For a Wwile I have been looking at different servo controller boards for a project. Each board has different characteristics which make then easier or more difficult for animatronic control.
One of the more interesting ones is the LynxMotion SSC-32 board. It uses a Atmel ATMEGA168-20PU as its processor and it can have its firmware (open source) updated by the user. There is also a very active forum with people making modifications to the firmware for specialised purposes.
Of real interest to anyone who is doing animatronics is the capability to send a group of commands at once. For example if one wanted to move 10 servo’s to a new point and have them all finish their moving at a specific number of microseconds later you can bundle the commands into one line and send them. The SSC-32 stores the commands until it sees a CR and then processes them.
This makes it very easy to set up sequences being read from a storage card or other system. It also calculates the speed that the servos needs to move to reach their endpoint together. Servos that need to move more will move faster and servos that need to move less will be slower. This takes a lot of load off the controlling program.
There are a lot of other commands that one can investigate and it can be controlled by a simple TTL serial connection. There is a full RS-232 port as well so you can tryout the sequences before saving. It will also chat upto 115K baud.
Additional software can be downloaded or brought depending on the complexity of the sequenced that you want to play around with - but the software IS optional for the purpose… it just makes it easier.
For about $40.00USD it proves to be a very powerful board with a lot going for it.
Hope this helps someone.
P.S. I have no affiliation with LynxMotion. I am a hobbiest animatronics maker.