Despite their potential danger, X-rays are one of the most powerful instruments and resources utilized in medical diagnostics to help medical professionals restore health by identifying the correct prognosis. When it comes to achieving the best imaging with the lowest X-ray exposure, lenses made by Optec are almost inevitably involved. Their aperture, focus, filters, and zoom are precisely moved by FAULHABER DC motors. Read the full article.
Important Qs about linear motor actuators that design engineers should ask
Many design engineers overestimate how accurate traditional motors and actuators stay over long travel runs, mistakenly believing that if the solution works well for short runs, it will work equally well on long ones. Do you know what type of actuator you should use for your application? Patrick Lehr, Product Manager, Precision Mechanics at Parker Hannifin, has some really good tips for you. Read the full article.
Small DC motors for spectrophotometry
The DeNovix team needed a motion solution for their spectrophoto-meter application which called for intermittent short, quick motions with micron-level accuracy. After research and testing, they chose a FAULHABER small DC motor configured with a MICROMO encoder and an all-plastic planetary gearhead to successfully bring their product to market. Read the full article.
Integrated brushless servo motor and controller
Save money and space by utilizing the EC042B 42-mm IDEA Motor's integrated package of motor, drive, and feedback connections in a compact and programmable unit. A single motor/drive unit reduces motion system components by up to 75 percent per axis and simplifies machine troubleshooting -- all while providing excellent precision. Further reductions can be achieved by wiring sensor inputs and control outputs directly to the IDEA Motor, rather than through a control cabinet. Available in three motor lengths with continuous torque up to 0.15 Nm from Haydon Kerk Pittman. Applications include lab automation, medical devices, communications equipment, aerospace systems, and more. Learn more.
Extreme-force electric actuator for press and punch
Tolomatic's RSX extreme force electric actuator family has been expanded -- this time with more options capable of replacing hydraulic cylinders. The new RSX096P Press Model is designed for pressing, punching, clinching, joining, and other applications requiring extreme force. This hydraulic-class actuator is capable of forces up to 40,000 lbf (178 kN). It features Tolomatic planetary roller screw technology for long life and consistent performance. Learn more.
New optical joysticks for medical and military
CTI Electronics (an affiliate of Electro Switch Corp.) has launched a new line of optical joystick motion controllers and mouse pointing devices. Made in the USA, LightStick Series controllers exceed medical and military performance standards for electromagnetic and RF disturbance in applications to 200 V/m -- without additional shielding. The LightStick's patented noncontact optical sensor technology ensures highly repeatable operator feedback for the life of the controller -- up to 10 million cycles and a MTBF greater than 10 years of operation. Learn more.
Just out! THK introduces TRK Robot Hand assembly
THK America is known for being a leader in linear motion guides, but now they're stretching their reach into the end-effector market. The Schaumburg, IL-based company has just added the Type TRX Robot Hand to its quality lineup. Learn more.
Why convert hydraulics to electric high-force linear actuators?
Got a high-force linear motion application? If you do, chances are the first product solution to come to mind is hydraulic cylinders. They're relatively inexpensive (if you already have a hydraulic power unit in place), compact (if the HPU is somewhere else), and power-dense. But what about the disadvantages -- leaks, operation and maintenance costs, and more? It's possible to convert an application from hydraulic to electric linear motion easily, and Tolomatic even gives you step-by-step instructions. Read the Tolomatic blog. Really useful!
Cobot is 'golden arm' for new pipe welding system
ARC Specialties has solved the challenge of creating repeatable, full-penetration pipe welds by combining artificial intelligence (AI), advanced sensors, and the UR5 collaborative robot from Universal Robots. The unique Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System debuted at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston at the beginning of May. Read the full article.
Piezo motor technology: Questions answered
There's a new kind of piezo motor in town, and it's got legs. The Piezo LEGS rotational motor is a direct-friction drive that provides precise motion without any mechanical play or backlash. There are no gears or transmission, so changing the direction of the motion will introduce no error. The simple Piezo LEGS motor is also extremely stiff. Find out the answers to frequently asked questions about this exciting motor technology available from the FAULHABER Group. Read the full article.
Get a linear shafting sample on the house
Lee Linear has produced world-class, linear motion components and linear shafting for over 40 years. With the ability to manufacture custom shafting -- threading, diameter reduction, keyways, flats, plating, and more -- to required standards in a short amount of time, Lee Linear is able to fulfill orders on time, eliminating downtime and increasing profits for its customers. Request your sample.
Real-World Application: Actuator linkage for diverter valve in hybrid vehicles
Cablecraft Motion Controls was contacted by a large exhaust gas management system supplier to develop a special actuator linkage to control a diverter valve in the exhaust gas stream of hybrid passenger vehicles. The application presented quite a number of challenges, including meeting cost, temperature, and PPAP timing requirements. Read the full article.
Next-gen permanent magnet AC motor with integrated encoder
Designed for today's demanding machine drive applications, the new VFsync synchronous AC motors from Bison Gear and Engineering run at high efficiency with advanced variable frequency drives. These IP66/IP54 platform motors were optimized with FEA software and then tooled with highly efficient internal permanent magnet-style rotors. VFsync provides a compact footprint that is 56 percent smaller and 63 percent lighter than common 3-phase induction motors. Power range is .25 to 1.5 hp. They are supplied with swivel connectors and shielded cables to make installation trouble-free. Popular frame sizes available. The product line includes the new motors, quick-connect cables, and a programmable and networked VFD. Learn more.
Largest autonomous mobile robot can lift 1 metric ton
At the Automate 2019 Show and Conference, Mobile Industrial Robots launched the MiR1000, the company's largest autonomous mobile robot (AMR). This mobile platform can automatically pick up, transport, and deliver pallets and other heavy loads up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) through dynamic environments. Like the MiR500 introduced in 2018, the MiR1000 is a collaborative, safe, and flexible alternative to potentially dangerous and expensive forklifts on the factory floor. MiR also released another industry first -- artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across all of its AMRs for improved navigation. Learn more.
Top Roller conveyor for mobile industrial robots
Real efficiency in logistics automation is achieved when the entire workflow is handled by robotics solutions that communicate smoothly with each other. That's the vision behind ROEQ's new TR500 Top Roller unit that automates load and unload operations of the MiR500, the largest and most powerful autonomous mobile robot from Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR). Danish company ROEQ is launching the Top Roller at the Automate 2019 show in Chicago this week, along with a host of other add-ons for MiR. The TR500 accommodates U.S. pallets and can be delivered with a fully automated lifter functionality for pick-up and delivery of goods. Learn more.
If self-driving cars cruise to avoid paying to park, then autonomous vehicles 'have every incentive to create havoc,' transportation planner says
By Jennifer McNulty, UC Santa Cruz
If you think traffic in city centers is bad now, just wait until self-driving cars emerge on the scene, cruising around to avoid paying hefty downtown parking fees.
Even worse, because cruising is less costly at lower speeds, self-driving cars will slow to a crawl as they "kill time," says transportation planner Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
"Parking prices are what get people out of their cars and on to public transit, but autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising," he said. "They will have every incentive to create havoc."
That scenario of robot-fueled gridlock is right around the corner, according to Millard-Ball, who says autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles are likely to become commonplace in the next five to 20 years. Millard-Ball is the first researcher to analyze the combined impact of parking costs and self-driving cars on city centers, where the cost and availability of parking is the only tool that effectively restricts car travel.
Under the best-case scenario, the presence of as few as 2,000 self-driving cars in downtown San Francisco will slow traffic to less than 2 mph, according to Millard-Ball, who uses game theory and a traffic micro-simulation model to generate his predictions.
"It just takes a minority to gum things up," he said, recalling the congestion caused at airports by motorists cruising the arrivals area to avoid paying for parking. "Drivers would go as slowly as possibly so they wouldn't have to drive around again." Free cell-phone parking areas, coupled with strict enforcement in loading areas, relieved the airport snarls, but cities will be hard-pressed to provide remote parking areas for self-driving cars at rates lower than the cost of cruising -- which Millard-Ball estimates at 50 cents per hour.
"Even when you factor in electricity, depreciation, wear and tear, and maintenance, cruising costs about 50 cents an hour -- that's cheaper than parking even in a small town," says Millard-Ball. "Unless it's free or cheaper than cruising, why would anyone use a remote lot?"
Regulation also falls short because, as Millard-Ball puts it, "It's difficult to regulate intent. You can pass a law saying it's illegal to drive more than 10 minutes without a passenger, but what if the car is picking up a parcel?"
The solution: congestion pricing, which can take different forms but essentially amounts to a user fee. In London, motorists pay a flat fee of £11.50 (about $15) to enter the city center. Singapore and Stockholm employ similar models. More sophisticated models could charge by miles driven, or assign different fees to particular streets.
Economists and environmentalists agree that congestion pricing effectively reduces congestion and pollution, but it's a politically fraught strategy because it raises the ire of commuters -- which is where Millard-Ball sees opportunity.
"As a policy, congestion pricing is difficult to implement. The public never wants to pay for something they've historically gotten for free," he said. "But no one owns an autonomous vehicle now, so there's no constituency organized to oppose charging for the use of public streets. This is the time to establish the principle and use it to avoid the nightmarish scenario of total gridlock."
Moreover, he noted, self-driving cars could be outfitted with devices that would give policymakers options for levying fees based on location, speed, time of day -- even which lane the vehicle occupies.
"The fees could raise money for cities to improve transportation," he said. "The idea is to do it now before autonomous vehicles become widespread."