September 12, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 34

Motion Control News & Products

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Mobility Tech Ideas: Scissor lift for UTVs

The UTX Scissor lift from Innovative Equipment is designed to be easily fitted and removed from almost any utility vehicle (UTV) in approximately 3 minutes without any heavy lifting. It provides the user with a working height of 18 to 19 ft on nearly any terrain. It can be leveled on slopes up to 12 deg. It has a lifting capacity of 500 to 600 lb and enables users to take a scissor lift "where no scissor lift has gone before." Stability has been tested to five times the ANSI requirements. It also has safety features that will not allow it to be used in unsafe conditions.
See it in action.


Become a robot programmer in 87 minutes!

Learning how to set up and program a collaborative robot -- or cobot -- no longer depends on real-life access to a robot or a training class. Now everybody with a desire to learn the concepts of cobots can log in to the Universal Robots Academy and get the introduction necessary to master basic programming skills. Become a master of the cobots! (That's a pretty sweet title.)
Click here to learn more.


Multi-axis robotic controller

Aerotech’s HEX RC is a 6-axis motion controller ideal for controlling robotic systems like hexapods. It is 4U rack-mountable and compatible with the Automation 3200 (A3200) motion platform. A high-performance processor provides the intense computing power needed to run up to 32 axes, perform complex, synchronized motion trajectories, manipulate I/O, and collect data at high speeds. This unit features 6 axes of drives capable of controlling any combination of brush, brushless, or stepper motors (both current loop and servo loop closures). An optional 6-axis jog pendant permits easy, manual control of the positioning system.
Click here to learn more.


Single-rail positioning stage (H-gantry)

H2W Technologies’ latest single-rail positioning stage design is an open-frame XY positioning system. It has two bottom parallel axes with one cross axis connecting the two (H-gantry). Each linear axis uses H2W’s brushless linear motors (BLDM-B04). Each has a total stroke length of 25.67 in. (652 mm) and can generate 6.2 lb (27.8 N) of continuous force and 18.7 lb (83.3 N) of peak force, or a combined 12.4 lb (55.6 N) continuous force and 37.4 lb (166.6 N) peak force on the bottom axis. The non-contact 1-micron resolution encoders allow for precise positioning. The moving tables are guided by a precision recirculating linear ball bearing system. Additional options include a home positioning sensor, end-of-travel-sensors, and custom mounting holes.
Click here to learn more.
Watch this stage in action.


Getting a grip on precision: Mechatronics vs. pneumatics

A gripping system for small parts that is both quick and powerful -- until now, that was often only possible with pneumatics. However, recently the leading expert for gripper systems and technology has developed a mechatronics-based EGP 40 gripper that easily achieves the same performance of its pneumatic counterparts. The drive that makes this impressive performance possible is FAULHABER small brushless DC servo motors from MICROMO.
Read the full article.


Mini linear motor stage with magnetic direct drive

Motion and nanoposi-tioning industry leader PI expands its PIMag series of high-dynamics linear motor stages with a new compact positioner for automation tasks. The V-408 stage is equipped with an incremental linear encoder for direct position measurement and a high-force 3-phase linear motor drive. The V-408 features high load-capacity precision crossed roller elements with anti-creep cage assist and a zero-wear, non-contact linear motor -- ideal prerequisites for long lifetime in high duty-cycle industrial applications. The high-force linear motor achieves velocities up to 1.5m/sec. An integrated optical linear encoder provides 10-nm resolution. Two models are offered with 25-mm and 50-mm travel range.


Advanced pneumatic standard cylinders with Adaptive Cushioning System

IMI Norgren’s ISOLine is a true fit-and-forget ISO cylinder. Inside lies the new Adaptive Cushioning System (ACS), which automatically adjusts the cylinder cushioning for changing loads, so manual cushion screw setting is not required. This makes the ISOLine much simpler to install. Other benefits include lower breakaway pressure, lower minimum speed, reduced leakage, polyurethane seals that ensure efficient low-friction operation, and reduced weight (20% lighter than previous versions). All sizes supplied with magnetic piston rod as standard.
Click here to learn more.


Easily automate a simple axis of motion

The Tolomatic ACSI integrated servo/motor/ controller is now available with PROFINET Industrial Ethernet protocol, allowing engineers to design easy-to-use and cost-effective electric actuator solutions for single-axis applications. The integrated package is ideal for replacing pneumatic cylinders and automating any simple axis of motion with Siemens or other PROFINET-enabled PLCs. With built-in configurations for Tolomatic electric actuators, the ACSI integrated controller automatically configures the motor, actuator, safety limits, and other key settings inside the controller for quick and seamless integration.
Click here to learn more.


Direct drive linear motor with integrated encoder

The new SDLM-019-070-01-01 direct drive linear motor is the latest addition to the series of zero-backlash, zero-cogging, high-acceleration, high-speed, high-resolution, long-life linear servo motors from Moticont. Also known as an electric cylinder, this compact direct drive linear motor is just 0.75 in. (19.1 mm) in diameter and 2.75 in (69.9 mm) long. Protected inside the motor housing, the linear optical quadrature encoder is directly connected to the shaft for the greatest possible accuracy. This unit has a stroke length of 0.500 in. (12.7 mm), a continuous force rating of 9.7 oz. (2.7 N), and peak force of 30.7 oz (8.5 N).
Click here for more information on this product series.


ABB's general-purpose motors combine quality, cost efficiency, and industry experience with short lead times

ABB has launched its N-series general-purpose motors to provide a high level of energy efficiency, reliability, and safety in applications where a highly customized motor in the 50- to 8,000-kW power range is not needed. The motors use cost-effective pre-packaged designs to meet the same high quality standards as all ABB motors but with lead times that are several weeks shorter. An easy-to-use online selection tool called "MachSize" simplifies motor configuration. Another tool called "DocStage" is a web-based system for sharing and managing documentation.
Click here to learn more.


New nanopositioning solutions catalog debuted at LASER 2017

Motion and precision positioning systems expert PI (Physik Instrumente) issued a catalog on newly introduced precision motion solutions for photonics, robotics, microscopy, and highly accurate industrial automation applications at LASER World of PHOTONICS held in Munich, Germany, in June. The 80-page catalog covers products and custom-engineered systems, including automated photonics alignment engines, linear motor stages, piezo actuators, air bearings, hexapod Stewart platforms, and high-performance motion controllers.
Get your nanopositioning systems catalog today.


Get 'V8 power' and nanometer precision positioning with PI's new piezo linear motor

Motion control and piezo systems expert PI (Physik Instrumente) introduces a new robust OEM walking motor drive, the N-331, with its configuration rooted in existing patented piezo actuator technology and a patented piezo stepping motion principle design. Unlike traditional electromagnetic motors, piezo motors do not create magnetic fields, nor are they influenced by magnetic or electric fields. The new design is ideal for use in high-end applications that require extreme precision and durability. High push/pull and holding forces qualify this non-magnetic drive as the fastest and strongest of its size class.
Click here to see it in action.
See the specs, datasheet, and more information.


Mike Likes: Small brushless motor with big performance

The new 3274 BP4 brushless DC motor series from FAULHABER is overload‐resistant and operates without wear‐prone mechanical commutation, giving the 3274 BP4 longer operational life than conventional micro DC motors. Weighing just under 320 grams, the 3274 BP4 brushless servo motor packs massive continuous torque of 165 mNm, making it ideal for applications where high power and dynamic start/stop operation with the lowest possible weight are crucial.
Click here to learn more.


Rotate an object to a precise angular position

Goniometer stages can measure angles of objects such as crystals or move an object to a precise angular position along an arc in relation to a fixed point in space. Two goniometer stages mounted in an alpha-beta configuration (stacked) can rotate an object around a fixed point in space on a spherical surface. Optimal Engineering Systems (OES) offers stacked, precision-aligned goniometer stages like the compact AK110-15-10 with a rotation center 50 mm above the upper stage. Goniometers are used for identifying crystals, examining cutting edges of medical instruments, estimating hyperspectral bidirectional reflectance, gloss measurements, measurements of radiation patterns of LEDs, directing lasers, aligning mirrors, and manufacturing quartz oscillator plates using quartz cutting X-rays.
Click here to learn more.


Compact hexapod for industrial alignment applications

PI has added a higher performance model to its range of compact hexapods. The new H-811.i2 provides twice the velocity along with sensor resolution up to eight times higher compared to the current H-811.D2 miniature hexapod. The compact size, robust design with low-friction ballscrews, brushless motors, and powerful controller with multi-axis alignment capabilities make the new hexapod an ideal tool for high duty-cycle alignment applications in optics, automotive, and photonics applications.
Specifications, datasheets, more information >
Read technical articles and applications of PI hexapods >


Wanted: A new way to find pilots for U.S. Navy drones

Volunteers try out the Selection for UAS Personnel, or SUPer. Developed with support from the Office of Naval Research, SUPer is a series of specialized tests assessing cognitive abilities and personality traits to identify potential Navy and Marine Corps unmanned aviation systems (UAS) operators. [Photo: Naval Aerospace Medical Institute]

 

 

 

 

By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research

Before acceptance to flight school, aspiring naval pilots must pass the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB) -- a rigorous intellectual exercise that evaluates things like aviation and nautical knowledge, math and engineering skills, and personality traits.

Since training a single pilot costs the U.S. Navy over $1 million, the ASTB is a critical tool for finding the right candidates to fly manned aircraft, such as fighter jets. But the Navy doesn't have ASTB-style tests to qualify the pilots of today's latest aircraft: remotely operated, unmanned aviation systems (UAS), popularly called drones.

Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, UAS have played ever-larger roles in intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance, and other missions. Consequently, there's an increasing need for well-trained UAS pilots.

Georgia Tech and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute -- sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) -- are developing a series of new specialized tests to assess cognitive abilities and personality traits, and identify potential Navy and Marine Corps UAS operators. It's called the Selection for UAS Personnel, or SUPer.

"The temperament and personality of F-18 pilots won't necessarily be the same as those flying surveillance aircraft," said Cmdr. Brent Olde, a program officer in ONR's Warfighter Performance Department. "Neither will the required skill set be identical, so it's important that we create a standardized way to assess the abilities of future UAS operators."

In recent years, the Air Force established its own formal screening process for UAS operators, and the Marine Corps designated a UAS career path for its ranks. The Navy, however, doesn't have an official selection and training pipeline specifically for UAS operators. Historically, the service took aviators who already earned their wings, gave them on-the-job, UAS-specific training, and placed them in temporary positions.

SUPer comprises both written and computerized tests covering skills like math knowledge, spatial orientation, reading cockpit dials, and critical thinking. SUPer participants also study computer maps featuring prominent natural or manmade landmarks -- and then remember object locations on larger, less defined maps.

Tests are followed by training exercises on a flight simulator designed to mirror common UAS missions. Participants also complete psychological and personality tests to ascertain if they would excel as UAS pilots -- which often involves 12-hr shifts sitting in front of a control station, inside of an isolated command center.

"SUPer will be a valuable tool in helping the Navy pick the best people to become UAS operators and determine who will be an optimal fit and find satisfaction in the role," said Dr. Phillip Ackerman, a Georgia Tech psychology professor overseeing SUPer's development.

Approximately 350 civilian and military volunteers are participating as SUPer research subjects at Ackerman's Georgia Tech laboratory and various Navy and Air Force training centers. The current version of the SUPer test battery takes approximately four hours to complete.

At September's end, Ackerman and his research team will review the results; design a standardized exam for validation by prospective Navy and Air Force UAS pilots; and, hopefully, have a product ready for fleet implementation in 2018.

"Training pilots for manned and unmanned systems is time intensive and expensive," said Lt. Cmdr. Tatana Olson, deputy director of the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at the Naval Medical Research Unit, Dayton, and who serves as SUPer's government lead. "SUPer will define and assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be a successful UAS operator, and, ultimately, optimize naval use of human resources for unmanned aviation."

Published September 2017

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