Category Archives: Encoders – Miniature

Motion Control – The Mars helicopter makes history – with maxon’s precision motors!

Motion Control – Mars helicopter has maxon’s motors!

Space fans are thrilled: NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has successfully completed its pioneering flight on Mars. This is the first time in the history of powered, unmanned spaceflight that a device has flown in a controlled manner on another planet.

motion control - mars helicopter


motion control - maxonTaunton, MA — Motion Control Products – A short flight for “Ingenuity,” but a big success for unmanned space flight. NASA’s Mars helicopter flew over the surface of the Red Planet for about 40 seconds on Monday, April 19th and landed back on four legs. From NASA’s perspective, this is a historic event similar to the Wright brothers’ first controlled flight in 1903.

With the Mars helicopter, the concept of powered, unmanned, and autonomous flights on foreign planets is being tested. This is comparable to the first Mars rover “Sojourner”, which paved the way for scientific follow-up missions such as “Curiosity” and currently “Perseverance”. “Ingenuity” is about to complete several flights over a period of 30 days, each lasting up to 90 seconds and reaching a maximum altitude of five meters.

Motion Control – Maxon precision motors Go to Mars AGAIN!

Motion Control – Maxon motors on Mars!

motion control - miniature motors
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Taunton, MA — Motion Control Products – NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars on February 18th. Was there once life on Mars? This is the question that one of the most complex robotic systems ever built by humankind has set out to answer. Several of maxon’s electric drives are used for handling the soil samples—and to control the first Mars helicopter.

 

Will NASA, the US space agency, successfully land a fifth rover on Mars, allowing it to start its series of missions to bring Mars soil samples back to Earth? The rover named Perseverance will enter the atmosphere of the Red Planet on February 18th—after traveling a distance of more than 470 million kilometers.

Motion Control – 5 challenges an electric motor has to overcome on Mars

Motion Control – Electric motors on Mars

Outer space is unforgiving. This is why precision drives embarking on a trip to other planets need to meet extremely high-quality standards.

motion control - motor for mars

Taunton, MA — Motion Control Products – Every Mars drive from maxon is based on a catalog product and is modified for the specific mission. That’s because the DC motors, gearheads, and encoders face brutal conditions during liftoff, the long journey through space, and the mission on the Red Planet. In this blog, I will talk about the properties a drive needs to have to qualify for a journey to Mars.
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Vibration and Shock

The first challenge is to survive the rocket launch. This means that the motor must be resistant to shock and vibration. The vibration is not as strong as people might think: A little more than on a passenger plane, but not much more, and only for a few minutes. Shocks, on the other hand, are something that we need to deal with on a regular basis when working with standard products. These occur mainly during staging, which is when the first stage separates from the rest of the rocket. The resulting forces would destroy normal motors because the rotor would become separated from the stator. That’s why we need to reinforce our drives, for example by encapsulating the rotor and using special welds, special retaining rings, and optimized materials.

Vacuum and Radiation

The trip to Mars takes about six months. During this time, the drives need to survive the vacuum and radiation. The most damaging radiation doesn’t come from the Sun, but from high-energy particles from outside the solar system, which can damage the electronics. That’s why we need specially hardened electronics for the Hall sensors on the motors. To be extra safe, we’re installing them in pairs for redundancy. In a vacuum, the durability of components is important. You can’t use a glue that undergoes changes in its chemical properties and loses its adhesiveness after a few days in a vacuum.

Weight Reduction

Rockets can carry only a limited mass to other planets. To be as light as possible, we also resort to unusual shapes and use thinner housings, or titanium instead of steel. We also often use the smallest possible drive sizes, because we know that the operating time required is usually shorter than for industrial applications. Higher wear is therefore acceptable.

Atmosphere of Mars

After arriving, the motor must work flawlessly for the entire duration of the mission: Due to the thin atmosphere, the lubricants need to be resistant to outgassing and need to retain their properties. Especially for brushed DC motors, it is also necessary to use the right brush mixture. No patina forms on Mars, which is why we developed special brushes impregnated with a lubricant (silver graphite with 15% MoS2). That’s one of the most important modifications, because regular brushed motors fail after only a few hours in a vacuum.

Quality Tests

While drives used on Earth are also tested, there are limits to those tests due to financial considerations. This is different with a Mars mission, where any kind of risk is unacceptable. Here it pays to test every single component. We also test every assembly, and the tests are comprehensively documented. This is how we prove to our customer that the motor is exactly as we promised. The models used on mission must be identical to the units that were qualified, because these were exposed to the same strains in tests as in real life. They were put on a shaker, exposed to temperature cycles, and subjected to durability tests. If the drives pass all these tests, then we can be confident that the design is good. The only remaining step is to build all the other drives in the exact same way—hence all the documentation. The process takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it: The history of space missions shows that anything that’s overlooked will cause problems—and outer space is unforgiving.

Learn more about maxon’s contribution to the current NASA Perseverance mission: mars.maxonworld.com

About Maxon

The Swiss specialist for quality drives maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications, for example. To maintain its leadership in this demanding market, the company invests a considerable share of its annual revenue in research and development. Worldwide, maxon has more than 3000 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries.

Maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. With over 50 years of experience in drive technology, maxon works closely with engineers designing high-tech innovations. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications. Worldwide, maxon has more than 2800 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries. www.maxongroup.com

Contact maxon for more details https://support.maxongroup.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.


 

 


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Drive specialist maxon, renowned for its Mars motors, is joining forces with the robotics startup ANYbotics!

Motion Control – Maxon and ANYbotics form New Partnership!

Motion Control Drive specialist maxon, renowned for its Mars motors, is joining forces with the robotics startup ANYbotics and will in future supply the drive systems of the autonomous ANYmal inspection robot. The robot will soon be marketed in large quantities. This cooperation will also benefit maxon, since ANYbotics provides important robotics know-how and is currently the most successful young company in this field.

motion control - maxon to supply drive systems

motion control - maxonThe maxon Group contributes 60 years of experience in drive technology to the partnership, as well as a global production infrastructure and validated processes, and will help to advance the industrialization and commercialization of ANYmal – with competitive, high-performance drive systems, twelve of which are used in each robot. “In maxon, we have found the ideal partner for taking care of our drive technology as we transition from small series to mass production. With maxon’s expertise and infrastructure, we will be able to further optimize a core element of our robots and access state-of-the-art production methods,” says Péter Fankhauser, CEO of ANYbotics.Taunton, MA — Motion Control -A solid partnership: maxon and ANYbotics are entering into a close, long-term collaboration and are thus strengthening Switzerland as a prime location for robotics. One of the decisions made by the two partners is that maxon, as global drive specialist, will handle the future development and production of the actuators for ANYmal. ANYmal is an autonomous, four-legged robot that is capable of inspecting and monitoring industrial systems and is destined to also take on dangerous maintenance tasks in the future. The robot can even cope with difficult infrastructures such as stairs and inclines, and is used in a wide variety of industries.

ANYbotics recently won the Swiss Economic Award 2020 and has been chosen as the best young entrepreneur in Switzerland in the Hightech/Biotech category. The company has valuable experience in robotics – a market that offers great potential for maxon. Eugen Elmiger, CEO maxon Group, says: “By collaborating with ANYbotics, we are merging know-how from different worlds. The creativity and high responsiveness of a startup are paired with the global and stable industrial environment of the maxon Group. Together we will create an energy-efficient and intelligent robotic drive, the likes of which has never been seen before.” To further cement the partnership, the two companies are also getting closer geographically: maxon, which has its headquarters in the canton of Obwalden, is opening a lab at the Züri.ch Campus in the Oerlikon district of Zurich, in close proximity to ANYbotics. Here the engineers and technicians will meet to discuss the progress on their projects. Additionally, maxon wants to use the lab to get even closer to ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, offer technical support to young engineers, provide workspaces, and get talent on board. Eugen Elmiger says: “We are already heavily involved with vocational education in and around Zurich and Lucerne. With the new lab, we will be in an even better position to support talents in drive technology and robotics.”

The Swiss specialist for quality drives

Maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications, for example. To maintain its leadership in this demanding market, the company invests a considerable share of its annual revenue in research and development. Worldwide, maxon has more than 3000 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries.

 

ANYbotics: Mobile robots for industrial applications

ANYbotics AG is a young company that develops autonomous robots that independently inspect and monitor industrial systems. ANYbotics was born in 2016 as spin-off from ETH Zurich. It was founded with the purpose of commercializing the technology behind the four-legged ANYmal robot. Today, ANYbotics is one of the world’s leading developers of mobile robotics for complex industrial environments. A staff of 50 develops and markets the technology for use in the energy, process and construction sectors.

About Maxon

maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. With over 50 years of experience in drive technology, maxon works closely with engineers designing high-tech innovations. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications. Worldwide, maxon has more than 2800 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries. www.maxongroup.com

Contact maxon for more details https://support.maxongroup.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Motion Control Components Application Exoskeleton! – Maxon Driven – Focus – 2020 Cybathlon!

Motion Control – Application Exoskeleton

“People with disabilities are only disabled if they come up against the insurmountable. But where do the obstacles in our everyday lives come from? From barriers in our minds” … Cybathlon founder Robert Riener.

Motion Control - Application Exoskeleton

 


motion control - maxonCYBATHLON is so much more than a competition, it is intended to serve as a platform between technology developers, people with disabilities and the public. It’s bringing everyone together under one roof to see where the challenges are and to work towards developing technologies that make everyday life easier for those with physical disabilities.Taunton, MA — Motion Control Components Application – maxon’s DRIVEN magazine just released a special issue focusing on the 2020 CYBATHLON to be held in Zurich on September 19th and 20th.This is an event where people with physical disabilities compete against each other in obstacle courses with the use of assistance systems such as exoskeletons, bionics prostheses and motorized wheelchairs.

We, at maxon, are very excited to be a part of this special event. Our drives are perfectly suited for these application – they are precise, compact and extremely efficient. We look forward to seeing all the latest developments and working with the developers on the next generation of assistance systems.

Enjoy this latest issue and if you see a story you’d like to share with your readers, I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you.

About Maxon

maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. With over 50 years of experience in drive technology, maxon works closely with engineers designing high-tech innovations. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications. Worldwide, maxon has more than 2800 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries. www.maxongroup.com

Contact maxon for more details https://support.maxongroup.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Motion Control – Protection Against Contamination: Breathing Clean Air!

Motion Control – Protection Suit Motor!

Maxon DC motors are used in the blower components of high-quality protection suits.

motion control Maxon Motor

Taunton, MA -Motion Control – Protection suits containing an air blower element that fills the entire suit with clean air, have been used by health professionals when faced with contaminated environments. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation where these type of suits have been utilized. Maxon DC brushless motors are found inside these specialized suits. The DC motor is efficient, high-speed and robust.

motion control - maxon

Maxon was selected for the compact and lightweight DC motor design, ironless winding, strong magnet and producing very little vibration and noise output. Most importantly, a brushless DC motor was mandatory as a brushed motor may cause sparks that would ignite within the suit. When designing the suit, special attention was given to the placement of the blower unit sewn inside the suit, to avoid the need for heavy straps or air supply hoses. A Li-Ion battery provides more than four hours of operation of air supply with a flow up to 600 liters per minute.

 

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

About Maxon

maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. With over 50 years of experience in drive technology, maxon works closely with engineers designing high-tech innovations. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications. Worldwide, maxon has more than 2800 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries. www.maxongroup.com

Contact maxon for more details https://support.maxongroup.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

motion control - workbook


See this and other Motion Control Components from Maxon featured on:

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Motion Control – John Uzzolino joins Maxon Group to head up the Parvalux product line in the United States!

Motion Control – John Uzzolino joins Maxon Group 

Motion Control - Maxon Parvalux

 


motion control - maxonJohn Uzzolino comes to maxon Group with 20 years’ of experience in industrial motion control and mechatronics applications. John started his career as a Sales Engineer working with a high tech distribution company, focusing on solving motion control and mechatronic applications for machine builders in the Northeast U.S. John then went to work for a local machine builder, helping them bring their automated test and measurement products to the North American market. Most recently, John worked for two European control manufacturers, helping them develop customers in the U.S. market.Taunton, MA — Maxon Group of Taunton, MA has hired John Uzzolino to head up the business development activities for the Parvalux product line in the United States. In December, Maxon Group acquired the British geared motor manufacturer Parvalux Electric Motor, Ltd. (For additional information Click Here)The acquisition expands the maxon portfolio with DC drives in the power range of up to 1.5 kW, as well as an attractive expansion of maxon group’s already broad motor and motion control portfolio including AC Motors and Worm gearboxes. The acquisition and the addition of Mr. Uzzolino to the team demonstrates maxon group’s continuing commitment to becoming a provider of complete systems. Ultimately, the acquisition opens interesting new markets requiring larger drives and motion systems such as patient handling within the medical technology sector (stair lifts, electric wheelchairs, etc.) and industrial applications (robotics and transport systems, conveyors).

As the Business Development Manager for Parvalux, John will be responsible for managing and promoting the Parvalux products in the United States, initially focusing on the industrial and e-mobility markets. “I’m excited to be on board and help bring a strong European brand to the U.S. market,” says John Uzzolino. “Parvalux has positioned themselves well to be a high-quality product at a competitive price, while offering both standard and highly customized solutions globally. Combining this with the ability to now manufacture locally in Massachusetts, positions Parvalux well to build a strong brand here in the U.S.”

motion control - Maxon Parvalux building

About Parvalux

Parvalux is a leading global manufacturer of geared motor solutions with over 70 years’ experience in creating the perfect combination of motor and gearbox to match the customer’s application. Parvalux offer thousands of standard options as well as customization of any motor or gearbox to meet customer requirements. Parvalux products are found in hundreds of applications in healthcare, leisure, mobility, transport, and a diverse range of industrial applications. For more visit www.parvalux.com

About Maxon

maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. With over 50 years of experience in drive technology, maxon works closely with engineers designing high-tech innovations. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications. Worldwide, maxon has more than 2800 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries. www.maxongroup.com

Contact maxon for more details https://support.maxongroup.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Motion Control Application – Driver assist systems can help save lives by alerting driver of potential danger!

Motion Control – Application – Driver Assist Systems Help Save Lives!

 

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motion control - application - brushed motors

Maxon A-max 16 brushed DC motor – This drive with a diameter of 16 millimeters (precious metal brushes, 2 Watt) was developed for use with an eccentric weight and a specified bearing.

Fall River, MA — The majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error. In the future, computer-controlled cars will significantly reduce the number of such accidents. Driver assist systems, such as adaptive cruise control (ACC), brake assist systems, or lane departure warning systems (LDW), can save lives. Lane departure warning systems warn the driver if the vehicle is drifting out of its lane. The LDW determines the vehicle’s position in the lane with the use of various optical sensor systems and computers. If the car is in danger of drifting out of the lane, the system activates an electric motor in the steering wheel that causes the wheel to vibrate, warning the driver.

A luxury car manufacturer has engaged maxon to supply the motors for this application. The base DC brushed motor is maxon’s A-max 16 (precious metal brushes, 2 W), modified for the application with an eccentric weight and a specified bearing. In order to prevent the other vehicle systems from being affected by the electromagnetic fields of the motor, it has been equipped with special EMI suppression for automotive applications. The small drive system must meet specific requirements: It needs to be low-noise, dynamic, feature high power density, and fit in a narrow space – requirements that maxon’s small A-max 16 easily masters..

Contact maxon for more details info@maxonmotorusa.com

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Motion Control Application – Twenty-twenty Vision – Maxon Components Allow Surgeon to Not only See But to Feel!

Motion Control Application –

While robotic assistance systems are available for most types of surgery today, eye surgery used to be an exception. A Dutch company has changed that. A world first in eye surgery.

 


motion control - maxon© 2016 Preceyes
motion control component used in eye surgery

Fall River, MA — Motion Control Components Application – Worldwide, about 50 to 70 million people are suffering from visual impairment due to disorders of the retina. Adequate treatment is still impossible in many cases. Eye operations are always a big challenge for a surgeon, and steady hands are a key requirement. Surgeries like those for treating a detached retina require extreme precision. And when it comes to precision, human hands can’t hold a candle to robotic systems.

Ten to twenty times better precision

This is why the company Preceyes, which originated as a spin-out from the University of Eindhoven (Netherlands), has developed a completely new robotic system for eye surgery. Specially designed for the treatment of retina disorders, the assistance system improves precision by a factor of 10 to 20 compared with the human hand. This allows operations to be performed that are currently impossible due to lack of precision – an enormous gain for patients, but also for surgeons, whose effectiveness and accuracy will be vastly improved

motion control haptic robotic component

The new robotic system is used in surgery to treat disorders of the retina. Image © Preceyes

The world’s first robot-assisted operation inside the eye was performed successfully at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. “This is the culmination of 10 years of work. The ease with which Professor MacLaren was able to perform the surgery is an important step ahead for robot-assisted eye operations and a clear vindication of our technology,” says Marc de Smet, MD Chief Medical Officer at Preceyes.

Haptic feedback

The functional principle is straightforward: While the operating surgeon is sitting next to the patient’s head looking through a microscope, he is operating a joystick whose motion is transmitted to a robotic arm (slave). The robot downscales the motion: When the surgeon moves the joystick by a centimeter, the tip of the robotic arm moves only by a millimeter. Meanwhile, the other hand performs manual tasks as required. The system is designed to allow surgeries to be performed with motion control alone as well, using two joysticks and two robotic arms..

In addition to a haptic feedback function that not only lets the surgeon see but also feel his actions, the robotic system also supports quick retooling. This is an important factor because it reduces the time required for an operation. The motions of the robotic arms are performed by high-precision drive systems of maxon.

Contact maxon for more details info@maxonmotorusa.com

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Motion Control Application – Maxon Drives Power – Hull Cleaning Robot for Large Ships!

Motion Control Application – Specially designed robotic crawler navigates around the underwater portion of a ship to remove the biofilm layers that accumulate there. As a battery operated, autonomous vehicle, component selection made up a highly critical part of the design and manufacture.

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The HullBUG provides grooming of the biofilm that collects on the
underwater portion of ships. © 2011 SeaRobotics

Fall River, MA — Motion Control Components Application – Toxic paint is used on the bottoms of large ships to prevent fouling, which is when a biofilm layer develops, decreasing the ship’s efficiency in moving through the water. The toxic paint continually leeches copper and other heavy metals into the underwater environment as well, causing damage to the organisms that live there. To further complicate the matter, the paint must be blasted off and replaced every 5 to 10 years, at which time literally tons of toxic waste is produced and needs to be disposed of. A ship that operates with a clean underwater surface free from fouling—even thin biofilm layers—will operate so much more efficiently that potential savings can easily reach over five percent in fuel costs alone. Without the concern for fouling, a ship’s underwater coating can be engineered for corrosion protection and longevity rather than its need to eliminate the potential for biofouling. If realized on all the ships operating in the world today the energy savings would greatly reduce the presence of greenhouse gases, as well.

To eliminate the requirement for toxic paint and its cleaning waste, there needed to be a method to “groom” the biofilm from the underwater portion of a ship. The idea was to create important changes for the ships being built as well as for the environment. That is where the HullBUG (Hull Bioinspired Underwater Grooming) concept originated. “The most important feature of the HullBUG is its small size,” according to SeaRobotics Research Engineer, Dr. Kenneth Holappa. “It is only about half a meter in length. This was a necessary design feature, needed to allow the vehicle to maneuver over the curved surface of the hull while continually maintaining close contact with the surface.

This close-up of the HullBUG clearly shows its sensor alignment
system that helps it keep on course while cleaning a hull.

© 2011 SeaRobotics

Because there are hazards associated with operating such a device underwater and in a harbor environment occasionally a HullBUG might be lost or destroyed during operation. Keeping the size and cost of the system low definitely helped to eliminate damage as a major obstacle to implementation. So, from the very beginning of the project, small size and low cost have been identified as being critical to the satisfactory implementation of the HullBUG project. As can be expected, this need to maintain a particular size and weight filtered into the selection of every component of the design.

Motion Control Components

The selection of the motors to drive the HullBUG involved a number of critical engineering constraints and compromises. SeaRobotics decided to make two basic models, one with wheels and one with tracks, and offer several options for keeping track of the system’s progress, which will be discussed later. Sizing of the motors, for example, required a calculated estimate of the power, speed, and torque characteristics of the manufactured devices. Determining factors included the resistance caused from pushing the grooming tool across the surface of the ship, the hydrodynamic resistance of the vehicle itself as it moved through the water, friction losses in the shaft seals that were used to protect the motors from the saltwater, and track or wheel friction dependent on which version of the unit was used.

In this close-up you can see the max-on EC45 brushless motor and
interface boards about to be safely mounted inside the machine.
© 2011 SeaRobotics

maxon motors offers a full line of fractional horsepower moving coil DC motors and brushless motors ranging in size from 6mm to 90mm, and from 30 mW to 500 watts. They also offer gearheads, controllers, and accessories. “The breadth of their product line and quality of their service helped us to feel comfortable that we had selected the right partner,” Ken said. Flat motors manufactured by maxon Precision Motor provide long life along with their low profile package. The entire EC series of brushless motors are electronically commutated, which enables them to have extremely long motor life since there are no mechanical brushes to wear out. The motors incorporate ball bearings or ruby bearings that also add to the longevity of the motors, especially needed in such harsh conditions. The flat motors were designed specifically for robotics applications where size and weight are important selection criteria. The EC45 flat motors selected for the HullBUG are very efficient and weigh only 75 grams. Continuous output power is 30 watts, while the maximum speed is 10,000 rpm (much faster than what was needed for this application). The important specification for this application was torque. Even under the potentially harsh environments that the HullBUG would be engaged in, the EC45 offered a maximum continuous torque up to 56.2 mNm depending on the winding chosen by the user. The Maxon brushless motors are built to IP54 standards, which was important to the application. Furthermore, the motors were also available in the system voltage that SeaRobotics required for the HullBUG application.

According to Ken, “The large load capacity of the shafts of the GP42 gearhead allowed the wheels to directly mount to the gearhead shaft, greatly reducing the complexity of the overall design of the system.” Gearheads manufactured by maxon are available in a wide range of ratios to enhance speed reduction and/or torque multiplication dependent on the needs of the user’s application. Concentric input and output helped to facilitate simpler and more direct mounting arrangements, as well.

Given that the HullBUG vehicle was to be completely autonomous, it had to be designed in such a way as to operate for many hours on batteries (cables would simply get in the way of the grooming operation). In order to maximize battery life, the grooming of the biofilm had to be performed in the most efficient manner possible. Navigating in a random pattern may eventually get the job done, for instance, but not in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, a typical ship presents a very large underwater surface, often as upwards of three thousand square meters. To keep this amount of area groomed it is expected that a user would employ multiple HullBUG vehicles to operate at the same time and, consequently, require a method of acquiring sophisticated coordinated navigation.

Navigating the HallBUG

A toolset of navigation modes has been created to allow multiple HullBUGs to efficiently groom a ship by dividing the ship’s underwater surface into regions. Numerous algorithms have been incorporated to accurately groom the ship in steps down to the turn of the bilge. Additional algorithms and associated sensors are used to allow efficient grooming of the flat bottom of the ship. Miniature acoustic ranging sonar (MARS) is also an option for navigation control of the HullBUG. This is where a very small close range, pencil beam sonar was specifically developed to allow the vehicle to “see” an upcoming wall or cliff condition such as bilge keels and bow thrusters. Yet another mode of navigation uses a MEMS rate sensor for navigation information. Another feedback mode uses encoder based odometry. Hall sensor feedback from the motor is used as an encoder signal to establish an accurate estimate of odometry. Hall sensors were used instead of optical encoders because of size and cost. The Hall sensors provide better than 1mm accuracy in the measurement of odometry with the motor/gearhead combination chosen.

Ongoing Software Development

An autonomous vehicle is often software heavy in terms of engineering efforts once you’ve selected and implemented the proper motion control system. Getting smooth reliable navigation maneuvers that result in accurate positioning in a widely varying environment was one of the more difficult challenges for the design team. Multiple layers of software were necessary for handling the number and variety of possible events that can occur during grooming. And, the proper organization of the control logic to allow extensibility of navigation behavior was the most difficult part of this complex system. “Software development will continue to be an ongoing effort even after the years already put into it,” Ken said. “Though the vehicle is completely operational, there remains a considerable amount of on-ship testing to be done.” As the project moves forward and into the field, there will no doubt be additional issues that will crop up and need to be addressed, as well. Even now, the vehicle must be able to reliably accomplish its task in a hostile environment and in an unmapped terrain. Then it has to be able to return to the waterline of the ship for retrieval.

This operation must be done repeatedly for days, months, and years, and with multiple systems in the water at the same time. Although this sounds as though it is overly difficult, according to Ken, “A technician was recently trained to use the vehicle and was fully competent within a short period of time. The user interface was borrowed from SeaRobotics’ Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) product line and presented an intuitive graphics-driven interface that has hundreds of hours of use by many different customers.” The vehicle is operational and the navigation software is working. The next primary focus will be the structuring of the interface to improve ease of use and allow non-engineering personnel to manage operations.

maxon manufactures a wide variety of EC flat motors for different
kinds of applications. © 2011 maxon motor

Contact maxon for more details info@maxonmotorusa.com

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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For other Motion Control Components, Applications, and Technology from Maxon Motor go to: http://Automation-Blogger.com
 

Motion Control Application – Intelligent robot systems are increasingly being used in disaster control, rescue missions and salvage operations!

After the severe earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Quince managed to reach the upper floors of the ruins of the power plant. There it measured the radioactivity levels and sent HD images to the world outside.

Wherever it is too dangerous for humans. Robots that can look for survivors after an explosion, an earthquake or other natural disasters, providing humans with a view of inaccessible areas. Powerful EC motors from maxon motor give the Japanese rescue robot “Quince” its drive.motion control application robot Quince

 

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Fall River, MA — Motion Control Components Application – Robots that are used in disaster areas have to have a very high level of adaptability. They have to be fairly small, not too heavy and maneuverable enough to get through cracks or narrow spaces to reach areas deep inside a building. Furthermore rough terrain should present no problem. These rescue robots enter and explore buildings to determine if there are gases, radiation or other life-threatening hazards, before human rescue teams can search the area. Quince has proven that it fulfills all these demands. After the severe earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Quince managed to reach the upper floors of the ruins of the power plant in June 2011. There it measured the radioactivity levels and sent HD images to the world outside (To see video – CLICK HERE). The robot was able to supply valuable information from areas where no human can set foot.motion control robot goes down stairs

Quince weighs 27 kg and is equipped with four moving caterpillar drives (flippers). These flippers automatically adapt their angular position to the surface underneath – regardless of whether the robot is climbing steep stairs or crossing rough terrain. Correct ground contact is a very important prerequisite. This contact is accurately analyzed by measuring the power consumption of the flipper motors. Furthermore PSD (Position-Sensitive Device) sensors on the front and rear flippers measure the distance to the ground. In addition to a gripper arm (see fig. 2), two laser scanners can also be attached to the robot. These scanners are capable of accurately capturing the structure of the terrain.motion control robot navigates rough terrain

Additionally Quince is equipped with a “bird’s eye camera” and can travel quite fast, at 1.6 meters per second. The operator that controls the robot has to tell it which direction to take, but the robot itself determines the optimal flipper positions for crossing various surfaces, for example stairs. Newer Quince motors have additionally been equipped with a device for collecting radio-active dust or ultra-fine particles, as well as a 3D scanner. To ensure that no robot is lost, a connection to a wireless network is possible, which is the only way to navigate the robot if the connection cable breaks.

The rescue robot was developed by Eiji Koyanagi, Vice-Director of the Chiba Institute of Technology Future Robotics Technology Center (fuRO). Koyanagi started his career as a teacher – at the age of 51, he became a professor. This means that he has a completely different background than other researchers in the field of robotics. Quince has been specially designed for extreme conditions in environments where it would be too dangerous for humans. Therefore its main area of application is disaster areas. “When you develop a robot, you first have to consider the tasks that it will perform later. That is the biggest challenge,” explains Koyanagi. Hitherto eight Quince robots have been built. But before this could be done, all components had to be 100% functional. To this end, various trials were run in the large “Disaster City” training area in College Station, Texas. Quince was the only robot that successfully completed the entire obstacle course at the site as part of a RoboCup contest. In preparation for using the robot inside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, several specific customizations were required. “The conditions in the nuclear reactor buildings are very tough. If we had attempted to send Quince in without modifications, it would probably have met its end,” says Koyanagi. Therefore the robot had to be able to survive a fall from approx. 2 m high unscathed, and had to be largely maintenance-free.

Powerful motors to beat every obstacle

Motion Control -Maxon Motors used in robot Quince

Where the motor selection was concerned, fuRO required absolutely reliable drives. The motors have to provide high power and high efficiency, yet be small and light. These requirements were precisely met by maxon motors, explains Koyanagi. Six powerful maxon motors drive the robot. The brushless EC-4pole 30 direct current motors each provide 200 W; two of these have been installed in the two main chains. The powerful 4-pole units give their all when Quince maneuvers its way across uneven terrain. Four additional motors (EC22) drive the moving chain drives (flippers). These can automatically adapt their angular position to the surface below. The 3D scanner unit of Quince is moved to the right position by an RE-max 24. Thanks to the special winding technology and the 4-pole magnets, the maxon EC-4pole drives are unbeatable when it comes to delivering the highest driving power per unit of volume and weight. The motors have no cogging torque, high efficiency, and excellent control dynamics. The metal housing additionally ensures good heat dissipation and mechanical stability. All motors of the chain drives have been combined with the GP32HP (High Power) planetary gearhead with MR encoder. This gearhead was customized by installing a large ball bearing and a reinforced motor shaft. With this power pack, Quince has no trouble managing almost any obstacle.

Contact maxon for more details info@maxonmotorusa.com

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Motion Control – ENX 16 RIO Encoder from Maxon Motor!

Motion Control – Maxon Motor presents a top-of-the-range high-resolution encoder. The ENX 16 RIO offers an impressive resolution of up to 65,536 counts per turn in a compact and rugged housing.

Motion Control - Maxon motion ENX 16RIO Motion Control Encoder

 

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Fall River, MA –Motion Control Components – Miniature Encoders – Requirements on encoders are becoming more and more demanding. This applies particularly to positioning applications with precision constant-speed control, where increasingly compact housings need to accommodate an ever greater number of electrical contacts. maxon motor solves this problem with its new ENX 16 RIO optical encoder. It is a mere 16 millimeters in size and offers a resolution of up to 65,536 counts per turn, making it ideal for the precise position and velocity control of DC motors

The new maxon ENX 16 RIO encoder (Reflective, Interpolated, Optical) fulfills all the requirements for a high-resolution optical encoder in a compact design. The resolution can be configured at the factory or online. With 16 millimeters outer diameter and 7 millimeters overall length, the housing is mechanically robust and protected from dust due to its injection-molded construction. The operating temperature range is -40 °C to +100 °C.

Maxon motion ENX 16RIO Motion Control Encoder on Motor

Easily configured online for combinations with maxon motors

The encoder can be combined and configured with matching drives online. It fits the new brushless EC-i 30 motors and the brushed DCX motors (diameters of 16 millimeters and up). The counts per turn and the electrical interface of the ENX 16 RIO encoder are also configurable online. All combination options and detailed product information is available in the maxon online shop: shop.maxonmotorusa.com

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Order Our Catalog

Motion Control Application- Maxon Drives Help People Walk Again!

At the first Cybathlon in Zürich, researchers are presenting the world’s best exoskeletons – devices that enable paraplegics to walk again. Motors from Switzerland play a central part in this development.

Maxon motion control application - Helping People Walk Again

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Fall River, MA — Motion Control Components Application – On October 8th 2016, people with paraplegia are going on a footrace at the Cybathlon in Zürich. Aided by exoskeletons, they will compete against each other on an obstacle course to show the public how far advanced technology has come in this area.

Switzerland, is playing a central role in this process. Many of the exoskeletons are fitted with components from the canton of Obwalden – components without which there wouldn’t be a lot of movement to be observed.

From the planet Mars to an exoskeleton

Robotic suits have to be both powerful and lightweight. Too much weight would cause the battery to drain in no time. This presents a big challenge to developers. Most of the motors that are strong enough to power an exoskeleton are large and heavy. This is why engineers are turning to the Swiss company that already developed the drives for NASA’s Mars rovers: maxon motor. maxon drives are powerful, lightweight, and energy-efficient, meaning that they can conserve battery power, and be very durable.

“We spent decades perfecting our motors”, says maxon CEO Eugen Elmiger. A lot of money has gone into research and development. It was worth it: These days, the motors from Switzerland can be found everywhere, in robots, airplanes, cars, and medical devices.

Knowledge yields an advantage in the market

Providing competent technical support for customers is just as important as delivering high-quality products. Small businesses and start-ups often approach maxon with specific drive technology problems that they lack the expert knowledge to solve by themselves. maxon motor, in turn is able to help with its extensive experience in the field, a strength that lets the company stand out from the international competition. “Our knowledge and the ability to give expert advice are a great advantage in the market,” says Elmiger. The Cybathlon is a good example: In the field of exoskeletons, the Swiss company has a pretty clear idea about what’s important besides choosing the right motor. As a result, quite a few of the participating teams are using products from Switzerland. The same is true for other disciplines, such as prosthetic arms or legs and electrical wheelchairs.

For examples, read maxon’s exclusive Cybathlon brochure or visit the new site for technology enthusiasts – drive.tech

maxon supports the Cybathlon as a sponsor and partner

The Cybathlon games are organized by the ETH Zürich and are being held for the first time on October 8, 2016 at the Swiss Arena in Zürich. Around 80 teams from all over the world will be participating. The machine-assisted competitors will compete against one another in six disciplines: prosthetic legs, prosthetic arms, exoskeletons, motorized wheelchairs, bicycles with muscle stimulation, and virtual racing using thought control. What’s not allowed at the Paralympics is an absolute must at the Cybathlon: the use of state-of-the-art technology. “Our aim with the Cybathlon is to break down barriers between the general public, people with disabilities, and scientists,” says ETH professor Robert Riener, who invented the Cybathlon.

The Swiss drive specialist maxon motor supports the Cybathlon as a sponsor and partner. The company will be present at the games with a workshop for the teams and a small exhibition about the history of prosthetics.

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

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Visit our Website
Order Our Catalog

Motion Control – MAXON Says, “Customize Your Drive System Online!”

 Motion Control Maxon X-Drives Configure online

 

Motion Control – Maxon motors introduces a NEW product line of innovative brushed DC motors, planetary gearheads and encoders. customers will find the new motors available for easy online configuration in the online shop. Within 11 working days, the finished drives are ready for shipment. Profit from these fast delivery times now!.

Motion Control Maxon Logo

Fall River, MA — Motion Control Components – Maxon motor is introducing new high-speed drives for you to configure. The brushless ECX motors with diameters of 8, 16 and 19 mm achieve peak values of 120,000 rpm, run very smoothly and develop hardly any heat. They are available with different power stages and in standard or sterilizable versions (up to 2000 autoclave cycles). That makes the drives an attractive option for hand-held surgical tools as well as industrial spindles.

Configurable drives: dynamic, high power, and low noise

Configure and combine the DC motor (DCX, DC-max) or BLDC motor (ECX SPEED) and planetary gearhead (GPX) and sensor (ENX) according to your individual requirements, easily and online. After only 11 working days, the drive systems are ready for shipment from Switzerland. Detailed product data can be viewed online immediately and 3D data for the configuration is available for download. Discover the world of maxon X drives!

maxon X drives program

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

High power density, high efficiency, smooth running and available for online configuration.Configure sizes from Ø 10 – 35 mm. Choose between precious metal or graphite brushes, ball or sintered bearings, and much more.

 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

The DC motors with the best price/performance ratio can be configured online. Configure Ø 16 and 22 mm sizes. Choose between graphite and precious metal brushes, sintered and ball bearings, and many other components.

 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

Super-fast, configurable brushless DC motors. The brushless ECX series of motors has been optimized for high speeds (up to 120,000 rpm) and withstands up to 2000 autoclave cycles

 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

Configurable planetary gearheads for high torques in the smallest of spaces. Maxon GPX gearheads are low-noise and low-backlash. Ideal for when high torques and speeds are needed.

 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

Configurable digital encoders. 3-channel encoders with inverse signals for interference free function. The counts per turn may be easily programmed at production.

 

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.

Motion Control – MAXON Says, “Customize Your Drive System Online!”

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maxon motors introduces a NEW product line of innovative brushed DC motors, planetary gearheads and encoders. customers will find the new motors available for easy online configuration in the online shop. Within 11 working days, the finished drives are ready for shipment. Profit from these fast delivery times now!.

Maxon Logo

Fall River, MA — Maxon motor is introducing new high-speed drives for you to configure. The brushless ECX motors with diameters of 8, 16 and 19 mm achieve peak values of 120,000 rpm, run very smoothly and develop hardly any heat. They are available with different power stages and in standard or sterilizable versions (up to 2000 autoclave cycles). That makes the drives an attractive option for hand-held surgical tools as well as industrial spindles.

Configurable drives: dynamic, high power, and low noise

Configure and combine the DC motor (DCX, DC-max) or BLDC motor (ECX SPEED) and planetary gearhead (GPX) and sensor (ENX) according to your individual requirements, easily and online. After only 11 working days, the drive systems are ready for shipment from Switzerland. Detailed product data can be viewed online immediately and 3D data for the configuration is available for download. Discover the world of maxon X drives!

maxon X drives program

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

High power density, high efficiency, smooth running and available for online configuration.Configure sizes from Ø 10 – 35 mm. Choose between precious metal or graphite brushes, ball or sintered bearings, and much more.

 
 
 
 
 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

The DC motors with the best price/performance ratio can be configured online. Configure Ø 16 and 22 mm sizes. Choose between graphite and precious metal brushes, sintered and ball bearings, and many other components.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

Super-fast, configurable brushless DC motors. The brushless ECX series of motors has been optimized for high speeds (up to 120,000 rpm) and withstands up to 2000 autoclave cycles

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

Configurable planetary gearheads for high torques in the smallest of spaces. Maxon GPX gearheads are low-noise and low-backlash. Ideal for when high torques and speeds are needed.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Maxon motion control X-Drives Configure online

Configurable digital encoders. 3-channel encoders with inverse signals for interference free function. The counts per turn may be easily programmed at production.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at www.maxonmotor.com.