Born out of the University of Pennsylvania’s robotics lab, IQinetics is a tech startup that delivers the ultimate motor module and controller for versatility and performance. We first gained recognition in the robotics community for our Anticogging technology, and since, we have developed advanced motion control systems that allow our electric motors to achieve increased power and efficiency, as well as superior position and velocity control. Six years worth of development allows us to incorporate both public and proprietary algorithms to deliver the highest performance and reliability.


          The roots of IQinetics can be traced back to 2010 when founder and CEO Matthew Piccoli began his PhD in the Modlab, part of the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania. He started working on a project that ultimately led to the creation of a single-motor aerial vehicle called UNO (Underactuated propeller, Naturally stabilized, One motor). Knowing that he would have to pulse the motor quickly to steer the single motor flying vehicle, Matt hunted the industry and hobby worlds for high bandwidth, high power, light weight motor controllers. They didn’t exist (and to a large extent still don’t). So, he decided to make his own.
  1. Managing Director
  2. UNO
          While using the new and improved motor controllers on various projects, Matt and his teammates realized cogging torque was a problem. Cogging torque exists on all permanent magnet synchronous motors. These motors are highly efficient, power dense and torque dense and have a wide range of robotic applications, such as 3D printers (stepper motors) and quadrotor drones (brushless DC motors). To address the issue of cogging torque, Matt began working on Anticogging, which is the suppression of torque ripple caused by cogging torque. In other words, Anticogging allows for a smooth transition between cogs as the motor spins.
          Matt came up with three methods to map cogging torque, two of which only require a position sensor. The third uses a torque sensor, and while this method is more expensive, the results were used for a ground truth. All three methods agree on position and amplitude of cogging torque reliably. To demonstrate the benefits of Anticogging, Matt compared a robotic arm’s position error with and without the Anticogging software. The robotic arm with Anticogging performed noticeably better than the arm without Anticogging, as the software led to a significant reduction in position error. This research was published in 2014 and was well received by the tech community, earning a best paper nomination at one of the most prestigious robotics conferences, Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS). As a result, Matt and his advisor were asked to write a follow-up paper for The International Journal of Robotics Research, the highest ranking robotics journal in 2015. ( http://modlabupenn.org/anticogging/ )
          The motor drivers and Anticogging software were also used in projects involving modular robots, such as Matt’s SEAL Pack. The SEAL Pack used the brushless modules coupled with a special frame to fold into either a car, boat, or quadrotor. The motor controller was responsible for position, speed, and open loop torque control to satisfy the different motor roles required by the different vehicles, showing the extreme versatility of the controllers. ( http://modlabupenn.org/seal-pack/ )
          Matt received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a concentration in robotics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. His extensive work with and love for aerial vehicles and electric motors inspired him to create IQinetics. Jon Broome, a 2016 graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Economics, joined the IQinetics team in January 2017 to handle IQ’s marketing and financial operations. While at school, Jon co-founded a food service that provided post workout snacks to Middlebury’s athletes. Together, Matt and Jon make a dynamic team, dedicated to providing roboticists with the smartest, most versatile motor controllers and motor modules in the world.