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  • EV3 Motor Issue

    I'm posting this because I have been having an issue with a couple of EV3 motors. I figured out what was happening and the result was surprising. I contacted Lego and they told me that they had never encountered this problem before, and that surprised me. Especially considering that I believe these motors have been around since at least 2006 and that I had two motors exhibiting the problem. Lego asked me to send the motors to them, but before I did so, I made a video to document the issue. I have posted the video on Youtube for anybody that is interested. The link to the video is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsA2N7a34cY

    It took me quite awhile to figure out what the actual problem was, but I still don't have any clue why it is happening. If you have ever encountered this problem or you know what is actually happening, please post here.

  • #2
    Could you provide a summary of the issue here, for the benefit of people who don't want to click on an untrusted link?
    FIRST Tech Challenge Judge: 2010, Referee: 2017
    FIRST LEGO League Mentor, Instructor, and/or Referee/Head Referee since 2011
    FIRST Robotics Competition judge (Chairman's Award): 2014
    Dean says I'm an "Oompa Loompa of Science"

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    • #3
      Also, the EV3 products were first available in Sept 2013, so these motors haven't been around since 2006.
      FIRST Tech Challenge Judge: 2010, Referee: 2017
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor, Instructor, and/or Referee/Head Referee since 2011
      FIRST Robotics Competition judge (Chairman's Award): 2014
      Dean says I'm an "Oompa Loompa of Science"

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      • #4
        sdmerrill Are you using Move Steering/Move Tank in your code? Could you share your code? We suspect that the problem you have comes from the way these blocks do motor synchronization. For example, if the motor you say is bad reports its rotations/degrees incorrectly (and the value reported is way too low), you will see the behavior in your video. The reason is that the EV3 provides increasing power to the bad motor to meet the target power. The other motor will be given just enough power to meet the incorrect/way too low value reported by the other motor, and will appear really slow.

        Looks like the encoder in the one motor is bad, and probably starts reporting low after a bit of use. You certainly need this motor replaced.

        We own a lot of EV3 motors (from 2013 onward). Have not seen his happen before, but it fits the symptoms.

        If you want to verify, try printing out the reported degrees/rotations on the EV3 screen or on your PC. You might see that the motor is spinning rapidly, but the rotation sensor value is not going up quickly.

        Sanjay and Arvind
        EV3Lessons.com Founders
        **************************
        EV3Lessons.com Founders

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
          Also, the EV3 products were first available in Sept 2013, so these motors haven't been around since 2006.
          According to the Lego tech, the NXT motors are relatively the same as the current EV3 motors.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EV3Lessons View Post
            sdmerrill Are you using Move Steering/Move Tank in your code? Could you share your code? We suspect that the problem you have comes from the way these blocks do motor synchronization. For example, if the motor you say is bad reports its rotations/degrees incorrectly (and the value reported is way too low), you will see the behavior in your video. The reason is that the EV3 provides increasing power to the bad motor to meet the target power. The other motor will be given just enough power to meet the incorrect/way too low value reported by the other motor, and will appear really slow.

            Looks like the encoder in the one motor is bad, and probably starts reporting low after a bit of use. You certainly need this motor replaced.

            We own a lot of EV3 motors (from 2013 onward). Have not seen his happen before, but it fits the symptoms.

            If you want to verify, try printing out the reported degrees/rotations on the EV3 screen or on your PC. You might see that the motor is spinning rapidly, but the rotation sensor value is not going up quickly.

            Sanjay and Arvind
            EV3Lessons.com Founders
            Thanks Sanjay ans Arvind...It's what I suspected as well, although, not as precise as you put it. The Lego tech seemed to be dumbfounded by my discovery. He definitely believed me but I was surprised when he said that this issue had never been reported. In fact, he thought that it would be some sort of software problem.That's why I made the video, just in case others had this problem. I should have done some data logging with the motors. However, I have already returned the two motors in question. Opportunity lost...
            I find it strange that you guys have not seen this problem and I'm sure you have seen a lot of motors over the years. It's just my bad luck for two of these to have shown up in my possession. I was using simple move steering blocks and I have the code attached below for what it is worth. Thanks again

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            • #7
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