In December it's traditional to sum up the achievements of the year and make new plans.
2015 has been really productive for our team. We managed to solve many technical and algorithmic challenges on which we worked in 2014, as well as reach the new level of quality.
What we achieved in 2015
Earlier this year, we had lots of meetings and negotiations with Russian companies, which are also engaged in developing different sorts of technical devices. Though communication was great and huge plans were discussed, most of the talks didn't have any results due to a number of reasons. But we don't regret the time spent, as it all helped us form a clear philosophy and vision of our company. Finally, we registered a legal entity for our company.
At the same time, we started actively working on board production, including board printing, mounting elements, identifying the required thickness of the tracks and many other issues.
Early spring we worked on:
- experiments with the optimization of 3-Stab GUI
- modification of USTAB controller based on deficiencies identified during manufacturing
- attracting new talented people in our friendly team
Cooperation with Taiwan companies and USTAB Light controller
In late March, we were contacted by the representatives of companies from Taiwan, who offered us to participate in the creation of a smartphone gimbal with a retail value of about $100. Our task was to develop a concept of the controller that would cost no more than $20, as well as adapt our firmware for it. The project brought its results in October.
The controller we developed was called USTAB lite. We created the schematic diagram in May and received first working prototypes in June. The controller has been implemented on the basis of the stm32f103 microcontroller with two mpu-6500 sensors. The manufacturing cost of the board (regarding the price of electronic components) was, as expected, around $20.
The first prototype had a standard size of 50x50 mm. We ran tests using the gimbal assembled from aluminum profiles (video), and immediately began to adapt the firmware. We received the first results at the beginning of July
Work on the controller for the gimbal proved really fruitful for us. By using two sensors, we have significantly improved gimbal stability. We have fixed a lot of bugs and have greatly optimized the code. Also, we have carried out the first successful experiments on temperature compensation of mpu-6500, as well as the dynamic control of motor power.
Early autumn, we got the first metal sample of the smartphone gimbal, as well as modified versions of the controller board (the geometric dimensions were changed to fit the handle and a joystick was added). After that, there was one more iteration caused by the need to reduce the weight of the resulting device and add support of the Bluetooth module.
Finally we recorded the following video, using the third metal sample of the smartphone gimbal.
Unfortunately, we didn't manage to complete the project as planned (through no fault of ours). However, this experience will surely come handy in the future.
In the summertime, alongside the development of the USTAB lite controller, we made a prototype of a new version of the USTAB controller based on stm32f417 microcontroller and began adapting the low-level code for it. The first performance experiments with stm32f417 microcontroller showed excellent results, which allows us implement additional more complex methods of data processing.
We also worked with encoders for motors, and this led to significant redesigning of the method for controlling the magnetic field.
The last months of 2015, we were engaged in the optimization of the code, and implemented a number of modifications that let us use the frequency data anlysis methods to significantly improve the quality of the gimbals on the basis of the 3-Stab firmware.
The new coming 2016 year will bring us lots of opportunities. We're planning to:
- update the firmware for Evvgc board, adding all the recent code modifications
- adapt 3 Stab firmware for Storm32 and AlexMos boards
- produce the USTAB board based on stm32f417 microcontroller for powerful motors and heavy cameras
- produce the USTAB lite board based on stm32f103 microcontroller for light-weight gimbals
- update 3 Stab GUI
- release the firmware for working with motor encoders
- and much more which is too early to disclose :) but necessary to do!
Stay with us and follow our updates! Happy holidays to you and your family!