Eight Channel Signal Booster
Currently deployed at a nuclear facility, this board integrates eight signal boosters. The board can be mounted on a DIN-rail and utilizes screw terminals for modularity and strain-relief. Technician-configurable jumpers provide a means of configuring the channels individually. This board acts as an interface between a TTL input and a technician-configurable output voltage. The board further allows for isolation between the input and output and is used to control signal LEDs, buzzers, actuators, and system-stops within multiple radiation-detecting pipeline inspection robots and underground exploration robots.
Speed Controller For Rotating LiDAR
Currently deployed at a nuclear facility, this board precisely controls the speed of rotating LiDAR sensors on radiation-detecting pipeline inspection robots by providing the necessary control signal to command a motor drive at a fixed rate.
The board can be mounted on a DIN-rail and utilizes screw terminals for modularity and strain-relief. This board additionally carries data between the robot’s main computer and a LiDAR sensor.
This type of spinning LiDAR integration allows for the construction of three-dimensional point clouds from relatively inexpensive and lightweight 2D LiDAR sensors.
Four-Channel LED Driver
Currently deployed at a nuclear facility, this board protects and mounts four LED power supplies. The board integrates the LED power supplies cleanly by providing mounting holes, strain-relief, and filter capacitors. This board provides stable power at to LEDs which illuminate an inspection robot’s vision system.
Currently deployed in radiation-detecting pipeline inspection robots, this board converts a differential signal to a single-ended one. The board is used to allow to convert the signal from a specific type of motor driver to control integrated tank tracks.
Miniature Battery Management System
This low-power battery management system was designed and built by SKA in order to charge, monitor, and protect a single 3.7-volt lithium-ion battery cell without introducing significant power consumption into the system. It utilizes a microcontroller for battery monitoring and protection. Battery data can be monitored via an I2C header (top-right). Charging power is supplied via a micro-USB port (top-right). Power is output to downstream devices at a constant voltage, regardless of how much charge is contained in the lithium-ion cell.
The Battery Management System automatically cuts power to downstream devices when the battery voltage drops to levels which might permanently damage the battery- thus increasing the service life of devices in which the Battery Management System is installed.
Brushless DC Motor Driver
This Brushless DC Motor Driver was engineered in order to provide a low-cost control system for a water pump. The pump provides third-world farmers with a means of irrigating their crops without the need for centralized plumbing or electricity.
The board uses custom firmware on a microcontroller (bottom-left) to switch the power MOSFETs (top-right) and drive the 3 output channels needed to control a brushless DC motor. SKA iteratively designed this motor driver at the early stages of the pump’s development.
Smart Lock Controller
This board (pictured right) was designed, tested, put into light production by SKA engineers in order to control a smartphone-controlled smart lock designed to mount over an existing deadbolt. The board is designed for ease of fabrication/assembly, and positive user experience.
- The board is controlled by a microprocessor
- Battery voltage is regulated to stable levels to support 3.3-volt logic circuits.
- Communication is achieved by the use of a Bluetooth Low Energy module with hidden pads.
- A QFN accelerometer to determine the position of the lock by measuring gravity.
- A single motor is controlled by an onboard driver.
- A speaker and RGB LED provide user feedback.
- Integrated gold-plated connectors (top-right) allow the board to “drop in” and quickly connect to the lock’s motor and battery.
Per SKA’s focus on early-stage mechatronic product development, SKA personnel designed, assembled, and tested these boards at low quantities through the alpha release of the smart lock. While not pictured in detail, SKA is also responsible for the product’s firmware and mechanical design.