Exploring hidden depths under the seabed.

Exploring Hidden Depths tripod on seabed

Norwegian company Petro-Marker, developed a device that is able to collect data up to 5,000 meters underneath the seabed. The technology scans the bottom of the ocean in great detail providing information as to the location and size of oil reservoirs.

1,000 metres below the sea the environment is harsh, ice cold and very dark with no natural light. An ROV has strong floodlights that identify tri-pod objects anchored to the bottom of the seabed. These are receiver stations for electromagnetic waves transmitted into the seafloor, giving feedback on the seabed itself and finding resource deposits.

When oil companies want to find out whether drilling at depth is worth the cost, they often rely on Controlled Source Electro Magnetic (CSEM) technology. This technology utilises the differences in the electrical resistance of different bottom layers to provide signs of the location and size of oil fields. The CSEM technology uses a very strong power source to generate an electro-magnetic field, as well as several receivers to record the fields. These tripod receivers are placed on the sandy bottom and pick up electromagnetic signals that have been changed by the layers through which they passed.

In 2016 Petro-Marker placed 25 new tripods in the North Sea. What sets this technology apart is a new measuring method that uses a vertical transmitter and receiver to find resources. This enables a much more detailed resolution and data measurement up to 5,000 meters beneath the seafloor.

The tripods are about 4 meters high and made from a combination of glass fibre and special foams. Due to the sensitive electronics, metal parts cannot be used. This far below the surface, the pressure is extreme, and the salt water is hostile. At the center of the tripods (receivers), the antennas are aligned as vertically as possible on the seabed.

The system uses a maxon controller (EPOS) and a compensator. The units are encased in plastic to protect them from salt-water corrosion. Several modifications were required to meet the requirements of this application: An EC-i 40 motor, GP 42 planetary gearhead and compensator that were all customised. A dual seal, that imitates typical submarine technology, ensures the system is able to resist the enormous water pressure. The control electronics of the underwater drive are housed in a pressure-neutral glass ball that is able to resist the pressures of up to 600 bar – one of the challenges of this extreme application.

For more information or to speak to one of our Sales Engineers call tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

 

Roboy 2.0.

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A complete relaunch of the tendon controlled soft Robot, Roboy, is planned for 2018.

Reported here in 2013, Roboy was the first-of-its-kind Humanoid Robot developed by the University of Zurich. What set Roboy apart was the tendon-operated “soft” robotic features. As a main project partner, maxon motor supplied 48 brushless DC motors, gearheads and controllers that enable Roboy to move in a precise manner. Roboy now lives permanently at the Technical University in Munich where development is focused on enhancing A I. This is where the concept of Roboy 2.0 was born, utilising Roboy as a foundation to create robots that not only move like people but will think like people. At this stage Roboy is unable to stand or walk. Roboy 2.0 will be a complete relaunch and the new version will be able to stand, thanks to development of the legs and components like software, DC motors and technology, it is hoped that by 2018 Roboy 2.0 will stand on his own two feet and interact with us.

For more information please contact +61 2 9457 7477.

Play foosball against a robot!

Play foosball against robot

A robot operates the opposing player rods on a Foosball table and has won against human players.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) has developed a foosball table with autonomously operated robotic rods. The table has a transparent playing surface with a camera that locates the ball by taking up to 300 images per second. These images are immediately evaluated and sent to control the rods, which are powered by maxon EC-4 pole DC brushless motors with gearheads and motor controllers. The rods stop the ball and aim for the goals. The students aim to make the robot even more intelligent by programming the robot to analyse opponents players, find gaps in the defence and predict the ball’s trajectory.

For more information on DC motor technology please contact maxon motor Australia on tel. 61 2 9457 7477.

Custom DC motor for maximum power density

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New brushed DC motor design from maxon motor.

maxon motor Australia have configured a combination of brushed DC motor, planetary gearhead and digital incremental encoder with completely customised features for a prominent medical manufacturer and have produced it in 11 working days.

An interactive 3D model of the entire assembled combination showing all modifications and final production part numbers can now be generated within an hour of specification request along with data sheets showing the working points of the application. The new process eliminates large amounts of traditional internal procedures, with the robotic production line and parts procurement all linked together with the new design tool. The new motor pictured below shows a unique stepped planetary gearhead that uses a 26mm diameter on the high speed input stage and a 32mm on the high torque output stage. Focusing the wear and strength attributes by placing components specific to their role also increases the motors power density. In order to allow for the full use of shaft length that is tailored for the application, a new process of laser welding the inner race of the output bearing directly to the shaft material has been used over the traditional methods of c-clips and shaft collars. This is also naturally stronger than glue and press fit methods. The motor is capable of producing over 10,000rpm and the gearhead up to 12Nm with ratios to 1526:1. Zero cogging and linear characteristics combined with new encoder resolutions up to a staggering 65,536cpt open new position control possibilities for automation, tool and robotics applications.

Contact maxon motor Australia for assistance. Ph: +61 2 9457 7477.

More DC motors on Mars in the 2020 Rover.

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Maxon motor have supplied DC motor and gearhead combinations for NASA’s fifth Rover mission – the 2020 Mars Rover.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is building a Rover that will travel to Mars in 2020. The purpose of this operation is to collect dozens of soil samples, seal them and leave them on Mars for future pick-up. Nine brushless (flat) pancake DC motors and gearhead combinations from maxon’s standard range – that have been heavily customised to withstand the harsh conditions on Mars – are used in the sample handling arm, specifically developed for this mission.

The sample handling arm moves the containers from station to station within the sampling system. Additional DC motors are also in the Rover and assist with obtaining the samples and sealing the containers. Maxon’s brushless DC motors and gearheads need to survive the powerful entry, descent and landing sequence as well as the harsh daily conditions on Mars with sandstorms and temperatures ranging from -130 to +70ºC.

From the outside, the Mars 2020 rover looks similar to its precursor Curiosity, that is still operating on Mars. The 2020 mission will have several new instruments on board to deliver unique new data. A key objective will be to search Mars for bio-signatures. Another instrument on board will test whether it’s possible to generate oxygen from the atmosphere for possible future human visits. However, the most significant innovation is the ability to take rock samples in several locations and prepare them for return to Earth.

For assistance on customised DC motor technology for applications in harsh environments please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.