Automatic characterization of a DC motor

BSc assignment

DC-motors are ubiquitous in robotics, finding applications in a wide range of systems from industrial automation to hobbyist projects. These motors offer great flexibility and precise control, but require a thorough understanding of their characteristics and behavior. Before one can control such a motor, it is imperative to characterize its electrical and mechanical properties. Parameters such as electrical resistance, inductance, the back-EMF and torque motor constants, and inertia vary between motors, even if they are of the same model. Therefore, the process of parameterization becomes essential to ensure accurate control and optimal performance. However, manually characterizing a DC-motor can be quite time-consuming. Automating this process would not only speed up the process, but also reduce the risk of errors along the process.

For the project, I will focus on automating the characterization process of DC-motors. The parameters to be characterized include electrical motor resistance, inductance, inertia, motor constants, and friction. To achieve this, an experimental test bench will be designed to automate the characterization process. The test bench will consist of components such as motor drivers, sensors, and a microcontroller for controlling and capturing data. The test bench will be capable of imposing specific load characteristics on the test motor using a second motor, which will be controlled to vary speed, torque, or both. The motor constants will be determined by analysing the response of the test motor to the imposed load characteristics of the controlled motor. This will provide the test motor’s behaviour under different operation points, which ultimately can be used to determine the parameters.