Untitled Hoverboard Project


Skip to comments

User-inserted image

As promised I've started a separate thread on this. I had mentioned over at my Alan thread that I was thinking about using hoverboard motors for a rolling base for the full bodies of Alan and Alena. These motors are super cheap at about $25 a piece on ebay. They are 3 phase just like the 3 phase hobby motors for cars and planes. So there should be driver support for them.....well yes and kinda no.

I have been watching a motor controller called the ODrive. Its all open source (hardware and software) and its a dual motor driver. I posted a video of these motors on a grocery cart driving around using hoverboard motors. So I bought an Odrive. I ended up buying a whole hoverboard so I could use the charger, battery and some of the connectors. This one came from Frys and cost $100. Its good upto 265 pounds.

Well now the bad. The ODrive is still a work in progress and not too intuitive. But they have a good write up on how to set them up with the hall effects encoders. All went well until I tried to save out to the board. Over and over again i could not get it to work right. I posted on the forums and got no reply back as to what the issue could be. So after days I began looking for another solution. 

I found a great source in china that is making opensource stuff for skate boards. The got 2 single motor drivers. Each one has a standard servo connector and i can use two of them for mixed mode (tank mode). Each board costs $85. So its a bit more than the ODrive ($150 with shipping for the 48 volt ver.)

The name of the board is the FSESC 4.12 50A Based on VESC 4.12 from Flipsky ESC.  And can be found here: Flipsky ESC

This controller can be completely programmed with their really great software..automatically figures out all the poles for the phases. Set up the frequency for the pwm and even have shut offs for voltage mins etc. They have a good youtube channel with vids on how to set up everything.

I have the video of the break down of the hoverboard done. As soon as I get these control boards I will be doing tests with the ezb to control them. Then I'll put together a final video and post here.

By — Last update
— Updated
I managed to inch my way along. The whistling is gone now as I set the phases again. Each time it sounds better. The hall sensors are now working.  And I have the other wheel working. I think the jerking movement is caused by not having wide enough dead band at stop. If it’s too narrow it wants to float in there. I’ve found speed control and ramps. Easy to adjust.

I have a new issue that wheels will get lost in their signal and jerk crazy, but only sometimes. If I reset and use the signal positions with the rc controller it doesn’t seem to happen.

Here is a video of both working in mixed mode ( tank mode) at different speeds using the built in joystick in mobile interface.  Still jerky between direction changes but pretty sure it’s that dead band size. ( this is at 50% speed setting).

I need to know the exact max (180) min (1) and stop (90) in hertz frequency for the EZB anyone know? And what is the range for the wi-fi?

— Updated
Well i made a quick garbage bot with stuff laying around in the garage. "I shall call you shelf bot";). Basically a shelf from a cabinet and mounted some castors for test. More tuning needed for sure but wanted to get a vehicle for tuning and testing. Took a whole 30 minutes to assemble....problem now...forgot to charge the battery..so must wait for a few hours to charge..I'll post up a video later when its moving.

User-inserted image
As Promised the video of the break down of the hoverboard.

— Updated
...ok so what ya get when you combine the following...a camera in one hand....a joystick pad on mobile interface in the other...beer and a mad demon robot?

I'll tell you...near disaster !!xD  Impossible to run all those things together in my brain!!! My garage fridge got a dent in it! 

I have this thing dialed in perfect...just need a safer speed. This is still at 50% I think 2% would be safe for a robot in your house (maybe less than 1%?).
Remember that most robots are going to be controlled with PID so you can control speed and direction with sensors etc. This is just connected to a virtual joystick in Synthiam.