In first world countries we take for granted how easy a journey can be to access emergency health care. In a small town in Mozambique, Health Organisation SolidarMed has teamed up with maxon motor to retrofit two Ambulance bikes with maxon’s BIKEDRIVE.
Across dirt roads in a remote town in Northern Africa, pushbikes with special trailers are what is used to transport pregnant women and other patients to the closest health centre. Ambassador for SolidarMed and Olympic Mountain Bike Champion, Nino Schurter, visited the town and tested the bike trailers “I’m an elite athlete, but even I would find it hard to pull the heavy trailer with the patient on it” he said. Maxon motor is supporting SolidarMeds E-bike Ambulance project with two BIKEDRIVE retrofitting kits. The kits are fitted to prototypes that will be tested & developed over two years, and evaluated at the end of 2019. If the project is a success, SolidarMed is looking to expand the E-bike Ambulance project across the entire region.
Developing Exoskeletons for children present their own engineering challenges simply because children are still growing.
Exoskeletons were largely developed for people that have sustained paralysis or suffer muscular dystrophy. For adults who have stopped growing there is no risk of outgrowing the exoskeleton. However for children their growth and ability present a multitude of challenges for design engineers. An exoskeleton that fits a six-year old perfectly may be much too small by the time the child turns seven. For a child with spinal muscular atrophy an exoskeleton is designed to recognise users are not completely paralysed but are able to move their legs to a certain extent. Sensors within the frame detect weak leg movements and respond immediately to provide support. As a result, the child is able control the exoskeleton directly with the legs.
Spanish company, Marsi Bionics, manufactures exoskeletons mainly for adults but have developed two exoskeletons for children, the Atlas 2020 and Atlas 2030. Weighing approximately 14 kgs it is made for children from 3 years up who have a neuromuscular disease. The exoskeleton can be adapted to various leg lengths and hip widths, so that it also fits teenagers up to about 14 years of age. The “Atlas 2030 is an upgrade of Atlas 2020”, explains Elena García, creator and co-founder of Marsi Bionics. “The main difference is that Atlas 2020 is intended for use in hospitals for gait training and rehabilitation, while Atlas 2030 is designed for use in private homes as an integral part of the patient’s everyday life. Both devices are ready for industrial production and until then, Atlas 2020 will continue to be used in hospitals for clinical research.”
maxon motor have five drive systems in each leg of the children’s exoskeleton. Brushless flat EC45 motors deliver very high torque in a compact design, coupled with inductive MILE encoders that act as sensors. The motors are controlled by servo controllers from maxon’s ESCON series. “EC flat motors provide the best power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratio”, explained Elena García. “This is a variable of paramount importance, as gait exoskeletons require high power but a very low weight and volume.” The exoskeletons will be made available commercially once CE certification marks have been received.
For more information contact maxon motor Australia Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Biology and engineering have been combined to create the world’s first prosthetic foot with propulsion powered from a maxon DC motor.
Our calf muscles provide the essential power, control and stability for walking. Those who’ve had below the knee amputation tire very quickly walking on a prosthetic foot. Step in Hugh Herr, Professor at MIT Boston who developed The Empower bionic prosthetic foot along with the Ottobock Group, a world-leading supplier of prostheses. Hugh himself is a double transtibial amputee resulting from a mountaineering accident. Hugh and his team drew inspiration from nature to create The Empower combining both biology and engineering together.
The Empower is a third generation newly developed bionic foot. A research team spent 16 months to make walking feel more natural by using a carbon spring which transfers energy directly to the foot. A powerful maxon DC motor refines the energy pulse delivered by the spring and provides the missing power of a calf muscle, step by step with each toe push-off. Several sensors “tell” the prostheses which phase of movement the foot is in, at any given time, so that it can perform the corresponding action. This allows for short sprints, which were previously deemed impossible, as well as walking on uneven ground and up inclines. What’s more, the greater the load on the prostheses, the greater its energy output becomes, just like a natural foot. The DC motor providing the propulsion is maxon’s EC-4pole 30. Selected for its powerhouse features and high output per unit of volume and weight it provides an ideal ratio between size, weight and power – a key factor in developing prosthetics.
For more information on prostheses and robot assisted rehabilitation please contact maxon motor Australia tel.+ 61 2 9457 7477.
Prosthetics are a significant engineering challenge because of their conflicting DC motor design goals: high torque, high speed, compact size and the DC motors need to be as energy efficient as possible.
German company Vincent Systems have created a bionic hand prosthesis that is the first commercially available prosthetic delivering haptic feedback about grip strength to its wearer. This is achieved with short pulses of vibration. If the hand were to vibrate evenly, a person becomes familiar to the sensation and eventually stops paying attention to it.
What sets this prostheses apart is that each finger can individually open up. This opens up numerous situations for the wearer such as being able to ride a bike, tie shoelaces, hold a raw egg or open a door. 12 grip patterns are available that can be activated via muscle contractions. Weighing about the same as a human hand it’s available in a version small enough for children, with the youngest wearer being eight years old.
Each individual finger is actively driven by a DC motor, and the thumb is driven by two DC motors. Maxon have up to six brushed DC motors in the hand: DCX 10 DC motors with modified GP 10A planetary gearheads. The drive systems were selected for their compact size and highest energy density currently available from maxon. Plus the drives needed to be durable and function faultlessly for approximately five years while being exposed to diverse and heavy strain every day.
It was important to CEO and founder of Vincent Systems, Stefan Schulz, that patients wouldn’t need their healthy hand to help. “A prosthetic hand should help its wearer and not demand the attention of the good hand.”
For further information please contact maxon motor Australia Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
maxon motor have released the 2018/19 catalogue. Entitled “High precision drives and systems” the new catalogue theme is based on maxon motors focus on building complete drive systems including DC motors, gearheads, sensors and controllers.
maxon motor will continue to be the world’s leading supplier of high precision brushed and brushless DC motors and gearheads but also have expanded into cross-platform system solutions from a single source. In addition to the new capabilities expansion maxon have released a large range of new products. These include: A new square format 16mm brushless DC motor, 13mm and 16mm ECX high speed brushless motors, the new ECi-30 low cost high torque BLDC motor, an entire range of frameless brushless motors that are particularly suitable for wheel hub applications and robotic joint actuation, new encoders and various new motor control units. The first torque levels from a direct drive maxon motor at 1Nm have been achieved with the new 260W flat motor that is less than 40mm long and a series of motors with a hollow bore are handy for applications that require a passage for cables, air or light. Print versions and online e-paper versions have been released.
For customised solutions contact maxon motor Australia Ph: +61 2 9457 7477.
Paul is a robotically simulated training model of a 27 week old preemie baby. Created by an Austrian paediatrician to help train medical practitioners, maxon motors replicate the breathing movements of the baby.
Meet Paul. The smallest and most advanced high-end patient simulator in the world. Paul is a 27 week old preemie. He is 35cm long and weighs 1kg. He breathes on his own with a consistent heartbeat. His chest gently moves up and down, veins and arteries are visible under his thin skin. Paul needs artificial respiration and will sometimes turn blue.
Born to train medical staff in emergency situations that occur every day in neonatal intensive care units, the creator of Paul is Jens-Christian Schwindt, an ex-paediatrician in the Division of Neonatology of the Vienna General Hospital. In 2015 Schwindt started his company SIMCharacters, that arose from a need where “Critical situations in preterm care have to be trained time and time again, under as realistic conditions as possible, to ensure that everything goes equally smoothly in a real crisis” says Schwindt. With the ability to evoke emotions and cry, the baby looks exceptionally lifelike and is full of high-technology on the inside. His skull hosts a Linux system, he is charged cordlessly by induction using a customary charging pad. Paul can be operated for up to two hours. When he has difficulty breathing or the oxygen saturation drops, his head turns blue. Sophisticated hardware and software fit into a silicone skin.
maxon DC motors, gearheads and sensors ensure that the thorax and abdomen move in accordance with the programmed test scenarios. Three DCX 12mm motors with gearhead and sensors are used – two for Paul’s thorax and one for the abdomen. Another maxon DCX 6mm motor moves a valve in the lung of the simulator, with a total of 40 motors installed. The motors were selected for their torque, density and quiet running. The robust design and the ironless maxon rotor make these motors a perfect fit for this unique application. Maxon’s DCX motors are brushed and available in sizes from Ø 6 – 35 mm. They can be easily configured online and customer can select from graphite and precious metal brushes, sintered and ball bearings, and many other components.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
A recently patented technology uses maxon DC motors to help people look their best.
endermologie® is a beauty therapy, cell stimulation procedure, created by French company LPG nearly 30 years ago. Initially developed to treat scar tissue and aid in the skin’s healing process, it became apparent that this treatment served twofold. Use of the instrument led to tighter, supple skin, and a reduction in cellulite and fat cells in the hypodermis. Today, approximately 200,000 people in 110 countries undergo treatment with LPG technology every day. Recently LPG launched a new version of this technology announcing the Endermolift method. Organically reactivating skin cells’ processes, this 100% natural, non-invasive, non-aggressive mechanical skin stimulation technique works by applying suction to the skin by the head of the device. Stimulation is brought about by two pulsing flaps, whose beat frequency can be adjusted by the therapist. In the machine is a maxon brushless DC motor and planetary gearhead. The gearhead was customised with the addition of plastic parts to minimise the noise level. The DC motors were selected for their quiet operation, reliability, torque, speed and long service life.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
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.
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.
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.