Electric motors are used in a variety of applications, and so they’re usually designed for a specific intended task. Drones usually use brushless DC motors paired with an ESC (electronic speed control) unit. The stepper motors found on most 3D printers move in tiny increments for accurate movement. High-precision machine tools and robots use encoders for micrometer-scale closed-loop positioning.
The obvious downside is that you have to choose which strength to prioritize. The IQ Motor Module is designed to change that by combining all of those capabilities into a single versatile unit. The module is essentially three components that have been merged into a single package: a brushless DC motor, a motor controller, and a position sensor.
There are a number of nice features built-in, such as jitter-free startup, 40ms response time, regenerative and active braking, telemetry feedback, and multiple communication protocol options. The controller is built on a 32-bit 64 MHz Arm Cortex MCU, and has two firmware options. Which firmware you choose will determine how well it’s suited to an application.
The speed firmware is intended for drones and other applications that are dependent on velocity. The position firmware is for precision, and is useful for 3D printers, robots, and machine tools. The firmware can be reflashed at any time by the user, so you can always reuse your IQ Motor Modules.
You can back the Crowd Supply campaign until May 10th, and a single IQ Motor Module will cost you $80, or $305 for a pack of four. Orders will be shipped in September.