I am a computer science student interested in interfacing your tri-track robot with an FPGA board (altera DE2) for a project.
Is this project feasible? I would really appreciate some help as to what components I would require to interface standard 3.3V digital logic general purpose connectors to the tri-track robot's motors.
It should be quite do-able but there are different levels you can approach this.
The actual default motor interface is the Sabertooth 2X5 R/C Regenerative Dual Channel Motor Controller
included in the kit
. This requires a pair of standard hobby servo type PWM control signals which should be simple to implement in your FPGA. a single r/c servo output can be fabricated from two timers, one always at 20mS period that triggers the second configured as a one-shot which has a period adjustable from 0.5mS to 2ms.
At a slightly higher level, if you chose to change the r/c sabertooth controller out for the Sabertooth 2X5 Regenerative Dual Channel Motor Controller
then you can implement a uart in your fpga and send serial commands to it rather than the r/c servo pulses.
A third level would retain the orriginal r/c sabertooth controller but add an ssc-32 servo controller and again require a uart be implemented in the fpga to send commands to the ssc-32. the benefit of the ssc-32 is the ability to send single text commands to effect ramp up and ramp down speed control, as well as the ability to synchronize any number of servo outputs together in timed group moves.