Unlocking the secrets of the spine

Pleurobot landscape

Research and development into the spinal cord has taken an unconventional approach at The Swiss Institute of Technology.

Our brain is the central processing unit of our motor skills and functions. But it does not control our physical movements alone. The contribution that our spinal cord makes to our physical actions has driven two investigative questions from a team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne – How do these motor circuits work and what is the underlying control mechanisms for the movement of vertebrates? To better understand the secrets of the spinal cord, they have a dedicated Lab, called the Biorobotics Laboratory or Biorob for short. Here, they build robots to better understand mobility in living beings, drawing inspiration from many different animals where motor control happens mostly in the spinal cord. From this they built a robot called the Pleurobot, based on a Salamander. Powered by 27 maxon brushless frameless DC motors the robot can move on land and in water seamlessly mimicking the actions of the amphibian. Primarily its use is to assist with understanding how the nervous system in a spinal chord operates and will assist research in the neurosciences and biomechanical fields contributing to neuroprosthetics and paraplegia therapies.

For further information contact maxon motor Australia Tel. +61 2 9457 7477 or visit the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s BioRob Page – Pleurobot.

 

Brushless DC flat motors – in parts.

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maxon motor Australia’s new frameless DC motor and encoder set allows even further miniaturisation and integration. The new motors meet the increasing need for smaller robotic actuation by assembling individual parts directly into the robotic joint.

This is the new frameless brushless DC motor (BLDC) with a diameter of 45mm and an assembled depth of just 23.7mm, it has a continuous rating of 50W. 70W and 130W versions are also available. The frameless design is particularly suitable for processing machine or rotary stage manufacturers who need a large through bore to pass cabling or tubing. For positioning a high resolution magnetic encoder ring also with the same bore as the motor rotor is also supplied as components. The encoder ring is marked with the zero position to allow alignment with the motor zero commutation point in the application and is available in IP rated, absolute and incremental options. The combination gives a low profile large bore positioning system made up from standard parts with shorter lead times than specialty manufactured complete assemblies. The second advantage is for space saving in applications already containing joint actuation bearings or mounting systems there is no need for a second set within the motor.

Contact maxon motor Australia for assistance with brushless frameless DC motors. Ph: +61 2 9457 7477.

 

New DC motor technology released from maxon.

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maxon motor is introducing new miniature brushless DC motors, brushless frameless motors in kit form and EtherCAT positioning controller solutions.

A number of new products are released from DC motor drive specialist maxon motor. More configurable brushless DC motors (from the ECX SPEED range) in both Standard and High Power options are available with diameters of 13mm and 19mm, along with matching planetary gearheads and encoders. This brushless DC motor has very high speeds and is particularly suitable for power tools and demanding speed & positioning control tasks. All components can be configured online. These customised drives are assembled using automated processes and are ready for shipping after no more than 11 working days.

Newly released is the popular high-torque powerful brushless flat DC motor available in a frameless kit. This means that the stator and rotor are delivered separately and joined only during the assembly of the device. This brushless frameless kit is especially suitable for robotics applications where space is constrained.

Maxon have also developed their compact EPOS4 positioning controller to be equipped with an EtherCAT expansion board for integration into any EtherCAT network.

These innovations are on display from November 28 to 30 at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany.

For more information on any of the above new products please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

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

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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.