Application Briefs

Motor Used to Stabilize Remote-Controlled Camera Crane

It is a staple of the summer box office blockbuster: the car chase. Car chases have not only become a vital component of an action movie, they have also had to evolve, with audiences demanding even more thrills. To put the audience directly into the flow of traffic, studio executives turn to companies like Adventure Equipment, whose Ultimate Arm, a gyrostablized, camera-mounted, remote-controlled crane system attached to an SUV, gets in where the action is. Maxon Motors’ (Fall River MA) RE40 motor is used to maneuver the camera, capturing all the adrenaline-pumping moments.

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Plasma Cutter Utilizes Motor for Gantry Control

To cut through metal and other materials, a plasma cutter sends an arc of electricity through a high-speed jet of an inert gas. When electricity and gas meet, plasma is formed, hot enough to melt through sheet metal, and still moving fast enough to blast molten metal away from the cut. When engineers at Dynatorch (Padukah, KY) began to design a line of plasma and oxy-acetylene cutting machines, they utilized the SM2315D SmartMotor from Animatics (Santa Clara, CA) to operate the gantry, where the torch is mounted. To avoid the warping, kinking, or scorching that can occur when metal is improperly heated, the gantry and torch must maintain a fixed distance from whatever is being cut.

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Hundreds of Gearmotors Drive Times Square Scrolling Sign

With a zoning ordinance requiring businesses to throw up big, bright, eye-catching signs, Times Square in New York City has an illuminated-sign density rivaling Las Vegas. When Toys “R” Us moved into the neighborhood, it contacted Revolution Display Systems, (Toronto, Canada) to create a motor-controlled, synchronous, contiguous moving image that would constitute the location’s storefront. The resulting 165-module “Building Board” is the first large-format scroller matrix in the world.

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Drive Retrofit Update Enables Smoke-Removal System at Atlanta Airport

When the City of Atlanta finalized plans for the capital-improvement project at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, an integral part of the 10-year, $5.4 billion project included upgrading the ventilation system of the underground Automated People Mover (APM). The APM’s previous ventilation system was adequate when the APM served the A, B, C, and D Concourses. When Concourse E was added and the APM extended — now 3.5 miles long, handling 128,000 passengers an hour — the fans required upgrading to handle additional flow and pressure to meet National Fire Protection Association standards for emergency smoke evacuation. The $3.4-million set up and installation contract for mechanical and electrical equipment was awarded to W.B. Wallis & Co. (Atlanta, GA).

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Device Simulates Spine Motions

The spine is the most complex mechanical system in the human body. With the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Instron (Norwood, MA) is utilizing the BioPuls™ Multi-Axial Spine Testing System to characterize the multi-axial dynamism of the backbone. Such testing will help further the understanding of spine kinetics, simulating precisely the complex, coupled motions typical of the spine and impact on spinal procedures. The system can be used to help evaluate the design of new instruments and implants that allow a greater physiological range of motion.

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Motion Control Research Center Develops Speed Control System for SRM Drives

The Center for Rapid Transit Systems at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) is an internationally recognized drive systems and motion control research group with expertise in the design, simulation, and control of switched reluctance motor (SRM) drives and power converter topologies.

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“Pinball Wizards” Bank on Motion/Stress Analysis Software to Redesign Game

Stern Pinball of Melrose Park, IL, is the only manufacturer of coin-operated pinball machines in the world. Today, Stern’s pinball games are designed using sophisticated computer simulation software.

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