A new prosthetic bionic hand.

world of prosthetics is engineers paradise- hand

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.

 

First maxon motor of its kind. Brushless DC motor with hall sensors, absolute encoder and incremental outputs

BLDC motor w hall sensors, absolute encoder +incremental outputs 450px

For fine motor position control across multiple generation brushless motor controller models, maxon motor Australia has supplied the first of its kind maxon EC-max brushless DC motor with three modes of feedback.

The new micromotor encoder 16 Easy Absolute 16mm x 9mm offers high resolution motor feedback from a tiny package. Additionally it offers 4,096 counts per turn incremental outputs with line driver channels and an index pulse. The Absolute output is available in the choice of Binary BiSS-C or Gray Symmetric SSI. The encoders use an interpolated hall sensor angle measurement system to generate the incremental quadrature output signals according to EIA-422 with 20mA maximum current draw and ESD protections built in. The angle value zero of the encoder is factory aligned with the BLDC motor zero point and the encoder is welded in place on the rear flange of the motor. When fitted with a multi pole brushless DC motor the encoder can still show the angle values zero once per mechanical turn and the angle zero is identical to the index position. The motor itself also contains three hall sensors for commutation purposes. An adaptor is available to convert the single ended clock and data signals of the absolute encoder into TIA/EIA RS422 compliant differential clock and data lines.

For special configurations of this unique feedback solution with other maxon motor types contact maxon motor Australia Sydney office on +61 2 9457 7477.

Maxon release new product: flat BLDC motor with cables.

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Driven by customer demand, maxon release modifications to their flat / pancake motors.

maxon motor have altered the EC45 and EC90 flat BLDC motors. Now with the option to add cables with a pre-mounted connector by default and in combination with the integrated MILE encoder. The motors offered are the EC 45 flat in 50 & 70 W versions or 30 W by request. The EC 90 flat 160 W and 260 W is now available in cable version. The cable versions feature a much smaller footprint by eliminating excess PCB overhang from the side of the motor.

The flat design of the brushless DC flat motors makes them ideal for many applications, particularly robotics and industrial automation. Offering internal or external rotor motors, the flat BLDC motors are perfect for when space is limited being small and lightweight but with powerful torque. The simple and considered design means that production is largely automated, keeping prices as low as possible.

For more information contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

New powerhouse DC motor positioning controller.

EPOS 70-10 controller

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.

Fast brushless DC linear actuator.

Fast BLDC linear actuator 450px

New brushless DC linear actuator series from maxon motor.

This new combination linear actuator features a useful mixture of fast movements, high torque and holding ability. A precision ground metric thread and nut assembly can be customised to suit individual application mounting requirements. The unit pictured below has an external thread for mounting the load and an internal thread for traversing the spindle with a stainless steel and brass combination suiting the application running characteristics. Ceramic and plastic materials are also available. This is also the first such unit imported into Australia with the new EC-i 30mm brushless DC motor. The linear actuator is held in an amalgamated bearing block with radial and axial bearings contained inside a planetary gearhead end flange. This reduces the size and eliminates many alignment issues associated with standalone ball screws and bearing blocks. The new series features speeds of up to 386mm/s and linear forces up to 2700N. The linear actuation length and system operating voltages are all changeable and high resolution encoders enable positioning. The EC-i actuation system represents a cost reduction from exiting brushless solutions further widening the use of the devices into general engineering machinery and manufacturing equipment.

For more information contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

 

 

Brisbane Boys College creating robots and beating experts at their own game

Soccer robot 1 450px

Created by Year 12 students from Brisbane are soccer-playing machines that achieved first place at famed international competition, RoboCup.

Brisbane Boy’s College (BBC) has a dedicated robotics program with teams participating in regional, state, national, Asia-Pacific and international Robotic competitions. In 2017, five participants from BBC formed a team and visited Nagoya, Japan for the annual RoboCup competition. And they beat the best of the best with their soccer-playing robot.

Weighing just over 1 kg, the robots had to be remotely operated meaning everything had to be programmed and no human touch was allowed. To win the world superteam champions lightweight category for under-19s, the boys’ robots acted as either goalie or striker against, and with, machines from other countries. The Chinese team had the fastest robots and received the highest score for gameplay but Australia won on accuracy and coding. Maxon DCX motors and gearheads are in the wheels of the robot. Maxon motor Australia is a proud supporter of BBC.

Team captain and ex-soccer player, Lachlan Grant, said the programming and circuit board building was extremely complex, and it was nice to see their win make news for the school, traditionally renowned for rugby and tennis. Master in Charge Colin Noy said the boys’ skills were so good the school gets former students, now at university, to coach instead of teachers. “In fact, one European university lecturer attending the championships told us the programming level of our students was higher than most of his Masters students,” Mr Noy said.

“Our robots were to the most responsive and most accurate in the competition.”

To watch the BBC robots at play click on this YouTube link. For more information on DC motors in robotic applications contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

 

Renewable wind energy harvested from an altitude of 500m.

Clean energy from alt 500m-Kite

A new method of garnering renewable energy is being explored and it’s not from wind turbines.

A Dutch start-up company, KitePower is creating a system to produce green energy from Kites. In collaboration with the Delft University in the Netherlands, the approach consists of a generator on the ground that is connected directly to a cable winch that has a steered kite attached. The kite pulls the cable upward by flying in a figure-8 pattern creating a strong tractive force with the ability to reach heights up to 500 metres. When altitude is achieved the cable is retracted (using very little energy) and the procedure is repeated.

The device offers an attractive alternative to diesel generators and wind turbines. In comparison the kite needs less material for construction, is more mobile and can flexibly use winds up to 500m. Of particular benefit to secluded communities, military camps or remote islands the first commercial version is due for release at the end of 2018.

Maxon motor is one of a few companies assisting KitePower. Maxon’s expertise is in developing the control unit for the steering movement of the kite. This included integrating DC motors, different sensors, transmitters, receivers and batteries while considering extreme radial forces on the gearhead. The device uses maxon’s Ec-i 52 DC motor with planetary gearhead and encoder. This combination is usually found in robotics applications for its high torque and compact design.

For further information contact maxon motor Australia tel. +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.

Driven magazine: out now.

Front Cover driven Nov17

maxon motors global magazine takes a look at startup companies, service robots and DC motor technology.

Startup companies are exciting and driving the world of innovation and technology. Maxon looks at four companies launched recently that have addressed simple solutions to everyday challenges and interview a founder of one of the startups. The magazine covers service robots and the pros and cons they offer, we visit a delivery service for organic products in Lausanne and take a closer look at soccer robots that played in this year’s RoboCup final.

driven is all about DC motor and drive technology and is published twice a year in three languages. All previous issues are available online in the driven app, which can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store.

For further information 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.