Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New mindsensors.com GlideWheel-M

Xander Soldaat has been testing one of the next products from mindsensors.com. It is an encoder sensor or motor controller that allows to precisely control the position of your LEGO motors - the GlideWheel-M.



According to the pre-release information available from mindsensors.com, there will be three versions available of this:
  • One model will allow to connect PF motors to NXT motor port.
    The encoder support enables precise control (1 degree precision).
  • Second model will be similar to the first one, but for use with old RCX motors.
  • Third model will be a digital angle sensor, to measure angles with 1 degree precision.

The first version which has been tested by Xander, can connect to a PF XL-motor as seen on the videos below. From the axle-holes present in sensor, it seems specific for utilization with the XL-motor and not compatible with other motors like the M-motor!?
Still I wonder why it got named with an '-M' suffix.

The sensor has two tethered connectors. One PF cable that delivers power and control to the motor, and another cable with an NXT plug that allows you to control the PF motor position from the NXT.
Also It has one single unit thick (1L) for easier integration with everyone's MOCs.



As one can see from Xander's tests above, this sensor is very accurate (at least as accurate as the NXT motors) and easy to control.
On the left we have a short video to see generally how it works and on the right a concrete use case where it is applied to a Pan & Tilt rig. It turns evident how smooth and precise the GlideWheel-M, can control the PF XL-motor.

It comes in the moment where we are also about to get a PF-Servo motor from LEGO. Apart the obvious difference from the native NXT integration, soon we will see also how these new products compare and complement each other.

8 comments:

kABUSE said...

i dont get it. so do you attach a PF battery box to it or does it get the power from the NXT?

santi said...

This is awesome! And basically amounts to have the "mini-NXT" motor I (unsuccessfully :)) proposed in Cuusoo: http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/575

Fernando Correia said...

@kABUSE

As far as I've understood it, power comes from NXT like it is the case for NXT motors.

kABUSE said...

@Fernando:
if thats the case then i dont see how this is useful.

it needs 1 motor slot and it takes the power from the NXT and it will probably cost around $30 so why not just using a normal NXT motor instead?

if this would make it possible to easily connect many PF motors + battery boxes directly to the NXT then i would definetly buy it because the PF mate is really annoying to handle.

Fernando Correia said...

@kABUSE

I've learned meanwhile that the GlideWheel can also be used with othe LPF motors.
Thus the advantage I see is the possibility to use motors with different form factors and sizes as servos, in your contraptions.
We all know the NXT motor is quite difficult to use in some situations, due to its form factor.

kABUSE said...

well i have to admit that i have never been stuck in a situation where i needed both: a small motor and accuracy.

Radu Margarint said...

I can think of lots reasons. Eg, turning a distance sensor. Wherever you need accuracy but don't need power and don't want to use the giant bricks that the nxt motors are.

Radu Margarint said...

Any idea when the release date is?

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