet attached to the rotor is continuously measured by this sensor. Thus, the Motor knows its position exactly. The encoder is measuring absolute to 360° after that it counts relative up to 32 Million turns.

Code Examples

Ethernet Communication

To get the most out of your application, you can control the HDrive with XML formatted text transmitted over TCP. 

The easiest way would be to open a terminal program like telnet, connect to the motor IP and port and write:  

<system position=”500″ speed=”100″ torque=”50″ Acc="100" Decc="100" mode="129" />  

This commands the Motor to reach 50.0° with a max speed of 100 RPM with a torque of 50 mNm and an acceleration and deceleration of 100 RPM/s^2. 

This commands are transferred over TCP and can be send 500 times a second.  

The Motor it self is also sending tickets continuously. If the UDP Protocol is chosen you can receive them with up to 1 KHz on TCP 500 Hz. With a prescaler you can limit this traffic as you wish. The Ticket contains the current position, speed, torque, mode, the states of the digital I/O's and the Microprocessor ticks in miliseconds.

Matlab Code Example
Matlab Code Example
C# Code Example
C# Code Example
Python Example:
import socket
with socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM) as s:
s.connect(('' , 1000))  
s.sendall(b'<system pos=\"0\" speed=\"400\" current=\"40\" acc=\"500\" decc=\"400\" mode=\"129\" out1=\"0\" out2=\"0\" />')  

Step/Dir Interface

Whether you’re using an Arduino, the MBed platform, or any other microcontroller, the Step/Dir interface is the way to go. Use a PWM signal to generate steps, and a digital out pin to specify the desired direction. It’s that easy.


  • Voltage: 12-24V / max. 2A
  • Stall Torque: 0.4Nm
  • Maximum Speed: 5000 RPM
  • Accuracy +/- 0.2° (1 Sigma)
  • Outside Dimensions: 42 X 42 X 80 mm


Using the HDrive we’ve developed many prototypes and products. For example, we built a 5 degrees of freedom robot arm, used to copy in real time whatever you’re drawing on a Wacom tablet.

5 DOF robot "woody"
5 DOF robot "woody"

If you back us, you can get full access to the detailed drawings of the robot, and build your own! You’ll need 4 Hdrive17-ETH and one HDrive17-ETH-GP14 (the geared version of our motor, for extra strength). Let us know if you require the geared version!

If we are successful funded we will also make the kinematic calculations and control algorithms for the robot public, so you can get your robot running in no time!

We built this robot to show the performance as well as synchronization capabilities of our motors.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
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The 5-DOF robot requires some experience in machining parts. Most parts are designed to be laser cut, some must be 3D printed and one part must be lathed.

The shaft at the first axis is pressed between two cone bearing
The shaft at the first axis is pressed between two cone bearing

We’ve also built other applications like a home made 3D scanner: 

Self balancing robot

This Demo shows a self-balancing, two wheeled robot reduced to the bare minimum. The assembly only contains a piece of wood, two Henschel-Robotics HDrive17-ETH, my IPhone and a Wi-Fi router.
The motors are connected to this router and controlled from my PC running a few lines of Matlab code. The motor is running in torque mode, for the IMU sensor data of my IPhone I´m using the app "Sensor Data Streamer" and the speed datas are coming from the motor. Thats all. 

Christmas Time:

Why Kickstarter

We need you. Not just your financial backing, so we can industrialize the manufacturing, but also your feedback and support. By getting our motors into the hands of capable makers around the world, and seeing what you do with them, we’ll be able to expand and improve upon the already great design of the HDrive.

With your financial support, we’ll industrialize the HDrive, so that it can be sold for a market price of 350$. This entails optimizing the electronics to reduce their costs, developing a new metal case, implementing quality control as well as setting up a reliable supply chain. 

Currently each motor is handmade, which is why production is slow, and costs are high.

motor case variants
motor case variants

We’ve built many prototypes of the electronic boards to test for functionality and reliability. We will also include thermal observations to further improve and to validate our design.

first prototype batch
first prototype batch

The Team

Chris and René
Chris and René
René and Chris are working as a great team in many national and international projects as researcher in the field of electronics and mechatronics.

Please also follow us on

Risks and challenges

During the last years we discovered manufacturers in Switzerland, Germany and China for the PCB manufacturing and testing.
For larger batches we’ll have to develop test equipment to semi automate the quality checking process.

During the campaign we will invest time to optimize the PCB design in terms of price and quality. By buying many motors at once, we’ll be able to benefit from quantity discounts, leading to lower motor price for us, but more importantly, for you too.

We are still looking for an inexpensive solution to manufacture the hull with a die cast process or similar. If we cannot find anything we have a fallback in our local machine shop to machine the cases with the 5 axis milling machine.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Funding period

- (40 days)

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