[Josh] over at mjbots just released a new version of the moteus controller board, dubbed the moteus-n1. One change is that the volume and footprint size has been reduced. Considering many people, [Josh] included, use these controllers to operate robotic dogs, smaller is better. The previous moteus controller maxed out at 44 V, but the n1 can run at up to 54 V, allowing use of 48 V power supplies. And [Josh] improved the interface circuitry, making it much more flexible than before. This comes at an increased price, but he sells both versions — parts availability permitting. And like the previous versions of the moteus controller, this is an open source project and you’re free to build it yourself. You can check out the complete design package at the project’s GitHub repository.
One helpful point is that the firmware for the n1 is the same, it simply enables new features related to the I/O ports. This means a user could swap in a new controller with no impact to their system. Maintaining firmware compatibility was just one of the challenges [Josh] faced along the way. Squeezing additional functionality into the small number of user-exposed I/O pins was a chore, but dealing with supply chain issues was a big headache:
…make a revision that leveraged the parts I had, along with ensuring that the parts I needed were achievable to purchase in a reasonable time frame. Some parts orders for this batch were placed nearly a year ago.
Check out moteus if you need a brushless servo controller. We covered the previous major upgrade last year, which was primarily firmware and interface focused.
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Author Of this post: Chris Lott