The ServoCenter™ family of embedded servo controllers allows RC servo motor control from any USB, serial RS-232, MIDI-capable device. ServoCenter™ is also available in DIP and TQFP chip packages. The ServoCenter™ 4.1 Sequencer allows complex tasks to be programmed via a script sequencer in addition to other programming options that are standard in the ServoCenter products.
ServoCenter™ allows amazing and unsurpassed control of the seek position and seek speed of up to sixteen connected servos — independently and simultaneously, with simple, logical commands.
Up to 16 (32 for MIDI version) ServoCenters™ may be chained together to control up to 256 RC servos (512 for MIDI version), with completely independent movement, from only one serial, USB, or MIDI port! Independent control allows you to move one servo to a position slowly, while another is moving to a different position at a faster speed, and group moves allow you to synchronize multiple servos easily.
ServoCenter™ controllers are especially useful for applications such as robotics, animatronics, motion control, automation, retail displays, and other areas where independent and coordinated fluid servo motion is desired.
ServoCenter™ can be programmed using a simple raw packet protocol or using the included ActiveX control or Win32 DLL. Sample programs illustrating all programming methods are included in the documentation and examples CD. The ServoCenter™ Command Protocol allows complex servo movement commands to be issued by constructing and transmitting simple command packets. Code examples are included for:
GCC/Linux, QBASIC, TurboC, Python, C#, Visual Basic.NET, Visual Basic 6.0, C#.NET, Visual C++.NET, and Visual C++ 6.0.
ServoCenter™ servo controllers may be purchased as individual servo controller boards, DIP or TQFP chips, or in complete packages. All prices shown are USD.
|Version||4.1 USB||4.1 USB MINI||MIDI||3.1 Serial||3.1 Chip|
|Board Only*||$77.00||$75.00||$81.00||DIP $17.90||TQFP $17.90|
* Board Only Contents: ServoCenter controller only. All manuals, programming guides, programming examples, drivers, and programming components available for download at no cost. No cable or power supply included.
** Full Package Contents: ServoCenter controller, plus cable (USB, Mini USB, MIDI or Serial) and power supply. All manuals, programming guides, programming examples, drivers, and programming components provided on CD.
Sequencer / SC-BASIC Language Interpreter
The ServoCenter™ 4.1 controller provides a built-in Sequencer / BASIC Interpreter called SC-BASIC which allows the sequencer to run independently on the board itself. Sequencer programs are stored in non-volatile EEPROM memory that retains the program even when the unit is reset or powered off, eliminating the need for a PC or other external command device.
The SC-BASIC language was designed for the ServoCenter 4.1 servo controller as a simple, easy-to-learn language, with a syntax familiar to users of other flavors of BASIC (such as QBASIC and Visual Basic) with built-in functions specifically suited to ServoCenter.
Downloads and Documentation
A library of ServoCenter™ documentation, including manuals, protocols, schematics, drivers, application notes, source code, DLL programming, ActiveX control, direct serial I/O, firmware updater, control panel utility, sequencer, and other tools.
The ServoCenter Family
All ServoCenter™ boards feature 16 servo channels per board, and allow independent and simultaneous control of each servo’s position, speed, and seek-time. Both USB and Serial boards allow chaining of up to 16 boards for a total of 256 servos controlled via one USB or serial port. MIDI boards allow chaining of up to 32 boards for a total of 512 servos controlled via one MIDI out port. ActiveX and Win32 DLLs allow for rapid, powerful program development, creating complex control applications easily. A simple yet robust serial protocol supports both ASCII and binary protocol modes.
On-board pads allow for external power or battery power, and all boards provide over-current and over-temperature protection. An on-board regulator supports both 4.8V/6.0V servo supply voltages. All boards feature a power switch and reset button.
ServoCenter 4.1 USB and 4.1 MINI
ServoCenter™ 4.1 USB and 4.1 MINI models provide a virtual COM port, allowing simple USB communication. By daisy-chaining USB boards, you can also make use of up to 256 servo control channels, 256 digital I/O channels, and 128 analog inputs. USB drivers are compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Up to 64 scene presets can be stored and loaded instantly, or cross-faded for smooth transitions. A built-in configurable smoothing algorithm provides for more natural movement. Scaled and percentage motion commands allow for max, min, and startup position for motion programming and complex calibration. The addition of absolute, timed, relative, and percentage position commands allow great flexibility. Servo group movement commands are available, as well as servo inversion and servo enable/disable commands.
Status LEDs provide feedback and troubleshooting assistance with 1 power LED and 2 flexible status LEDs. Digital I/O channels have configurable internal pull-up resistors, and provide power supply pins for connection to external digital I/O modules. Analog Input channels provide power supply pins for connection to external analog input modules, and can be read in either 8-bit or 10-bit resolutions.
ServoCenter™ MIDI allows MIDI continuous controller messages to directly control standard RC servos. ServoCenter™ MIDI is designed to be easily configured by anyone familiar with MIDI. By allowing MIDI continuous controller messages to control servos, ServoCenter™ MIDI opens up countless performance and sequencing options for musicians or special effects/ animatronics technicians. ServoCenter™ MIDI allows any device with a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) OUT port to control standard RC servo motors.
With full 14-bit resolution, ServoCenter™ MIDI allows for 16,384 servo positions. MIDI Continuous Controller messages control each servo position as well as on/off. By using ServoCenter™ with a MIDI sequencer, you can have an instant motion control solution that allows accurate and repeatable recording and playback of servo motions. MIDI IN and MIDI THRU ports allow the daisy-chaining of multiple ServoCenter™ boards as well as other MIDI devices.
ServoCenter™ MIDI is especially useful for servo control applications where MIDI music messages are to be coordinated with fluid servo motion. The broad range of MIDI sequencer software and MIDI controller devices make creating and storing servo motor motion performances easy for non-programmers. This opens up many opportunities for multimedia displays, interactive performance art, kinetic sculptures, and more.
By using the simple MIDI protocol, ServoCenter™ makes motor control easy for non-programmers. MIDI channel settings are switch-selectable, and the data format is the MIDI standard interface running at 31.25 kbps. MIDI manufacturer ID number: 00H 01H 56H.
ServoCenter™ 3.1 CHIP
ServoCenter™ 3.1 CHIP models are available in DIP and TQFP packages, and are fully functional servo controller integrated circuits. The ServoCenter™ Protocol allows very complex servo commands with simple command packets. Comprehensive documentation, sample schematics, and programming examples get you started quickly, receiving command packets from any serial-capable device, including (with support circuitry) a personal computer or microcontroller. The data format is 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit. The baud rate is selectable (9600, 14400, 19200, or 38400 bps), and 16 unique board identification numbers are possible.
|Feature Comparison||USB 4.1||USB-MINI||MIDI||Serial|
|Board only price||$75.00||$73.00||$79.00||$67.00|
|Board with cable, power supply & CD||$85.00||$84.00||$90.00||$78.00|
|Servo channels individually configurable as extra digital outputs||YES||YES||—||—|
|16 dedicated digital I/O channels, individually configurable||YES||YES||—||—|
|8 dedicated analog input channels||YES||YES||—||—|
|Preset storage capability||64 presets for servo position & digital I/O||64 presets for servo position & digital I/O||—||—|
|Configuration information saved even when powered off||YES||YES||—||—|
|Watchdog timer for failsafe operation||YES||YES|
|Max servo pulse resolution||0.05425 uS||0.05425 uS|
|Pulse output rate||20 ms||20 ms|
|Pulse width range||10-2390 uS||10-2390 uS|
|User upgradeable firmware; download new features||YES||YES||—||—|
|Bootloader allows users to create and upload their own firmware||YES||YES||—||—|
|Baud rates supported||9600, 38400, 57600, 115200 bps||9600, 38400, 57600, 115200 bps||9600, 14400, 19200, 38400 bps|
|Connectors||USB type B, male and female DB9 serial||USB 5-pin Mini type B, 3-pin serial||Male and female DB9 serial|
|Communication supported||USB, RS-232 serial, TTL logic-level serial||USB, RS-232 serial, TTL logic-level serial||MIDI||RS-232|
|Data Format||—||—||MIDI standard at 31.25 kbps||8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit|
|USB 4.1||USB-MINI||Serial 3.1||MIDI 1.2||DIP Chip||TQFP Chip|
|Length||3.775″ (9.6 cm)||2.945″ (7.48 cm)||3.375″ (8.5 cm)||3.375″ (8.5 cm)||0.61″ (1.55 cm)||0.463″ (1.175 cm)|
|Width||3.55″ (9.0 cm)||1.7″ (4.32 cm)||3.625″ (9.2 cm)||3.625″ (9.2 cm)||2.05″ (5.207 cm)||0.463″ (1.175 cm)|
|Height||1.0″ (2.5 cm)||.56″ (1.42 cm)||1.0″ (2.5 cm)||1.0″ (2.5 cm)||0.31″ (0.787 cm)||0.047″ (0.12 cm)|
|Weight||2.7 oz||0.95 oz||2.8 oz||2.8 oz||0.1 oz||0.1 oz|
|Primary Input||USB Type B port||USB 5-pin Mini Type B||9-pin IBM style RS-232 DCE||5-pin DIN MIDI-IN||TTL signal level serial interface|
|Secondary Input/Thru||Serial DB9 female In, DB9 male Thru style RS-232 DCE 3-pin TTL serial||Serial 3-pin In, 3-pin Thru||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Tertiary Input/Thru||TTL serial 3-pin IN, 3-pin Thru||TTL serial 3-pin IN, 3-pin Thru||9-pin IBM style RS-232 DTE||5-pin DIN MIDI-THRU||n/a|
|Servo Interface||3-pin standard universal RC servo connector||Standard RC servo control signal|
|Digital I/O Interface||3-pin (Ground, +5v, Signal)||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Analog Input Interface||3-pin (Ground, +5v, Signal)||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Power Supply||Minimum 1A, 7.5VDC – 15VDC||12 mA, 2.7V to 5.5V|
|Power Jack||Male, 2.1mm x 5.5mm, center positive||n/a|
|Servo Power Output||Regulated 4.8VDC or 6.0VDC (selectable), up to 5A||n/a|
|Cable Type||USB device cable||USB MINI device cable||9-pin serial (DB9F to DB9M)||5-pin DIN MIDI||n/a|