Industrial Automation Alternatives


Getting set to incorporate some ODrives into a prototype robotics exercise for work (See Background below).
Part of the exercise involves planning out how to translate and scale up certain design elements of the prototype to something marketable; eg. how much work it will be to port the embedded arduino controller firmware over to a better MCU and sourcing suitable off-the-shelf Brushless Servo Controllers that fit within our budget and design constraints.

I’m new to robotics in an industrial setting (and in general too) but I didn’t think I’d run into so much trouble sourcing off-the-shelf BLDC Drivers…

Can anyone in-the-know help point me towards a typical setup for Brushless Servo Control for, say, an industrial automation setting. In other words: What is an accepted industry alternative to the ODrive??

So far the top links for Brushless Servo Control yield:

  2. Some other providers cloaked beneath industry fog
  3. and ODrive funny enough

The first link almost provides what I’m looking for but I guess I’m just a bit confused why I can’t find a straightforward solution to this problem. Would appreciate any pointers for incorporating Brushless Servos into industry products…


Background: We are planning to drive 3 ~direct-drive BLDCs at very low RPM from our own embedded controller on an MCU in response to dynamic disturbances fed back from some sensors (IMU etc.)- think something similar to a 3DOF camera gimbal. We would like to output control signals that drive motor torque, and receive high resolution feedback about the current motor shaft position and ideally handle all I/O from an embedded MCU rather than a PLC or PC/SBC.

From my experience, most of industry focused industrial automation is hard to get details about. By and large they want to connect you to a salesperson who will then pretty much ignore you when they find out you’re not spending a six-figure budget.

A couple of more useful links are

See Ingenia. They’ve got a similar offering to what the ODrive does, but are the type of place that will want you to talk to a salesperson in order to purchase anything.

Search for nanotec, they also have very small drives with ethercat available.

Also this one is pretty interesting

Yeah that’s what it seems like - I’ve just started an email thread with a couple applications/sales engineers at Teknic and Motion Control Products. I’ll see what comes of it and post findings.