Last Month in Flott - April 2021
Posted on 2021-04-06 by Hanno Braun
This is the monthly newsletter for Flott, the toolkit for motion control software in Rust. Flott aims to make developing motion control software easy, by providing libraries that abstract over hardware commonly used for motion control, like motors, encoders, and other sensors and actuators.
Last month saw a new release of Stepper, the universal stepper motor interface. I've also published Stepper Terminal, a new application, built on top of Stepper, for controlling a stepper motor from the command-line on your computer.
Stepper (formerly known as Step/Dir) is a library that provides a unified interface for controlling stepper motors. March saw continued development of the high-level motion control API, culminating in the release of version 0.5. This is also the first release under the new name, Stepper.
- #98 - Change motion control API to accept absolute target position
- #100 - Support setting step mode for software-motion-controlled driver
- #107 - Add method for resetting internal position to new value
- #108 - Remove the need for a custom numeric type
- #112 - Rename to Stepper
- #113 - Update documentation
- #116 - Make
Steperrors less weird, more flexible
- #118 - Implement
This is just a selection of the pull requests that were merged last month. Check out the full list on GitHub, if you're interested in all the details.
Stepper Terminal is a CLI and firmware application that saw its initial release in March. It is a tool for manual testing of Stepper, but also serves as a full usage example of the library. Going forward, it will be extended in lock-step with Stepper, as new features are being added.
What I'm working on
I just came back from vacation (or rather staycation, as they call it these days) and I'm looking forward to getting back into Flott. My next focus area is a high-level guide for Stepper. Its API is already fully documented, but there are some crucial pieces of information required to use it and to implement new drivers. That information is currently scattered across a bunch of GitHub issues, if available at all.
Right now, Flott is focused on stepper motors, but I want to build it into a full-featured toolkit for motion control software, by abstracting over other kinds of hardware (like encoders, or other motor types), as well as creating more useful building blocks on top of those hardware interfaces.
Doing this will take a lot of effort. Please consider supporting my work by sponsoring me.
Thank you for your interest in Flott! If you want to follow its development, feel free to subscribe to the news feed. I also plan to set up an email newsletter, but still haven't gotten around to it. Again, I'm hoping to have it ready for next month's newsletter.
The next newsletter is expected to arrive in early May. If you have any questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact me!