A new article from maxon motor UK reports on an application using a brushless DC motor for brain surgery with some truly strange inspiration.
Nature inspires many technological innovations and this application is an extreme example. Containing a maxon brushless DC motor and position control unit, biomedical engineers were inspired by the egg laying process of wasps to develop a steerable needle.
Enabling deep brain access without harming vulnerable sections in the insertion path, the flexible surgical tool is segmented with an interlocking mechanism and can change directions using a bevel tip that is programmable via the maxon brushless motor position controller.
maxon EC Drive systems can be found in experimental robots on board the ISS.
The International Space Station (ISS) are testing robots to perform tasks in place of astronauts. One such experiment, called the “Robot Experiment on JEM, or “REX-J”, has been in the Japanese unit of the ISS since 2012. The robot was developed to kick-start a new group of astrobots that can move across the space station, lift loads or perform inspections. Designed to move across a surface like a spider, the REX-J can be operated remotely from the ground control center with no interaction from the ISS crew. There are several brushless maxon EC max motors, planetary gearheads and encoders making up the drive systems in this specialised robot. Full application notes are available on the maxon motor Australia Website.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia on +61 2 9457 7477.
In the final part of our 6-part Robotics feature, we take a look at the maxon motor and drive solutions for Surgical Robots.
Robots increasingly are supporting surgeons in operating theatres worldwide. Operating laparoscopically in the patient through small incisions, the instruments can be maneuvered with a greater level of precision and flexibility than is capable from a Surgeon’s hand. The advantages being less invasive, less risk of nerve damage or major bleeding and quicker recovery due to smaller cuts. Several dozen maxon DC motors are used to accurately transmit the movements of the surgeon and have the robot execute the surgeons movements to the nth degree. With no cogging torque these DC motors are ideal for surgical robot applications.
The maxon motor drive solution for Surgical Robots
Brushed DC motors from the maxon DCX series. With very quiet operation, high energy efficiency, backdriveable gearhead, minimal heat build-up, ironless maxon winding (providing smooth running) and linear characteristics – these properties combined give excellent control properties.
maxon motor Australia deliver the first combination of 4 pole brushless dc motor with sealed planetary gearhead and new inductive encoder for demanding subsea application.
Constructed with a single tube stainless steel housing with laser welded flanges, this 4 pole brushless DC motor offers high levels of robustness and can deliver 90W of power from only 22mm diameter. High end rare earth magnets and maxon’s winding technology give the brushless motor a unique advantage of being powerful and also highly controllable. The maxon winding gives a zero magnetic cogging and the low rotor inertia allows for rapid acceleration.
This is the first time maxon motor Australia have been able to offer the motor with the new EASY 16mm inductive encoder that is also sealed and perfect for use in harsh electrical or environmental conditions. Reducing the motor speed and increasing the torque is a 26mm planetary gearhead with rubber seals fitted to the bearing for increased protection. The entire combination of parts form a powerful, controllable brushless DC servo drive.
Contact maxon motor Australia for complex servo configuration assistance. Ph: +61 9457 7477.
Laboratory robots: the maxon motor drive solution.
For speed and position-critical dispensing actions, maxon offer a DCX motor with high overload capacity, small in size, linear curve for minute control and high CPT.
One special type of robot found in a laboratory is the Pipetting machine. Used by small molecular biology labs for flexible liquid handling through to large scale active-ingredient screening by multinational pharmaceutical companies, the one common trait of these machines is the speed and position-critical dispensing actions. Handling hundreds of samples all at once, some equipped with numerous pipetting heads, the speed of these machines is increasing and the fluid quantities dispensed is becoming smaller and smaller. Essential to this is a highly dynamic and precise drive.
The maxon motor drive solution
Especially suited to this task offering very low instances of inertia and ironless windings with falter-free movements. The brushed DCX motor. Low noise output. Configurable to a planetary gearhead and encoder – the GPX 12 and ENX 10 EASY Encoder. This combination can be configured online and shipped in 11 days. The motor has a high overload capacity, is small in diameter for space critical machines, has a linear curve for minute control characteristics and a high level of precision up to 1024 counts per turn.
Above: maxon brushed DCX motor and GPX planetary gearhead.
Above: maxon ENX EASY encoder.
Other maxon motor drive solutions to consider
Brushless DC motors: EC or EC flat
Planetary Gearheads: GPX High Power, GPX, GP High Power or GP
maxon Brushless DC flat motors drive robots that you ‘get to know’.
From factory automation to spacecraft, military to medical, difficult applications are fulfilled with robotic devices. Now the field of robotics expands to the home. Robots that are funny, educational and helpful will soon be commonplace in homes across the world. SoftBank (the manufacturer of the Pepper robot) last year sold 1000 companion robots every month.
Robots capabilities are only limited by human imagination and available technology, and the imagination still spans much further. This is why maxon motor continually develop new motor designs to achieve the highest possible power density and dynamics.
The Pepper robot uses maxon Brushless flat motor technology. Often referred to as a pancake motor in Australia, the flat out runner design gives a high torque per volume ratio. It achieves this by the “lever arm” effect generated by placing the motors rotor on the outside of the stator. It can achieve a continuous output power of over 70W and weighs in at only 141 grams. 24V, 36V and 48V windings are available and custom windings can be produced to perfectly match an application speed and torque requirements.
Across the many and varied robotics applications be they surgical, UAV, humanoid, collaborative or industrial robots, maxon motor offers motor and drive solutions.
Unmanned robots step-in for humans when the environment is too dangerous or rugged to tread. These robots are designed to perform a variety of tasks, operate independently and negotiate tough terrain. The motors and drives need to be 100% reliable particularly when the environment for repairs is dangerous, impractical or near-impossible for humans to negotiate. Because these microdrives run on batteries, engineers look at the energy efficiency for the longest life-span possible. These drives are configurable on-line to suit specific application needs and ready to be shipped after 11 days.
The maxon motor drive solution
Offering high-energy efficiency, extreme power packed into small spaces, precise position & speed control and very high torque output. The brushed DC motor with planetary gearhead and maxon X-series encoder is pictured below. maxon motor recommends a DCX 22 with graphite brushes for robust operation fitted with a GPX HP gearhead and ENX 16 EASY encoder.
The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge has 7.2km of confined tunnels in its arches. A climbing robot, fitted with maxon DC motors, has been developed to access areas deemed too unsafe for workers, sending real time information to Engineers to evaluate disrepair and damage.
The climbing robot has magnetic feet and uses a sensor to create a map of the dim and narrow tunnels. This gives the robot the ability to move through the tunnels climbing up and down walls and scaling drop-offs up to 1.5 meters.
The robot uses six of the Maxon DCX custom motor configurations. They are used to peel the magnets from the surface, one for each magnet, three in each foot. maxon DCX series of DC motors are a robotically manufactured, online configurable motor, gearhead and encoder combination.
Developed by the University of Technology Sydney and Roads & Maritime Services over a five-year period, the robot was able to access a section of the bridge that was too dangerous for workers and where paintwork hadn’t been updated since 1932. The climbing robot has negated the need to send workers down 30cm hatches that appear roughly every six meters along the Bridge. The risk of asphyxiation, poor air quality, getting stuck inside the Bridge and the need for emergency rescue are drastically reduced if not negated by using the climbing robot.
The climbing robot has the potential to access dangerous structures where workers would otherwise risk their lives to inspect or maintain.
For more information on DC motors and Drives robotic applications please contact maxon motor Australia on Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.