Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a business unit of AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions, announces the release of its new Catalog and Design Guide, revised for 2018 to illustrate a wide range of products engineered for use as building blocks in sophisticated linear motion assemblies. It is divided into three major sections: 1) Precision lead screw and nut assemblies; 2) Linear actuators and stepper motor drives; and 3) Motorized and non-motorized linear rail systems. In addition to basic product information, each section includes a brief overview of the technology behind the products, part number construction, sizing charts, and product comparison charts. Applications include industrial automation and robotics. Get your catalog (no registration required).
Integrated motors for high-throughput applications
Applied Motion Products introduces three models of StepSERVO Integrated Motors that provide cost-effective and high-speed motion control for high-throughput applications such as packaging and labeling, automated test and measurement, and automated assembly. With encoder feedback and advanced control loops that incorporate servo control, StepSERVO Integrated Motors provide a motion control system that operates faster, cooler, and quieter than competitive technology. The three model series (TSM, SSM, and TXM) support different options for step and direction, streaming commands, fieldbus communications, and stored Q programming for standalone operations. Learn more.
Minimizing noise in electric linear motion systems
Under most circumstances, electric linear motion systems are quiet. They certainly don’t create the hissing and bang-bang noises associated with pneumatic systems. However, there’s another type of noise that comes with electric systems of all types: electrical noise or interference. The results can be anything from erratic movements to complete system failure. Patrick Hobart from Tolomatic runs through best practices for minimizing noise in these automation systems. Read this insightful blog.
New 22-mm brushless servo motor packs a punch
MICROMO has launched the brand new FAULHABER 2264 BP4 series brushless dc servo motor, which is ideally suited for handheld tools and devices such as motorized surgical instruments, grippers and robotics, advanced prosthetics, aerospace applications, and even for electric pruning shears and motorized screwdrivers. At 22 mm in diameter, 64 mm in length, and weighing only 140 grams, the 2264 BP4 series delivers 59 mNm of continuous torque and reaches speeds up to 34,500 rpm. These impressive power and performance characteristics are possible due to a new segmented winding of the coil, which also improves the overall efficiency of the motor. Click here to learn more.
New telescopic pillars for medical equipment support heavier loads
SKF CPMT telescopic pillars from SKF Motion Technologies for integration into surgical tables, procedure chairs, and similar medical equipment are complete plug-and-play systems that provide OEM designers with ideal technologies to equip healthcare facilities with reliable, safe, and virtually maintenance-free vertical motion solutions. CPMT telescopic pillars combine a low retracted height (320 mm or 12.6 in.) with a high stroke range (up to 600 mm or 23.6 in.) to improve accessibility for patients without compromising the extended height necessary for procedures. Other capabilities include a high load-carrying capacity (up to 6,000 N or 1,350 lb), as well as fast positioning speeds and the ability to access pre-set positions for overall clinical efficiencies. Click here to learn more.
Tips for selecting linear actuators
Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic runs through the main specifying considerations for electric actuators, citing their high performance, adaptability, low total cost of ownership, and easy integration. But what about accuracy and repeatability? Should you go with a rod-style actuator or a screw type? What kind of force should you expect if you are considering converting from hydraulic to electric actuation? Tolomatic also offers an extensive ebook to help with your decision-making if you need it. Click here to learn more.
Universal Robots' CTO wins 'Nobel Prize of Robotics' for pioneering cobots
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) recently announced Esben Østergaard as the recipient of the Engelberger Robotics Award. Østergaard spearheads the development of Universal Robots’ collaborative robot arms, representing one of the most significant technology breakthroughs coming out of the robotics community in decades. Read the full article.
High-performance, high-load linear stages for industrial use
The new reference-class linear stages from precision nano-positioning global leader PI (Physik Instrumente) are available in ballscrew (L-417) and linear motor (V-417) configurations. Both cost-effective designs offer high resolution with improved tracking performance, smaller tracking error, and improved settling time. Applications include laser cutting, scanning, digital printing, electronics assembly and inspection, and more. The L-417 precision heavy-duty ball screw model easily accommodates a load capacity of 450 N on its 166-m width frame with a travel up to 813 mm. Powered by an ironless linear motor, the V-417 has a similar load capacity, width, and travel range. Learn more about the L-417 ball screw model. Learn more about the V-417 ironless linear motor model.
Motor-to-motor communication is 1-2 punch for machine builders
Combitronic™ is a propri-etary communica-tions protocol developed by Moog Animatics exclusively for its SmartMotor™. With Combitronic technology, any SmartMotor can read from, write to, and control any other SmartMotor, can act as the master, and can pass master control from one SmartMotor to another -- virtually eliminating the need for a PLC or other bus master. Combined with the CDS7 motor option, the technology allows a simple, single-cable, power and communications connection from motor to motor, giving the machine builder a simple, cost-effective way to build a network of Class 5 D-Style SmartMotor integrated servos. Learn more.
Complete guided motion solutions from A to X-Y-Z
Bishop-Wisecarver invented and patented DualVee Motion Technology® more than 40 years ago to provide a solution for harsh environment applications where existing technologies were ineffective. DualVee® also proved excellent for long length, smooth motion, and low noise requirements. Today, Bishop-Wisecarver remains the recognized expert and the most trusted name in guide wheel technology, with the widest range of guide wheel-based linear motion products in the world. Discover the benefits of Bishop-Wisecarver Guide Wheel Technology.
New rodless pneumatic cylinder supports compact machine design
Aventics now offers a new product for applications where the basic variants just won’t do the trick, but high-performance cylinders are too powerful. The new RTC-SB slide bearing version rounds off the pneumatics specialist’s RTC range of rodless cylinders. At the heart of the RTC-SB (slide bearing) is its oval piston shape. In relation to its size, it offers a very high load capacity. As a result, engineers can draft even more compact machine designs. Equipped with a lubrication-free slide bearing, the cylinder is maintenance-free and resistant to water, chemicals, and dirt. The slide play is optimally adjusted at the factory. Max speed is 6.5 m/sec (21.3 ft/sec). Maximum stroke is around 6,000 mm (21.6 ft). Learn more.
Revolutionary new high-pressure electric pump system
High Pressure Equipment Co. (HiP), a subsidiary of Graco, introduces the eTensifer pump, the first-of-its-kind high-pressure electric pump system. The plug-and-play pump simply plugs into a wall outlet -- no need for an air compressor like other high-pressure pumps on the market. The portable, lightweight (only 46 lb) eTensifier will deliver hydraulic/liquid pressures to 36,500 psi with a smoother flow rate from zero to full pressure and a quiet electric motor. SmartControl™ technology allows for two operational modes: a traditional pressure knob for standard jobs and an industry-first pressure test mode. Another first is the ProConnect™ quick-connect system that allows users to switch out the Sprague pump lower. Learn more.
World's smallest stepper motor is a big win
MICROMO presents the FAULHABER FDM 0620 series stepper motor. Measuring just 6 mm in diameter and 9.7 mm in length, including all components and connections, and with a 0.25-mNm holding torque rating, the FDM 0620 stepper motor series is small enough to fit in the most compact spaces for limitless applications. This micro stepper motor is also now available for purchase online with and without leadscrew options. Click here to learn more.
Small brush DC motors drive handheld biopsy system
When developing an automated, handheld system capable of harvesting multiple samples with a single insertion to reduce patient tissue trauma and sampling time, this medical device manufacturer turned to MICROMO for compact and high-efficiency FAULHABER® brush DC motors. Read the full article.
Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications
See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available. View the video.
Snake-inspired robot uses Japanese kirigami to move
Bioinspired soft actuator crawls without rigid parts.
By Leah Burrows, Harvard University
Who needs legs? With their sleek bodies, snakes can slither up to 14 mph, squeeze into tight spaces, scale trees, and swim. How do they do it? It's all in the scales. As a snake moves, its scales grip the ground and propel the body forward -- similar to how crampons help hikers establish footholds in slippery ice. This so-called friction-assisted locomotion is possible because of the shape and positioning of snake scales.
Now, a team of researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed a soft robot that uses those same principles of locomotion to crawl without any rigid components. The soft robotic scales are made using kirigami -- an ancient Japanese paper craft that relies on cuts, rather than origami folds, to change the properties of a material. As the robot stretches, the flat kirigami surface is transformed into a 3D-textured surface, which grips the ground just like snake skin.
This soft robot is made using kirigami -- an ancient Japanese paper craft that relies on cuts, rather than origami folds, to change the properties of a material. As the robot stretches, the kirigami is transformed into a 3D-textured surface, which grips the ground just like snake skin. [Image courtesy: Ahmad Rafsanjani/Harvard SEAS]
"There has been a lot of research in recent years into how to fabricate these kinds of morphable, stretchable structures," said Ahmad Rafsanjani, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and first author of the paper. "We have shown that kirigami principles can be integrated into soft robots to achieve locomotion in a way that is simpler, faster, and cheaper than most previous techniques."
The researchers started with a simple, flat plastic sheet. Using a laser cutter, they embedded an array of centimeter-scale cuts, experimenting with different shapes and sizes. Once cut, the researchers wrapped the sheet around a tube-like elastomer actuator, which expands and contracts with air like a balloon.
When the actuator expands, the kirigami cuts pop-out, forming a rough surface that grips the ground. When the actuator deflates, the cuts fold flat, propelling the crawler forward.
VIDEO: Harvard researchers built a fully untethered, soft robot with integrated on-board control, sensing, actuation, and power supply. [Courtesy: Ahmad Rafsanjani/Harvard SEAS]
The researchers built a fully untethered robot, with its integrated on-board control, sensing, actuation, and power supply packed into a tiny tail. They tested it crawling throughout Harvard's campus.
The team experimented with various-shaped cuts, including triangular, circular, and trapezoidal. They found that trapezoidal cuts -- which most closely resemble the shape of snake scales -- gave the robot a longer stride.
"We show that the locomotive properties of these kirigami-skins can be harnessed by properly balancing the cut geometry and the actuation protocol," said Rafsanjani. "Moving forward, these components can be further optimized to improve the response of the system."
"We believe that our kirigami-based strategy opens avenues for the design of a new class of soft crawlers," said Katia Bertoldi, the William and Ami Kuan Danoff Professor of Applied Mechanics and senior author of the paper. "These all-terrain soft robots could one day travel across difficult environments for exploration, inspection, monitoring, and search-and-rescue missions or perform complex, laparoscopic medical procedures."
Bertoldi is also an Associate Faculty of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.
This research was co-authored by Yuerou Zhang, Bangyuan Liu, and Shmuel M. Rubinstein, Associate Professor of Applied Physics at SEAS. It was supported by the National Science Foundation.