With all the hardware and software required to operate a robot on a single 35x70mm PCB; the 3DoT is the brain, power, and the controller of any robot. Plug in motors, fire up the app, and you’re ready to go.
The 3DoT is supported by an extensive, easy-to-use Arduino library to allow the development of custom software, and the ArxRobot App to control your robot via Bluetooth. Even better, the Arxterra Control Panel that allows you to control your robot, remotely, from anywhere in the world, with high definition video and audio feed.
For more specialized purposes, Expansion Shields can be purchased, or, for the more hardware-savvy, designed from open source templates.
The 3DoT was designed with 3D printed robots in mind – from the small form factor to keep print times minimal, to easy USB charging. I can’t wait to see what you create!
The 3DoT was made as we were developing a suite of 3D printed robots, and realized that each time, we had to leave a ton of space for a large, ugly wiring mess.
What followed was years of perfecting a system suitable for every robot.
This also gave us the chance to try various PCB manufacturers, component soldering profiles, suppliers and constantly test-run the board with friends and colleagues.
One of the biggest limitations faced was the fact that we purposely limited ourselves to using a single cell LiPo Battery, mountable on the board. RCR123A batteries were soon chosen to be the form-factor of choice, since the battery holders suit the board perfectly. The only issue with using a battery this small, is that large current spikes can cause an instant voltage drop, causing brown-outs that will mess with the microcontroller, motor driver and other components.
The biggest breakthrough we had trying to solve this issue was to use an adjustable constant-current limit power switch, with a digital potentiometer connected to the ILIM to be able to program the current limit, on the fly.
This current limit is set to a value by default that should allow the 3DoT to work with any 2 motor, 2 servo robot, but can be set in the app, or through the Arduino library to match different robots.
This, combined with the 5V and 3.3V power system I have spent many hours debugging and perfecting, I think we have a super solid robot system.
Other options included using an inductor or NTC thermistor to simply filter out current spikes, but this was deemed to be impractical by simulation.
Most of the first prototypes were produced in-house using our own pick and place machine and IR oven. This allowed us to quickly assemble prototypes, fulfill beta test orders and should be able to keep doing so in future!
I will be adding more to this section in future, but hope you have enjoyed reading so far!