UK-based SB Components has unveiled a new open source digital servo motor family controlled over UART — the solution, it claims, to problems ranging from hardware incompatibility and confusing wiring to a lack of general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins.
"There are a vast variety of motor options available for us in the market but choosing the best for our project can be challenging. Usually, we end up using the analogue servo motors that are easily available in the market," SB Components' Gajender Singh writes. "Sometimes, these analogue motors may or may not support us with the hardware that we are using, which makes them less compatible with all sorts of projects.
"Some of the common problems we face using motors are: Hardware Incompatibility — Bought a motor which cannot be driven using your hardware; Messy/Incorrect Connections — More motors, more wires, more confusion, more mess; Out of GPIOs — Motors consume a lot of pins; Position of Motor Shaft — Unknown state of the motor; No Feedback — Non Responsive motors."
The SB Serial Servo range aims to solve each of these problems. Launching in two variants — the SB-SS023, which offers 2.3kg-cm of torque, and the SB-SS15, which offers 15kg-cm of torque — the servos are controlled over UART up to 1Mb/s and include 0-300 degree angle control at a 0.19-degree resolution and 360-degree cyclic rotation modes plus real-time position, load, temperature, speed, and voltage feedback.
"The idea of SB Serial Servos originated to resolve the mess of wires created while using motors," Singh explains. "With SB Serial Servos, you don't need to remember or note down the pins cause we are only going to use receiving and transmitting pins. The SB Serial Servo gains above-mentioned features with a whole different idea of changing the conventional methods of controlling the servos with the pulses. SB Serial Servos use UART communication protocol. Which means any device with a UART interface can interact with SB Serial Servos."
SB Components has confirmed it will release the SB Serial Servo range under an as-yet unspecified open source license, but the files are not yet available on the company's GitHub repository. Interested parties can back the project on Kickstarter, with rewards starting at £10 (around $13) and shipments expected in March this year.