LUXROBO: Creating Educational Coding Robots with CAN Transceiver Circuit

Tapping into its robot technology, Seoul, South Korea-based LUXROBO creates products that make electrical appliances smarter and easier to use. Founded by Sang Hun Oh, CEO, and Seung Bae Son, CTO, the company develops educational robots, an internet of things (IoT) platform, and modular robotics kits.

Hanjun Kim is the hardware technical lead at LUXROBO, working with a team responsible for the hardware design and production of all of the company’s products. “Our main objective is to provide the best technologies, tools, and services to make ideas a reality for anyone who wants to incorporate robotics into their ideas,” Hanjun said.

LUXROBO’s MODI platform provides a modular system for coding education, as well as DIY robotics and IoT applications. “Anyone can easily learn coding or create a solution using MODI, or through a coding program called MODI Studio. This proprietary technology is hard to find in other coding module companies,” said Hanjun.

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LUXROBO’s MODI “robotics of things” platform makes it easy to create IoT and robotic devices.

Challenges

  • Lower BOM, enhance power efficiency, and reduce solution size. Also needed transceivers with low leakage current and low error rates.

Solutions

Benefits

  • Reduced design cycle by about 10 weeks
  • 15% increase in runtime of redesigned robotic modules with same battery capacity
  • Enhanced product reliability
  • Reduced solution footprint

Challenges

LUXROBO sought replacements for some of the ICs in its products in order to achieve better performance. Conventional sensors and ICs, for example, have high leakage current that reduces battery efficiency and requires heat control. For its products, LUXROBO needed underlying technology that could lower their bill of materials (BOM), deliver power efficiency, and reduce solution size. The company also sought transceivers with low leakage current and low error rates.

Solution and Benefits

The LUXROBO team evaluated ICs from various vendors. For the CAN transceiver needed, the company found only two vendors with a 3.3V option. After a comparison, the team selected the MAX3051 low-supply-current CAN transceiver and, for its power solution, the MAX38902C low-noise 500mA LDO linear regulator. The company is also using the MAX8969 step-up converter, the MAX40200 1A ideal diode with ultra-low voltage drop, and the MAX8808 linear Li+ battery charger with integrated pass FET and thermal regulation. “In the case of the MAX3051, low data error rate and a competitive price were factors in our choice. And the MAX38902C was regarded for its low leakage current, efficiency, and price,” said Hanjun.

By replacing some of their legacy ICs with Maxim counterparts, LUXROBO is reducing the design cycle and shrinking the solution footprint of its products. “The CAN transceiver, switching regulators, and linear regulators have many modules that replace our existing circuit pin-to-pin, thus reducing the design cycle. We reduced the design cycle by approximately 10 weeks for our 15 re-designed modules and a new product,” noted Hanjun. “Also, the MAX38902C, MAX8969, and MAX40200 are WLPs, so the solution composition is possible with very small area compared to third-party products.”

In addition, the company is also benefiting from a power efficiency standpoint. “The low quiescent current and high conversion efficiency of the MAX8969 provides a 15% increase in runtime over the same battery capacity,” Hanjun said. “In the case of our existing products, dropout was severe in the high current environment, but the Maxim ICs provided almost the same performance as the datasheet specification. This greatly contributed to product reliability.”

Looking ahead, LUXROBO plans to integrate Maxim ICs into its audio, power, and circuit protection solutions for its new products.