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Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life

Worldwide an estimated 185 million people use a wheelchair daily. A company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed an innovative robotic technology that helps people with mobility impairment get back on their feet— the Rex Bionics robotic exoskeleton. Its integrated maxon motors help to ensure smooth limb movement.

Posted in: Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Implants & Prosthetics, Biosensors, Mechanical Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Power Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Positioning Equipment, Medical, Orthopedics, Articles, Features, MDB

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Feedback Sensors Keep Servomotors on Target

Fundamentally, a servo system can perform no more accurately than the accuracy of the feedback device controlling it. In addition, errors in speed or position can be introduced into the system by the less-than-perfect mechanisms that transfer the motor power to the load. Environmental factors like electrical noise or temperature may also introduce positioning errors. Sometimes the errors are acceptable. More frequently, however, they are not. When it comes to high-performance servo applications, feedback devices fall into several different categories. Each offers unique advantages and disadvantages, both electrical and mechanical, that make one better suited for a particular application than another.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Handling Delicate Materials

Special care needs to be taken when handling delicate materials used in medical applications. Small diameters provide increased flexibility needed for long-flex-life applications such as cardiac catheter wires. Many other applications also use these fine materials as winding and braiding materials, including the medical device industry, microelectronics, and composites.

Posted in: Features, Applications, Motion Control, Articles

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Gearboxes

The i-series planetary gearboxes from Groschopp (Sioux Center, IA) are available with AC, PMDC, and brushless motors, and are made of cast aluminum. They are offered with up to three stages of steel cut or optional plastic gears, suitable for both leftand right-hand rotation running, in continuous and intermittent duty operation. The plastic gears can withstand operating temperatures from -15 to 65 °C; the steel gearing can withstand -30 to 140 °C temperatures. Rated at a standard IP54, the gearboxes feature sealed, doubleball output bearings and gaskets between each module to resist grease and dust.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Machine Design Software

CD-adapco (Melville, NY) offers two connected simulation programs, SPEED and STAR-CCM+, for machine design. The SPEED tool is used to design motors, generators, and alternators; STAR-CCM+ is a heat transfer and thermal fluid flow program. Design data is seamlessly transferred between the two programs. The SPEED model is created and solved with static/dynamic analytical analysis. SPEED FE is used to fine-tune the analytical model and calculate the iron losses. The 3D machine geometry is set up in STAR-CCM+, including the end windings creation from SPEED via an xGDF file. Flow heat loss results are transferred from FE analysis to STAR-CCM+ via the SBD-file, and heat losses are mapped automatically. The cooling system, bearing shields, and additional flanges are added via importing from a 3D CAD system. Physics are assigned, and the final solution and post-processing are done in STAR-CCM+.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Electric Actuators

Warner Linear (Belvidere, IL) has announced the ITrack linear actuators for light- and medium-duty applications where parallel motor type actuators won’t fit in limited space requirements. The actuators feature a release clutch that allows the actuator rod to float when power is off. When the clutch is disengaged, much less force is required for manual movement. The clutch also provides overload protection and can be driven through in case of obstruction. The actuators have a load capacity up to 200 pounds, and stroke lengths up to 12". Gaskets are nitrile-impregnated for sealing, and steel components are nitrotec-coated for corrosion resistance. Models feature a ball screw, a steel rod, and are IP66 capable. Operating temperature ranges from -40 °F to 185 °F.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Torque Control Hinges

Reell Precision Manufacturing (St. Paul, MN) offers the TI-100 and TI-200 Series torque control hinges that provide pivoting capabilities without the standard appearance of conventional hinges. Depending on model, the torque inserts press-fit into a variety of materials via a keyed cavity, or can be plastic over-molded. They feature patented ReellTorq® clip technology, which eliminates the need for adjustment, and provides precise position control and torque.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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