ODrive: High performance servomotor controller

I thought you guys might be interested in my project called Odrive. It is an open source 2-axis brushless servomotor controller, meant to be used with cheap hobby motors.
Let me know if you are interested in development, or want to get your hands on some early hardware.

Click gif for full video:
Servo motor control demo


I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.


What are you using for encoders to tell where your servos are? That’s a really neat idea.

On one project I use these and on the project in the video I attached I used these mounted on the opposite site to the motor.

Rotary encoders work well for machines with drive screws or something similar. It wouldn’t catch missed steps on a belt system like the X-Carve, for that you need to place linear encoders on the frame.

Do you mean jumped belt teeth? These motors don’t have steps.

Yes, jumped belt teeth.

Yep, you’re right, the encoders won’t help with that (:

Cool, I was expecting linear encoders, for the reason Bill mentioned, slipped belt teeth. This would still work just fine, just need to go to a stronger belt solution with more aggressive teeth to reduce the chance of slipping them.

Hey everyone,
There is now an update about board availability and the roadmap for the ODrive features on the project page.
If you are interested in getting an ODrive board, you should check it out.

The time has finally come for the first manufacturing run of ODrive v3.1. They are now on the way, and should arrive early to mid January.

At this stage, around 20 board kits are going out the people who signed up to the “Inital development” phase. They have not been all allocated yet, you can signup here: Link

Since the boars are going out to just a small group of early developers, I will have the time to personally get you up to speed with the codebase and help to get going with the hardware. Then, together, we can prepare some stuff that is a bit more stable and a bit more documented for when the alpha testing begins.

The cost for me to get this small batch of boards manufactured was $96 per board, so that is the amount I need to ask for a kit, plus shipping.

The kit involves basically everything seen in the above picture, and consists of:

  • ODrive v3.1
  • USB Programmer
  • A set of the optional large gauge wire screw terminals
  • A set of pin headers
  • Some nylon standoffs

I hope that ODrive will be able to help you make an awesome robotics project, thank you so much for your contribution to helping people have access to open robotics hardware and software.

When I got the batch manufactured, I asked CircuitHub to take a video, and here it is!
Industrial pick and place machines are so sexy! Hopefully ODrive will enable inexpensive machines that go this fast ;D

Video link!

Also some photos:

Odrive - Oface :open_mouth:

Hey guys, the v3.1 boards have come back from the factory, check it out!

I have some more pictures here: link

Same question!

So the motors I used in the demo video in my original post were 13 USD each.

To check the kinds of speeds and accelerations you can get, I would recommend that you play with this spreadsheet I made to help people pick appropriate motors for their projects. You can also read this post where I wrote about some of the hobby motors.

To really show the difference, I also made this plot to show how brush-less hobby motors compare to steppers and commercial servo drives in terms of power and cost:


I am excited to let you know that the time has finally come for the alpha stage of the ODrive project!

Alpha release

This consists of two components, the alpha software release and the manufacturing run for ODrive v3.2.
The alpha release will include all the core features of the board, and allow go-to commands sent over USB, as well as step/direction interfacing. You can check which features will be included in the release on the roadmap.

ODrive v3.2

The new design is ready, and can be reviewed on github. The design will go to production on Monday the 17th of April, and you can get in on the production run here.

More info

If you want to read more about it, you can check out the blog post.

Just wanted to let you guys know that there is an ODrive community getting started over at https://discourse.odriverobotics.com, with some discussion that you might find interesting.