NI Announces Teams for this years Autonomous Robotics Competition

Hey everyone! It’s official! 32 teams from 27 top universities in Australia and New Zealand! will be competing for the 2014 National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition Championship.

Will Victoria University of Wellington keep the crown again? Or will we have a new champion this year?

Emails have been sent out to the University Team Supervisors and you should be receiving your robotics development kits shortly.

Competition starts 31 March! It’s on!

Universities competing this year:
University of Newcastle
University of Sydney
University of Technology Sydney
University of Western Sydney
University of Wollongong
University of New South Wales
Macquarie University
Manukau Institute of Technology
University of Auckland
Victoria University of Wellington
Massey University
Queensland University of Technology
University of Queensland
Griffith University- Gold Coast Campus
University of Southern Queensland
Charles Darwin University
Flinders University
University of South Australia
La Trobe University
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Swinburne University
Victoria University
Monash University
University of Melbourne
University of Tasmania
Curtin University
University of Western Australia

Busy week ahead for us. Exciting shipment of DC motors, controllers and Gearheads on its way and getting ready for our next expo.

DC motor powered linear actuator

For when you need a brushless DC motor with push – and lots of it.

This linear actuator with an integrated high force bearing system, planetary gearing and brushless DC motor was recently on display at the oil and gas exhibition in Perth as an example of high force motor driven actuators for extremely harsh environments.


The big Space spring clean

The European Conference on Space Debris recently highlighted an urgent need to start removing redundant objects out of orbit. Unless items are eliminated, collisions will be inevitable and space will become extremely hazardous. maxon motor uk has been working with the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) on their experimental solution.

The Surrey Space Centre‘s (SSC) drag deorbiting sail project, Inflatesail, contains two experimental structural components. The first is an inflatable rigidisable mast and the second is an ultra-lightweight polymer sail. The sail is supported by four custom manufactured ‘bistable’ carbon fibre booms which are wound around a central hub. maxon motor GP 16C planetary gearheads, combined with 16mm brushless DC motors from the maxon EC-max family, are used to drive and control the deployment of the booms. The ceramic components are wear and corrosion resistant for longer life and enable stability over a wide range of temperatures. The brushless DC motor and gearhead are fitted with high performance Braycote grease, which is non-flammable, suitable for extreme temperatures, is chemically inert and designed to be used in a deep space vacuum.

Dr Andrew Viquerat, Research Fellow at the SCC said ‚We have worked with maxon for a number of years, and continue to do so because of the reliability of the products. Some of our requirements are slightly unusual, and the people at maxon have been helpful and interested in helping us address them. In particular, we require DC motors which work in vacuum and at high temperatures.‘.

Gridweld Welding Systems has developed a new automatic pipeline welding crawler.

Gridweld Welding Systems has developed a new automatic pipeline welding crawler. This advanced unit uses online configurable DC motors from maxon motors DCX family.

Over the past decade, continual increase in energy demand coupled with strong development in the production of unconventionals and LNG (liquefied natural gas) has set solid grounds for growth in the onshore pipeline sector. Gridweld uses the latest technology to design and manufacture orbital welding systems. This specialised technique is used for joining pipes or tubes where the arc is rotated 360°. The West Midlands based company personnel have been involved in many pipe welding operations around the world. Since its development the welding bug Scorpion, has been used on projects within the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Mike Penny, Technical Director at Gridweld says ‚ We chose to work with maxon motor because of the high level of support and expertise available and the short delivery times available for the DCX.‘ Ian Bell, senior sales engineer from maxon motor said ‚The new DCX range has increased deliverable torque without increasing size or weight, both important deciding factors for Scorpion’s customers‘.

IP65 DC motors and gearboxes.

KAG motor are able to deliver custom IP65 DC motors and gearboxes to suit specific application requirements.

This DC motor and planetary gearbox are an example of the meticulous approach of the German manufacturer KAG. For new DC motor designs maxon motor Australia work very close with the customer to find the ideal motor and gearbox features to suit the application. The requirements are written in a detailed specification document and then when the motor is produced, the specification and measured data are displayed alongside one another in the accompanying prototype documentation. A full and also a scaled drawing with all tolerances, the measured motor data from testing and also the speed torque curves are presented to the customer alongside the product. All IP65 motor and gearbox combinations obviously contain a number of seals. Static sealing around the flanges and cabling and also rotary seals at the output shaft. The higher the IP rating on a DC motor and gearbox the higher the friction on the rotary seal. This increase of friction results in an entirely new set of motor data that is tested for the prototype and sent in both a hard and soft copy with the units. This particular unit was the M63X40 63mm 12V motor and the 52mm 25Nm planetary gearbox.

Contact maxon motor Australia in the Sydney office on +61 2 9476 4777 for detailed assistance and unrivalled support.

The Cubli: a cube that can jump up, balance, and ‘walk’

Keep your eye out for the maxon Flat motor inside.

Designed by a team at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, the Cubeli is a small cube capable of balancing, walking, and jumping on its own. The device contains a trio of reaction wheels that rotate extremely fast and can be controlled in speed and combination to create gravity-defying tricks shown in the video above,

50W brushless flat motors by maxon motor were selected to drive the momentum wheels for their high energy density. The motors are controlled using the EPOS2 50/5 a four quadrant motor controller.


Small DC servo motors that survive 10 years on Mars.

Hard to believe – but yes, maxon DC motors still running on the red planet after 10 years!

NASA rover Opportunity is still on its ground breaking exploration of Mars. The 39 DC motors that maxon motor supplied were originally designed to only last 3 months in the harsh environments have exceeded all expectations covering almost 40km.

All the way back in 2004 on this day, the 25th January, the DC motors received their first environmental exposure in Eagle crater. Since then the motors have gone on to propel the robot through countless territorial conditions, facing boulders, dunes, hills and flats on the search for evidence of water. With the ability to move soil, drill into stone and capture detailed images, the rover continues to supply vast amounts of information. It literally has a rocky past, it has been stuck in sand and battered by sandstorms creating major technical difficulties for NASA engineers. But despite this the DC motors survive even if the old girl is suffering a bit of “memory loss”. Thirty nine DC motors for thirty nine kilometres. Not just driving the wheels, maxon motors also control the manipulating arm, the rock grinding tool and vision systems. Based on standard maxon 20mm and 25mm DC motors they are over 90% efficient, even suffering the minus 120 to positive 25 degree environment. Contact maxon motor in Sydney for further information on our range of small DC servo motors. Ph:+61 2 9476 4777