Presented Master Thesis about EtherCat for machine control

Last July, the 10th, Ignacio Rosales finally presented his project based on the development of a machine control system using the real-time EtherCat protocol. This project has been co-directed by Víctor Torres López.

The machine is a pick-and-place machine which was previously developed as part of the 2012 Omron’s CEA award.

Extensive work for reverse engineering the Omron servomotors and integrating into the LinuxCNC fwamework has been required.

As a result, a new architecture for the development of machines, with an excellent real-time response and high flexibility has been tested.

In the video, a demo of the system can be seen.

Great work, Nacho!


Presented Master Thesis about CNC machine control using FPGA

Last July, the 8th, Alejandro Barranco, presented his Master Thesis based on the implementation of a control system for a CNC milling machine based using LinuxCNC and the cards from MESA Electronics.

This CNC is based on industrial brushless motors with analog speed controllers from Baldor. He rebuilt all the electronics of the control box, tuned the controllers, installed a  new water-cooled spindle, and customized the control software.

Good job! Thanks, Alejandro.

New joints for the animatronic robot

Wall-e is an old animatronic robot we build for entertainment and social robotics research.

It is also used as a valuable platform for students projects.

Its joints are driven by different kinds of RC servos, and sometimes the servo axle is used as the robot joint. This is a weak design point and we had to change this.

We needed a neck replacement and we found a “Servo Block” kit for Hitec servos which was perfect for our robot. It was 29€ over our budget (0€) but the MechatronicMan foundation helped again.

Servo Block was perfect for our robot neck

Servo Block was perfect for our robot neck


As we ran out of budget we had to design and build new shoulders.

We originally used a Lynxmotion Servo joint with poor axial bearings but it was not solid enough.

Our new design used “standard” skates ball bearings. with two parts: A 3mm width aluminium plate and a 100mm width bearing support.

The old ISEL cpm 3020 did a nice work with a 3mm single flute straight carbide bit.

20140703_135424 (1)20140703_173840 After a sandblasting the plate looks very professional! isn’t it?



And the final assembly with the quarter scale RC servo gives a solid joint for our robot.


That’s all. I just wanted to show it.

In the future I’m not using RC servos anymore unless I build a toy robot.

By the way, the joint in action were seen in last post : Animatronic at the Postgraduate Courses presentation 2015-16


PIERO is almost ready

More laser-cut acrylic components arrived from Ingeniería UNO workshops for the PIERO educational robot.

The finishing is excellent and everything is looking good.

The arduinos Mega are stuck in a post office in Barajas and it’s going to take a while to get them.

So far we have tested the LM298 with the EMG30 and although the encoder resolution is low, a x4 decoding interface is going to be enough for the platform PID speed control.

CAM00165 (1)


Thank you, Alejandro. Great design and accurate manufacturing!

Soon, the fully assembled prototypes.

Oferta de Proyecto fin de Carrera: Sistema de control para una fresadora CNC

CNC Control

CNC Controller

Objetivo: El proyecto consiste en la actualización del sistema de control, de una fresadora de control numérico existente, que posee un sistema de control de ejes realimentado mediante servomotores sin escobillas. El sistema de control de ejes estará implementado mediante una tarjeta PCI basada en un dispositivo FPGA compatible con el software de control linuxCNC. Se realizará la instalación física de los componentes, y la configuración y ajuste de los parámetros de la máquina. Todos los componentes y materiales se encuentran ya disponibles.

Requerimientos: Conocimientos de control, programación.

Solicitud: Los alumnos interesados deberán enviar un resumen de curriculum incluyendo las asignaturas cursadas.

Contacto: Jesús Manuel Gómez de Gabriel (