Motion Control

Aircraft with Hybrid Engine Can Recharge in Flight

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested the first aircraft to be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, where an electric motor and gas engine work together to drive the propeller. The demonstrator aircraft uses up to 30% less fuel than a comparable plane with a gas-only engine. The aircraft is also able to recharge its batteries in flight, the first time this has been achieved.

Posted in: Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Green Design & Manufacturing, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Aerospace, Aviation, News

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Computation of Wing Deflection and Slope from Measured Strain

Patent-pending methodology computes detailed wing loads during actual flight. Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California A lightweight, robust fiber-optic system is the technology behind a new method to compute wing deflection and slope from measured strain of an aircraft. This state-of-the-art sensor system is small, easy to install, and fast, and offers the first-ever means of obtaining real-time strain measurements that can accurately determine wing deflection and slope during flight. Such measurements are particularly useful for real-time virtual displays of wing motion, aircraft structural integrity monitoring, active drag reduction, active flexible motion control, and active loads alleviation.

Posted in: Motion Control, Measuring Instruments, Aviation, Articles, Briefs, Aeronautics

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Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions

Researchers have developed a new two-stroke engine notable for its low consumption and low level of pollutant emissions. The engine is the result of Powerful, a European project focusing on reduction in the engine’s weight and size using only two cylinders instead of the four used in the four-stroke engines currently on the market. Moreover, since it has fewer cylinders, the friction produced in the engine is reduced, increasing its mechanical output and, finally, its overall performance.

Posted in: Motion Control, Power Transmission, Transportation, News, Automotive

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Robotic Arm

Global Specialties (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced the R700 Vector Robotic Arm that is fully assembled and ready to be programmed in the C language. The robot comes with pre-written example programs that can be downloaded to the ATMEGA64 microcontroller using the supplied USB interface and RobotLoader software. Custom programs can be written using the free open-source WinAVR software.

Posted in: Motion Control, Products

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Optical Encoders

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) announced the AEDR-87xx series of 3-channel reflective optical encoder devices for use in low-power miniaturized motion control systems such as stepper motors, electrical actuators, piezoelectric drives, and portable medical appliances. The devices feature encoding resolution up to 318 lines per inch (LPI), support for 3.3V and 5V supply voltage for low-power applications, and dual analog outputs interfacing directly with an external interpolator for high-precision motion control measurements. The encoders feature three channel outputs including one index digital output; a built-in interpolator for 4x, 8x, and 16x interpolation; built-in automatic LED current regulation; encoding resolution of 318 LPI (up to 1.25 um pitch); and operating temperature range from -20 to +85 °C.

Posted in: Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Products

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Motor Drive Controllers

ElectroCraft (Dover, NH) released the PRO Series integrated motor drive controllers that include brushless motor drives, stepper motor variants, and linear actuators, all incorporating a fully integrated drive with the PRO Series advanced control and sequencing functionality. Each includes closed-loop control, a fully programmable digital sequence engine, fully configurable analog and digital I/O, and deterministic real-time communications. These enable any motor drive to serve as either a standalone control solution or part of an integrated multi-axis system. The controllers are pre-configured, and menu-driven configuration tools allow users to set up systems quickly. They are available in a variety of configuration and encoder options.

Posted in: Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Products

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Human-Machine Interface

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) introduced the GOT2000 Series human machine interface (HMI) that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen. It allows operators to interact with the HMI similarly to a tablet or smartphone with intuitive gestures and multi-touch actions. The HMI acts as a seamless gateway to industrial automation devices, including programmable logic controllers (PLC), variable frequency drives, servos, and temperature controllers. The display is designed to optimize operator control and monitoring of device and line status.

Posted in: Motion Control, Products

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