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.
maxon motor have developed their most powerful DC motor positioning controller to date.
With a maximum power output of 2.1kW maxon are pleased to announce the release of the EPOS4 70/15 DC motor positioning controller. The CANopen controller with an EtherCAT option is presented in a robust metal housing. Suitable for both brushless and brushed DC motors the positioning controller is a cut above the rest due to its ease of operation and broad operative scope. The various digital and analogue connections can be configured and the unit is suitable for use with a wide variety of feedback systems. It can also be integrated into various master systems. This new product and many more will be showcased at the Hannover Messe in Germany from 23-27 April. For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
An integrated DC motor, motor controller and sensor unit has been developed by maxon motor for use in sliding door systems.
Maxon have developed a compact drive unit for use in elevator doors, public transport, sliding doors or machine tools. Consisting of an EC90 flat brushless DC motor, with integrated mile encoder and an EPOS 2 position controller set within a single die cast carrier. Available in two options, both with 24V DC motor, the mdd1 offers 96mNm torque and 2000 rpm. The mdd2 has 730 rpm and up to 291 mNm torque. The modules can also be tailored to customer specific requirements.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia on tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Compact and housed in robust casing is the improved ENX 16 Encoder that withstands temperatures from -40 °C to +100 °C.
For exceptional accuracy and position control, maxon’s ENX 16 encoder offers resolution up to 65,536 CPT. It is small, packed in a diminutive 16mm outer diameter size and only 7mm in overall length. The housing is mechanically robust and protected from dust due to its injection-moulded construction. Ideal for accurate positioning and speed control of DC motors, it fits the new brushless EC-i 30 motors and 16mm + dia. brushed DCX motors. maxon’s ENX 16 encoder has several aspects that can be configured online or at the factory, including the resolution, counts per turn, the electrical interface, as well as combined and configured with matching DC motors and drive systems online.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Achieving a combination of zero magnetic cogging and zero backlash in a 24V gearmotor assembly.
This new motor and gearhead from maxon motor Australia achieves over 60Nm on a continuous basis at only 10A current draw with a 24V DC supply. New achievements in the 94% efficient motor which features a coreless zero cogging winding (detent free) coupled with a zero backlash gearhead that features high stiffness levels make the drive suitable for robotics and process applications that require completely smooth motion with high power density. Sealed and lubricated for life the combination can handle harsh industrial environments and a -30 +100C ambient temperature range. Gearhead ratio reductions up to 160:1 can also be multiplied by large amounts by stacking planetary input stages and high resolution encoders allowing for accurate positioning tasks. maxon motor Australia now have the ability to configure zero backlash solutions to suit the application requirements. Contact our application engineers for configuration assistance tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
The first of its kind! Brushless DC motor (BLDC motor), Planetary Gearhead and a choice of incremental and Absolute encoder all assembled to order in sterilisable form.
This is the first time a sterilisable encoder has been offered and it opens up new possibilities for the medical automation, laboratory automation and dental fields. A full position controllable system that is sterilisable.
The new encoder will have the optional output formats of both incremental to 1024 counts per revolution or Absolute with a 4096cpt (12 Bit). In standard combination with high speed brushless motors in 13mm and 16mm diameter speeds of 120,000rpm are possible and power levels over 100W. The high input speed gearheads can be selected with the correct ratio so match the applications speed and torque requirements and are of a robust stainless steel laser welded construction. Medical hand tools and specialist tools for controlled environments will benefit from this new development.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Ice-core drilling is nothing new. But maxon motor developed a DC motor gear combination that can drill up to eight times faster than existing drilling, 600 metres below thick ice.
Conventional ice-core drilling takes a long time. The 3.4km deep hole at Dome Concordia in the Antarctic took five years to complete. 800,000 year old ice was retrieved which, up until now is the profoundest look into the history of the Earth’s core.
Using maxon motor DC technology, several small drill-sites of approximately 600 meters are bored to ascertain the correct position to deep-drill. The thickness of the ice and the geothermal heat indicate if it is worth drilling deeper to yield useful scientific results. A process that would previously take two months to complete, but now with maxon DC motors takes seven days.
The DC motor gearhead combination selected for this task was an off-the-shelf, maxon EC 45 250 Watt motor combined with a GP 52 planetary gearhead. Some modifications were made however the basis of the selection was the high power and high torque, with the ability to vary the speed of the motor at a constant torque. Most importantly, the DC motor had to fit into a very compact space within the drill and withstand extreme temperatures.
For application assistance on DC motors for mining, subsea, oil & gas or extreme environments, contact maxon motor Australia on tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Two new configurable DC motors and complementary compact EPOS4 positioning controllers have been released from maxon motor Australia.
maxon motor have added two new miniature 16mm brushless DC motors to their ECX range – the ECX SPEED 16 and ECX SPEED 16 High Power. The standard version, ECX SPEED 16 is a lower-cost option with no compromise on the quality and efficiency of the DC motor. The high speed DC motor is sterilisable and enhanced for applications requiring low heat build-up and low vibrations. These brushless DC motors present more torque and even better efficiency than the current offerings. Configurable online, manufactured in 11 days and with detailed 3D product data available, start designing your DC motor combination at shop.maxonmotor.com.au
In addition to the recently released EPOS4 positioning controller, maxon motor have added two new compact, price-competitive controllers. Paying only for what the customer needs, the new EPOS4 is powerful, small and easy to use with maxon’s automatic controller tuning software. In addition to this maxon offers free literature, application examples, support and documentation at epos.maxonmotor.com.au
For more information on the new brushless DC motors or positioning controllers contact maxon motor Australia Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
The number of worldwide medical patents filed in 2015 was more than twelve-thousand. The term “innovation” certainly applies to this industry.
In the field of medical technology, surgeon’s tools and machines are becoming smaller. Robotic assistance is commonplace in prostate surgeries. Minimally invasive surgery, surgical tools that can reach sensitive and in-depth parts of the brain once considered too high-risk, are being explored. Machines that aid faster patient recovery times and robots that assist in rehabilitation. Maxon motors are at the forefront of medical technology, working along-side Universities, start-ups and multi-national corporations. Medical applications that have maxon DC motor technology and expertise include the da Vinci Robot, wheelchairs that can climb stairs, aortic pumps for heart patients, implantable dosage systems, robotic exoskeletons, surgical tools and prosthetics.
For more information on DC motors in medical applications speak to a Sales Engineer from our Sydney office Tel. +61 2 9457 7477 or visit http://medical.maxonmotor.com.au for more application examples.
Maxon motor built models of the Mars Rovers Sojourner, Opportunity and ExoMars for a Space exhibit at the Swiss Museum of Transport.
The Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne is updating their Space exhibition. With maxon motor trainee help, the exhibit features complete 1:1 scale models of the Mars Rovers Sojourner, Opportunity and ExoMars. The models have moving parts including the camera head and drilling units. Visitors at the Swiss Museum can get an up-close look at the outer space technology and even take a selfie with a Mars Rover.
Maxon motor manufactured 35 DC motors and drives in the real Opportunity Rover that survived 10+ years on Mars. As well, at their headquarters in Sachseln, maxon assembled parts of the ExoMars Rover including modules that drive the vehicle and are responsible for the steering. The ExoMars is due for launch in 2020.
For similar stories to this you can view maxon’s driven magazine online, or for information on outer space technology please contact maxon motor Australia on Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.