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ModalAI Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)

ModalAI’s Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) are high-performing, closed-loop speed controllers that use a digital interface (UART, i2c in future).

Brief Overview

Brushless Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) are devices that consist of hardware and software for controlling three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motors. ESCs communicate with the flight controller, which instructs the ESCs how fast the motor should spin.

ModalAI’s ESCs implement the following advanced features:

  • Full integration with ModalAI VOXL and Flight Core PCBs
  • Bi-directional UART communication with checksum; status and fault monitoring
  • Real-time status and health reporting at high update rate (100Hz+ each)
  • Closed-loop RPM control for best flight performance
  • LED control from flight controller via UART

Feature Comparison

M0129
M0134
M0138
FeatureModalAI 4-in-1 ESC (M0129)ModalAI 4-in-1 ESC (M0134)ModalAI 4-in-1 ESC (M0138)
Nominal Input Voltage6.0V-16.8V (2-4S Lipo)6.0V-16.8V (2-4S Lipo)6.0V-16.8V (2-6S Lipo)
  6.0V-25.2V (2-6S Lipo) (M0134-6) 
VOXL Power Output3.8V @ 5A (6A 30 sec)5.0V @ 6A or 3.8V @ 6A
Aux Power Output1x 3.3V / 5.0V 500mA1x 5.0V (adjustable) 500mA1x 3.3V/5.0V 500mA, 1x 16.8V 500mA
Max Continuous Current Per Motor20A (thermally limited, requires airflow)20A (thermally limited, requires airflow)40A (thermally limited, requires airflow)
Max Burst Current Per Motor30-40A for <1s40-50A for <1s100A for <1s
MCUSTM32F051K86STM32F051K86STM32F051K86
MOSFET DriverMP6531AMP6530 (M0134-1)MP6531A
  MP6531A (M0134-3, M0134-6) 
MOSFETsAON7528 (N)AON7528 (N)TBD
Current Sensing1x 0.5mOhm + INA186 (-20A..+110A)4x 0.5mOhm + INA186 (-10A..+55A)1x 0.25mOhm + INA186 (-35A..+200A)
ESD signal protection
Temperature Sensing✅ (internal to MCU)✅ (internal to MCU)✅ (internal to MCU + top and bottom)
On-board Status LEDs✅ 4x✅ 4x✅ 4x
External LEDsNeopixel LEDsNeopixel LEDsNeopixel LEDs
Secure BootloaderYes (AES256)Yes (AES256)Yes (AES256)
PWM Switching Frequency48, 24 Khz48, 24 Khz48, 24 Khz
Maximum RPM (6 pole pairs)50K+50K+50K+
PWM control input
Active Freewheeling
Disable Regenerative BrakingAlways enabledAlways enabled (M0134-1)✅ Option to disable
  ✅ Option to disable (M0134-3, M0134-6) 
Tone Generation
Closed-loop RPM ControlYes (10Khz)Yes (10Khz)Yes (10Khz)
Number of UART ports2 (2Mbit+)2 (2Mbit+)1 (2Mbit+)
modal_io UART Protocol
UART connector typeJST GH 4-pinHirose DF13 6-pinJST GH 4-pin
UART Cable (for VOXL2)mcbl-00015mcbl-00029mcbl-00015
Weight without wires (g)5.99.517.9
Board Dimensions (mm)36.5 x 36.540.5 x 40.545.5 x 59.0
Mounting Hole Size, Pattern (mm)2.5, 30.5 x 30.53.05, 31.0 x 33.03.05, 30.5 x 30.5
Notes   

Mechanical Drawings

PCB3D STEP
M00493D STEP
M01173D STEP
M01343D STEP
M01293D STEP
M01383D STEP

Other ESCs

M0049
M0117
FeatureModalAI 4-in-1 ESC (M0049)ModalAI 4-in-1 ESC (M0117)
Nominal Input Voltage6.0V-16.8V (2-4S Lipo)6.0V-16.8V (2-4S Lipo)
   
Aux Power Output1x 4.5V, 1x 5.0V (adj) 600mA each1x 5.0V (adjustable) 600mA
Max Continuous Current Per Motor20A (thermally limited)20A (thermally limited)
Max Burst Current Per Motor40-50A (requires airflow and heat-spreader)40-50A (requires airflow and heat-spreader)
MCUSTM32F051K86STM32F051C6U6
MOSFET DriverMP6530MP6530 (M0117-1)
  MP6531A (M0117-3)
MOSFETsAON7528 (N)AON7528 (N)
Individual Current Sensing4x 1mOhm + INA1864x 0.5mOhm + INA186
ESD signal protection
Temperature Sensing
On-board Status LEDs
External LEDsNeopixel LEDsN/A
Secure BootloaderYes (AES256)Yes (AES256)
PWM Switching Frequency48, 24 Khz48, 24 Khz
Maximum RPM (6 pole pairs)50K+50K+
PWM control input
Active Freewheeling
Disable Regenerative Braking❌ Always enabled❌ Always enabled (M0117-1)
  ✅ (M0117-3)
Tone Generation
Closed-loop RPM ControlYes (10Khz)Yes (10Khz)
Number of UART ports2 (2Mbit+)2 (2Mbit+)
modal_io UART Protocol
Weight without wires (g)9.59.5
Board Dimensions (mm)40.5 x 40.540.5 x 40.5
Mounting Hole Size, Pattern (mm)3.05, 31.0 x 33.03.05, 31.0 x 33.0
Noteslimited availabilitylimited availability