My name is Oskar Weigl, and I'm the original developer of the ODrive.
I am from Sweden, but I haven't lived in Sweden for the past 7 years.
I did my university in London, where I was heavily involved in the Imperial College Robotics Society. During my time there I worked on all kinds of projects, like this LED screen, this Eurobot robot, and an indoor SLAM quadrotor. Me and a friend also made PiFM which got quite popular back in the day.
The early beginnings of ODrive started with my final year project, which was called Brushless Servo Drive With Energy Storage. Here I made my own motor controller, and explored how regenerative braking could be used to save energy in industrial equipment.
After uni, I worked at a hybrid electric vehicles RnD company called Frazer Nash Research, where I was working on modelling and control of electric motors. One of the projects I particularly liked was when I did the full stack design and implementation of a 7kW motor controller for auxillary vehicle functions, like powering an air conditioning compressor. It was great to get to do all of it, the modelling, PCB, power electronics, software, and testing.
Unsurprisingly, it helped out a lot when I was simultaneously making ODrive v2 in my spare time.
My most recent job has been with the Swiss-Japanese company Rapyuta Robotics (and yes I did get the opportunity to work both in Zurich and Tokyo ). They are a cloud robotics start-up, that aims to make robots more intelligent and more useful by connecting them to the internet and specifically to cloud services. Additional to the cloud platform, they have a product that is a fully autonomous camera drone, the purpose of which is to demonstrate the cloud features.
My work was focused on this drone product, and with it I have been working of a multitude of different robotics problems. Some of them were:
- Model based design tools for identifying system parameters and optimising control systems.
- Embedded control and estimation software that forms the drone autopilot.
- Tools to automatically generate embedded firmware code that implements Extended Kalman Filter state estimators from a specification in mathematical symbolic form.
- Sensor characterisation and analysis to tune the autopilot state estimator.
- Design and implementation of a camera gimbal controller.
Working at Rapyuta was really fun and interesting. However, since they were a start-up, and like in most startups, the early employees work really hard to ensure the success of the company, it meant that I had very little time to keep working on ODrive in my spare time. With all of the very encouraging feedback from the community, I finally decided to quit and pursue ODrive full time!
So that's what I'm very excited to be doing: to vastly accelerate the development rate of ODrive, and build a community around it. I want to get ODrive into the hands of people building real projects, listen to their feedback, and keep building a great product!
With that I would like to thank everyone for the very encouraging support and both constructive and positive feedback I have received. Without you this would not be possible!