Exploring hidden depths under the seabed.

Norwegian company Petro-Marker, developed a device that is able to collect data up to 5,000 meters underneath the seabed. The technology scans the bottom of the ocean in great detail providing information as to the location and size of oil reservoirs.

1,000 metres below the sea the environment is harsh, ice cold and very dark with no natural light. An ROV has strong floodlights that identify tri-pod objects anchored to the bottom of the seabed. These are receiver stations for electromagnetic waves transmitted into the seafloor, giving feedback on the seabed itself and finding resource deposits.

When oil companies want to find out whether drilling at depth is worth the cost, they often rely on Controlled Source Electro Magnetic (CSEM) technology. This technology utilises the differences in the electrical resistance of different bottom layers to provide signs of the location and size of oil fields. The CSEM technology uses a very strong power source to generate an electro-magnetic field, as well as several receivers to record the fields. These tripod receivers are placed on the sandy bottom and pick up electromagnetic signals that have been changed by the layers through which they passed.

In 2016 Petro-Marker placed 25 new tripods in the North Sea. What sets this technology apart is a new measuring method that uses a vertical transmitter and receiver to find resources. This enables a much more detailed resolution and data measurement up to 5,000 meters beneath the seafloor.

The tripods are about 4 meters high and made from a combination of glass fibre and special foams. Due to the sensitive electronics, metal parts cannot be used. This far below the surface, the pressure is extreme, and the salt water is hostile. At the center of the tripods (receivers), the antennas are aligned as vertically as possible on the seabed.

The system uses a maxon controller (EPOS) and a compensator. The units are encased in plastic to protect them from salt-water corrosion. Several modifications were required to meet the requirements of this application: An EC-i 40 motor, GP 42 planetary gearhead and compensator that were all customised. A dual seal, that imitates typical submarine technology, ensures the system is able to resist the enormous water pressure. The control electronics of the underwater drive are housed in a pressure-neutral glass ball that is able to resist the pressures of up to 600 bar – one of the challenges of this extreme application.

For more information or to speak to one of our Sales Engineers call tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Roboy 2.0

A complete relaunch of the tendon controlled soft Robot, Roboy, is planned for 2018.

Reported here in 2013, Roboy was the first-of-its-kind Humanoid Robot developed by the University of Zurich. What set Roboy apart was the tendon-operated “soft” robotic features. As a main project partner, maxon motor supplied 48 brushless DC motors, gearheads and controllers that enable Roboy to move in a precise manner. Roboy now lives permanently at the Technical University in Munich where development is focused on enhancing A I. This is where the concept of Roboy 2.0 was born, utilising Roboy as a foundation to create robots that not only move like people but will think like people. At this stage Roboy is unable to stand or walk. Roboy 2.0 will be a complete relaunch and the new version will be able to stand, thanks to development of the legs and components like software, DC motors and technology, it is hoped that by 2018 Roboy 2.0 will stand on his own two feet and interact with us.

For more information please contact +61 2 9457 7477.

Play foosball against a robot!

A robot operates the opposing player rods on a Foosball table and has won against human players.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) has developed a foosball table with autonomously operated robotic rods. The table has a transparent playing surface with a camera that locates the ball by taking up to 300 images per second. These images are immediately evaluated and sent to control the rods, which are powered by maxon EC-4 pole DC brushless motors with gearheads and motor controllers. The rods stop the ball and aim for the goals. The students aim to make the robot even more intelligent by programming the robot to analyse opponents players, find gaps in the defence and predict the ball’s trajectory.

For more information on DC motor technology please contact maxon motor Australia on tel. 61 2 9457 7477.

Custom DC motor for maximum power density

New brushed DC motor design from maxon motor.

maxon motor Australia have configured a combination of brushed DC motor, planetary gearhead and digital incremental encoder with completely customised features for a prominent medical manufacturer and have produced it in 11 working days.

An interactive 3D model of the entire assembled combination showing all modifications and final production part numbers can now be generated within an hour of specification request along with data sheets showing the working points of the application. The new process eliminates large amounts of traditional internal procedures, with the robotic production line and parts procurement all linked together with the new design tool. The new motor pictured below shows a unique stepped planetary gearhead that uses a 26mm diameter on the high speed input stage and a 32mm on the high torque output stage. Focusing the wear and strength attributes by placing components specific to their role also increases the motors power density. In order to allow for the full use of shaft length that is tailored for the application, a new process of laser welding the inner race of the output bearing directly to the shaft material has been used over the traditional methods of c-clips and shaft collars. This is also naturally stronger than glue and press fit methods. The motor is capable of producing over 10,000rpm and the gearhead up to 12Nm with ratios to 1526:1. Zero cogging and linear characteristics combined with new encoder resolutions up to a staggering 65,536cpt open new position control possibilities for automation, tool and robotics applications.

Contact maxon motor Australia for assistance. Ph: +61 2 9457 7477.

More DC motors on Mars in the 2020 Rover

Maxon motor have supplied DC motor and gearhead combinations for NASA’s fifth Rover mission – the 2020 Mars Rover.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is building a Rover that will travel to Mars in 2020. The purpose of this operation is to collect dozens of soil samples, seal them and leave them on Mars for future pick-up. Nine brushless (flat) pancake DC motors and gearhead combinations from maxon’s standard range – that have been heavily customised to withstand the harsh conditions on Mars – are used in the sample handling arm, specifically developed for this mission.

The sample handling arm moves the containers from station to station within the sampling system. Additional DC motors are also in the Rover and assist with obtaining the samples and sealing the containers. Maxon’s brushless DC motors and gearheads need to survive the powerful entry, descent and landing sequence as well as the harsh daily conditions on Mars with sandstorms and temperatures ranging from -130 to +70ºC.

From the outside, the Mars 2020 rover looks similar to its precursor Curiosity, that is still operating on Mars. The 2020 mission will have several new instruments on board to deliver unique new data. A key objective will be to search Mars for bio-signatures. Another instrument on board will test whether it’s possible to generate oxygen from the atmosphere for possible future human visits. However, the most significant innovation is the ability to take rock samples in several locations and prepare them for return to Earth.

For assistance on customised DC motor technology for applications in harsh environments please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Maxon motor posts record revenues.

Throughout 2016 maxon invested significantly in expanding its facilities, bringing a large number of new technologies & innovations to market and expanded on their market leading position.

Sachseln/Switzerland – The maxon motor group further increased its revenues in 2016. Compared with the previous year, revenues grew by 5% to a new record level of CHF 422.5 million (from CHF 402.5 million in the previous year). The number of employees rose to 2,500 and for the first time in company history, maxon employs more people abroad than in Switzerland. The highest revenues were achieved in medical technology (43% market share), followed by industrial automation & robotics (26%) and aerospace industries (6.5%). Investment in R&D rose to CHF 28.5 million in 2016 (up from 27.1 million).

Maxon is increasingly becoming a specialist in mechatronics and systems, launching the first fully sterilisable drive system this year. Drive combination units consisting of brushless DC motor, gearhead and sensor are designed to withstand 1000 autoclave cycles. Maxon’s new DC motor controllers also stand up to extreme ambient conditions. The electronics are protected against contaminants and corrosion by a polymer coating. In addition, the device is highly resistant against vibrations and shocks.

For the e-bike market, maxon motor developed a new S-Peledec motor with a 500 Wh battery and intuitive operation for urban applications. The bike reaches speeds of up to 45 km/h and the device stands out because it can convert any regular bicycle into an e-bike. maxon is also active in the field of autonomous delivery robots. This is a market where the energy-efficient and lightweight drive systems by maxon are in particularly high demand.

For more information on DC motors and accessories please contact maxon motor Australia tel +61 2 9457 7477.

Maxon DC motors in the world’s fastest elevator

The Shanghai Tower building is the second tallest in the world with a lookout platform 561 metres high. To get to the viewing platform, maxon DC motors will open the lift doors for you.

Three express elevators service the world’s highest lookout platform within the Shanghai Tower. Moving at a speed of 20.5 meters per second the express elevators will bring you to a mesmerising view in less than 30 seconds. A maxon DC motor opens and closes both the doors of the elevator cab and the doors at each individual floor. The DC motors were selected for being small yet powerful, reliable, energy-saving and intelligent. For more information on DC motor technology please contact maxon motor Australia on tel. 61 2 9457 7477.

Customer Alert – motor control software update

maxon Brushed and Brushless DC motor control unit software and firmware update.

With the release of the maxon motor EPOS 4 also comes new functionalities across the range of DC motor position controllers. The new EPOS 4 firmware 0120h is available now and offers a range of new features and changes. Now inclusive of the new EPOS 4 50/5, brushless DC (BLDC) motor commutation is possible with absolute SSI encoders eliminating the need for hall sensors. The upgrade also brings the digital input functionalities of drive enable and quick stop, plus watchdog handling with error signalisation. Performance has been improved on the CAN PDO communication and performance monitoring. To compliment the performance upgrades maxon motor have released the new PC configuration software EPOS studio version 3.2. The new position controller software features a command analyser tool and a CANopen wizard. The new EPOS command library 6.2.1.0 including the Windows DLL 64-Bit and 32-Bit, Net Library, LabView Instrument driver and Linux Library now have support of the new firmware features and support of mixed gateway topologies for windows DLL. Firmware specification, Application Notes, hardware references and command library documentation has all been updated and available at the EPOS microsite epos.maxonmotor.com.au

Contact maxon motor Australia on +61 2 9457 7477 for assistance with DC motor position control.

Brushless flat DC motors going to Mars

Brushless motors from maxon motor are again being used by NASA for the Mars 2020 rover.

For critical tasks you need the best quality. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory have selected nine brushless flat motors from maxon motor for the rover which they intend will take soil samples and seal them in containers for future transport to Earth. Various motion applications are performed. Sample tube holding, the robotic arm, container handling, sample gathering and container sealing. 32mm diameter and 20mm diameter flat brushless motors have been combined with heavy duty 22mm planetary gearheads and modified specifically for the Mars mission in close collaboration with JPL for the difficult conditions experienced with descent, landing, sandstorms and the -130 to +70 degree temperatures.

For information on DC motors and gearheads used in applications operating in harsh environments please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Discontinuation of maxon EC19 DC motor and GP19 planetary gearhead.

With the introduction of the ECX 19 SPEED brushless DC motors, maxon are phasing out the EC 19 and Planetary Gearhead GP 19.

The EC 19 and the GP 19 M were officially introduced in 2014. They will be replaced with brushless DC motors – the ECX SPEED 19 series. Final orders will be received up to December 22, 2017 with last delivery scheduled for March 30, 2018.

The alternative is the brushless ECX range of DC motors. Configurable online, these brushless DC motors are sterilisable, have ceramic bearings and are available with or without hall sensors. With an ironless winding these DC motors have an exceptionally large speed range, high power, excellent control characteristics and are highly durable. Choose from matching gearheads and with the option to configure the electrical connection.

For more information on an alternative DC motor or for application assistance, please call maxon motor Australia on tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

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