Exoskeleton joint actuator.

 

Gen.1 maxon exoskeleton DC motor drive system

maxon motor have developed the Exoskeleton Drive GEN.1 for use in hip and knee exoskeletons.

The global Exoskeleton market is growing in both market share and technological developments at a rapid rate each year. Maxon motor have several global customers we have worked with to develop brushless DC motor solutions for use in robotic limbs.

Available from the beginning of October 2017 is a complete joint actuation unit consisting of a pancake brushless DC motor (EC90 flat) with inertia optimised rotor, Internal high resolution 4096 MILE Encoder, planetary gearhead with absolute encoder and EPOS4 position controller with CAN and RS232 interface. Fitting the 17bit SSI absolute encoder directly at the joint rotation to a degree will negate the effect of gearhead backlash giving designers increased positioning accuracy. The unit will deliver 54Nm of continuous torque and 120Nm on a 20% duty cycle. The system can be operated on supplies between 10 and 50V DC and the actuation speed is up to 22rpm. Drawings and pricing are now available contact maxon motor Australia for further information.

Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

New Autoclavable brushless DC motor range and sterilisation cycles

Autoclavable DC motors together

There are many different benchmarks in the marketplace for the sterilisation capabilities of devices. maxon motor explain the cycle and testing process for Autoclavable brushless DC motors.

maxon motor develop brushless DC motors that can be sterilised for medical and dental applications. Recently released is the new ECX range of motors with sterilisation capability on 13,16,19 and 22mm diameter versions. The new range of motors complement the existing 4 pole sterilisable 30mm brushless 150W motor and offer high speed capability up to 120,000rpm. maxon motor test the brushless motors to either 1000 autoclave cycles or 2000 cycles depending on the product. For motors with hall sensors fitted the motor is typically cycled through 1000 autoclave cycles and without hall sensors 2000 cycles. Gearheads are available with additional shaft seals. With the additional seal they are tested to 2000 cycles and without, 1000 cycles. Another new product that offers a completely sterilisable positioning system for the first time is an encoder rated and tested for 1000 cycles.

The maxon motor internal autoclave testing is carried out with the autoclave with a vacuum phase. The motors are unpacked and mounted without any additional protection. Three vacuum cycles are made at the beginning to ensure the internals of the motor become damp. The sterilisation atmosphere is built up with steam which remains constant for 18 minutes at 134˚C, 100% humidity and 2.3 bar of pressure. The unit is then cooled to 70˚C and dried. Each individual autoclave cycles takes approximately 1 hour. After 100 cycles the motors are removed from the autoclave and visually checked and motor operation is checked. Following this the motor is then removed after 250 cycles and visually checked in addition to data acquisition of the running data, motor noise, vibration and electrical strength test at up to 500V DC. Typical batch test cycles are conducted with 10 pcs and the tests are repeated with design changes. Internal testing of the motors to 2000 cycles takes approximately six months.

Contact maxon motor Australia for assistance with Autoclavable brushless DC motor options Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

A DC motor kit supplied in parts for robotic joint applications.

Brushless_frameless_motor2-195px

Maxon’s brushless frameless DC motors are designed for applications with space and weight constraints.

DC motors don’t always fit seamlessly into applications. Particularly in robotic joints, the space and weight constraints can take off the shelf DC motors past their threshold. These motors must also offer high torque yet be lightweight to meet the needs of the application’s dynamic movements. For this growing market, maxon motor developed a brushless flat motor as a frameless kit. The rotor and stator are provided separately, without bearings and motor shaft and connected when these components are put together. This offering brings the best of both worlds: high torque density with the smallest dimension possible. With outer diameters of only 43 to 90 mm, the brushless frameless flat motors are particularly compact. Designed as external rotor motors, they offer plenty of space inside for cable glands. For easy control these are delivered with Hall sensors.

The benefit of the brushless frameless motor kits are low cogging torque, high overload capacity, high torques through the multi-pole external rotor, space for cable glands, supplied equipped with Hall sensors and thermal sensors, and speaking from our own experience; higher levels of integration into robotic joint applications.

For more information on robotic applications or maxons brushless frameless motor kit, please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Brushless DC motor – pushing it to the limit

BLDC motor temperature sensing for R&D450px

When prototyping for applications with extreme requirements for brushless DC motors, fast condition monitoring is critical.

Motor applications with limited space available and comparatively large power requirements can push a motor very close to burning out. In theory, it is possible to use temperature calculations for the motor winding with the help of thermal resistance rating from the motor data sheets, ambient temperatures, heat sinking details and housing characteristics. This is always considered first and then tolerances and safety margins are considered. Following this thermal modelling software and imaging can be evaluated. However some applications push a motor so close to the edge, that only real product prototype testing can be relied upon. Simply installing motors and testing how hard you can push them can also be a costly exercise and does not give enough reliable data. Actual winding temperature sensing on the motor is a solution maxon motor offer for these extreme cases. By inserting sensors through ports in the magnetic return stack and in direct contact with the winding, maxon motor can give customers a device that monitors winding temperatures without the thermal time constant delays experienced when measuring winding resistance and using housing thermal time constants.

For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +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.

More DC motors on Mars in the 2020 Rover.

nasa-mars-2020-rover_450px

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.

Maxon motor posts record revenues

 

vlnr_Dr_Karl-Walter_Braun__CEO_Eugen_Elmiger_2017_450px

Throughout 2016 maxon invested significantly in expanding its facilities, bringing a large number of new technologies & innovations to market and expanded on their market leading position.

Sachseln/Switzerland – The maxon motor group further increased its revenues in 2016. Compared with the previous year, revenues grew by 5% to a new record level of CHF 422.5 million (from CHF 402.5 million in the previous year). The number of employees rose to 2,500 and for the first time in company history, maxon employs more people abroad than in Switzerland. The highest revenues were achieved in medical technology (43% market share), followed by industrial automation & robotics (26%) and aerospace industries (6.5%). Investment in R&D rose to CHF 28.5 million in 2016 (up from 27.1 million).

Maxon is increasingly becoming a specialist in mechatronics and systems, launching the first fully sterilisable drive system this year. Drive combination units consisting of brushless DC motor, gearhead and sensor are designed to withstand 1000 autoclave cycles. Maxon’s new DC motor controllers also stand up to extreme ambient conditions. The electronics are protected against contaminants and corrosion by a polymer coating. In addition, the device is highly resistant against vibrations and shocks.

For the e-bike market, maxon motor developed a new S-Peledec motor with a 500 Wh battery and intuitive operation for urban applications. The bike reaches speeds of up to 45 km/h and the device stands out because it can convert any regular bicycle into an e-bike. maxon is also active in the field of autonomous delivery robots. This is a market where the energy-efficient and lightweight drive systems by maxon are in particularly high demand.

For more information on DC motors and accessories please contact maxon motor Australia tel +61 2 9457 7477.

Customer Alert – motor control software update.

EPOS4 Compact 50-5

maxon Brushed and Brushless DC motor control unit software and firmware update.

With the release of the maxon motor EPOS 4 also comes new functionalities across the range of DC motor position controllers. The new EPOS 4 firmware 0120h is available now and offers a range of new features and changes. Now inclusive of the new EPOS 4 50/5, brushless DC (BLDC) motor commutation is possible with absolute SSI encoders eliminating the need for hall sensors. The upgrade also brings the digital input functionalities of drive enable and quick stop, plus watchdog handling with error signalisation. Performance has been improved on the CAN PDO communication and performance monitoring. To compliment the performance upgrades maxon motor have released the new PC configuration software EPOS studio version 3.2. The new position controller software features a command analyser tool and a CANopen wizard. The new EPOS command library 6.2.1.0 including the Windows DLL 64-Bit and 32-Bit, Net Library, LabView Instrument driver and Linux Library now have support of the new firmware features and support of mixed gateway topologies for windows DLL. Firmware specification, Application Notes, hardware references and command library documentation has all been updated and available at the EPOS microsite epos.maxonmotor.com.au

Contact maxon motor Australia on +61 2 9457 7477 for assistance with DC motor position control.

Brushless flat DC motors going to Mars.

BL flat motors in 2020 rover

Brushless motors from maxon motor are again being used by NASA for the Mars 2020 rover.

For critical tasks you need the best quality. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory have selected nine brushless flat motors from maxon motor for the rover which they intend will take soil samples and seal them in containers for future transport to Earth. Various motion applications are performed. Sample tube holding, the robotic arm, container handling, sample gathering and container sealing. 32mm diameter and 20mm diameter flat brushless motors have been combined with heavy duty 22mm planetary gearheads and modified specifically for the Mars mission in close collaboration with JPL for the difficult conditions experienced with descent, landing, sandstorms and the -130 to +70 degree temperatures.

For information on DC motors and gearheads used in applications operating in harsh environments please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Discontinuation of maxon EC19 DC motor and GP19 planetary gearhead

ECX-Speed STE 22L_9_450px

With the introduction of the ECX 19 SPEED brushless DC motors, maxon are phasing out the EC 19 and Planetary Gearhead GP 19.

The EC 19 and the GP 19 M were officially introduced in 2014. They will be replaced with brushless DC motors – the ECX SPEED 19 series. Final orders will be received up to December 22, 2017 with last delivery scheduled for March 30, 2018.

The alternative is the brushless ECX range of DC motors. Configurable online, these brushless DC motors are sterilisable, have ceramic bearings and are available with or without hall sensors. With an ironless winding these DC motors have an exceptionally large speed range, high power, excellent control characteristics and are highly durable. Choose from matching gearheads and with the option to configure the electrical connection.

For more information on an alternative DC motor or for application assistance, please call maxon motor Australia on tel. +61 2 9457 7477.