Roger Frigola, Optimisation Engineer at Emirates Team New Zealand, presented to the maxon global Group at their annual management meeting in Brunnen, Switzerland on the 18 September, 2019.
maxon Group were delighted to welcome Roger Frigola (MSc Aerospace Engineering and PhD Artificial Intelligence) from Emirates Team New Zealand at their annual management meeting. In their capacity as Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand, maxon Group received insight into the process and technicalities of designing the AC75 Class yacht. For the current America’s Cup campaign, the design process began in 2018 with the publication of the Class Rule that states specific design parameters set out by the Deed of Gift. Roger has been involved in the America’s Cup since 2014 and has experience in the McLaren F1, Ferrari F1, Porsche Le Mans and Red Bull F1 Motorsports.
Emirates Team New Zealand: Current Defenders of the America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest trophy in international sport, captivating the world since its inception in 1851. Emirates Team New Zealand are three times winner, current Defenders of the America’s Cup and the first non-American competitor to successfully defend the trophy. It would appear to remain that if you won the America’s Cup you would stay with the same type of boat. This isn’t the case for Emirates Team New Zealand, who created a New Class of Yacht – the AC75. Innovation is key and the entire concept was proven only through use of a simulator without any prototypes. The Challengers have developed smaller boats and tested them, but Emirates Team New Zealand placed their trust in the simulation and the team of people working behind the scenes.
For the new AC75 Class of Yacht, Emirates Team New Zealand designed the system that all the teams use to raise and lower the foils. The Design & Engineering Team also work with HP using 3-D printed components for the Yacht.
A support team of more than 150 people contribute expertise from across many disciplines. There is the crew of 11 sailors (8 of those are grinders) and around 25 people within the design and engineering team including naval architects, structural and mechanical engineers, simulators and software developers. Then there is the shore people, boat builders, marketing, media, lawyers, accounting, physiotherapists, trainers and cooks.
AC36: a new rule
One method of gathering data for the performance of the Yacht and the Sailors was to test through physical experiments in wind tunnels or towing tanks. However this America’s Cup campaign is the first to prohibit any experimental testing in wind tunnels or towing tanks. This new concept and Yacht design has been modelled on physics with design by optimisation. The results of the simulation data were then compared to the actual boat reactions with testing on and off the water looking closely at safety issues, strains, stress loads etc. The Computational fluid dynamics (the examination of fluid flow in accordance with its physical properties such as velocity, pressure, temperature, density and viscosity) were modelled on the conditions of a wind tunnel. The amount of data that is collected is so large it’s stored across 8 HP desktop machines.
The members of the Design & Engineering Team spend the majority of their time on the Chase Boat, analysing real-time data from the AC75 yacht test runs. The thousands of gigabytes per day that are captured are compared against the computational physics from the simulation data and used in the build of the second boat that will sail in the America’s Cup.
The America’s Cup World Series, Sardinia, April 2020
All teams will meet for the first time between April 23-26, 2020 with the America’s Cup World Series kicking off in Cagliari, Sardinia. The fearlessness with adopting innovation and confidence placed in the simulation, combined with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of Emirates Team New Zealand – not to mention the backing from Sponsors, Official Suppliers and Supporters – advocate strongly the retention of Current Defender of the America’s Cup. The prowess of the AC75’s will be on full display and we eagerly await seeing the boat racing to its full potential.
maxon Group is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2021.
maxon motor Australia | tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
The much-anticipated launch of the first two AC75 foiling monohull yachts from the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand and USA Challenger NYYC American Magic respectively did not disappoint the masses of America’s Cup fans waiting eagerly for their first glimpse of an AC75 ‘in the flesh’.
Emirates Team New Zealand were the first to officially reveal their boat at an early morning naming ceremony on September 6. Resplendent in the team’s familiar red, black and grey livery, the Kiwi AC75 was given the Maori name ‘Te Aihe’ (Dolphin).
Meanwhile, the Americans somewhat broke with protocol by carrying out a series of un-announced test sails and were the first team to foil their AC75 on the water prior to a formal launch ceremony on Friday September 14 when their dark blue boat was given the name ‘Defiant’.
But it was not just the paint jobs that differentiated the first two boats of this 36th America’s Cup cycle – as it quickly became apparent that the New Zealand and American hull designs were also strikingly different. On first comparison the two teams’ differing interpretations of the AC75 design rule are especially obvious in the shape of the hull and the appendages.
While the New Zealanders have opted for a bow section that is – for want of a better word – ‘pointy’, the Americans have gone a totally different route with a bulbous bow that some have described as ‘scow-like’ – although true scow bows are prohibited in the AC75 design rule.
The differences between the two AC75 hulls do not stop there, with the two design teams taking significantly contrasting approaches on the underwater profiles of their AC75s as well.
While the American Magic AC75 appears to have been built with an all but totally flat underwater section, Emirates Team New Zealand’s boat has a pronounced longitudinal bulge underneath running almost from bow to stern.
These two different approaches have set the sailing world alight with fans speculating over the thinking is behind each of them and pondering what the sailing characteristics of each boat might be.
Despite being very different the images of the two boats reveal some similarities as well such as the cockpit layout. Both teams have their cockpit divided in two by a central extension to the forward deck, creating two pits in which the crew can operate low down and out of the airstream. There will be plenty of improvements to come on how teams will manoeuvre the boats but so far both teams seem to have decided on fixed positions for their grinders who won’t cross sides during tacks and jibes.
With foiling now established for the America’s Cup, a key focus for designers has been to make the foils more efficient. Once again designing the shape, width and thickness of the foil wing is a trade-off between speed and stability.
The path chosen by the two teams have been very diverse. Emirates Team New Zealand has two different foils: one with anhedral angle and the other one which is straight. American Magic, on the contrary, seems to have two very similar foils wings in terms of shape and that’s probably because the Kiwis are still testing solutions whereas the Americans having been sailing consistently with their test boat, might have already got to some key conclusions.
Given that we can expect the teams to build and test a multitude of shapes in the run up to the 36th America’s Cup there is probably little to be gained from too much analysis there at this stage.
After almost a decade, soft sails are back in the America’s Cup and a lot of effort has been put in by the teams adapting the twin skinned mainsail concept to the new Class Rule with the main difference between the two AC75 appearing to be the boom position in relation to the mainsail foot. The Americans sporting a conventional boom, whereas the Kiwis have opted for a deck-sweeper mainsail foot, not unlike those used on the latest A-Class catamarans.
Despite all their differences – in their bows, underwater sections, and other design features – it is worth noting that both boats were foiling (and seemingly stably) within hours of going sailing for the first time. That is a remarkable achievement for both syndicates and a testimony to both the designers and builders, as well as to the efficacy of the AC75 design rule itself.
And it seems we will not have to wait very long for the next two AC75s to see the first light of day. The Italian Official Challenger of Record Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team is scheduled to be the next to launch on October 2, with the British INEOS Team UK syndicate following suit two days later.
Could we see two more surprising design ideas on show then?
maxon Group is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.
Where motion is the key to a great cup of coffee, duplicating the precision and reliability of the motion of a person’s hand, wrist, and elbow requires a unique robotic design.
Coffee lovers are passionate about their cup of coffee. Providing a consistent and reliable cup from a coffee shop often takes a lot of time in training your baristas. Gaining that same precision motion control combined with speed and reliability was the utmost challenge for Poursteady’s Chief Engineer, Stuart Heys, who has always loved a good challenge. maxon spoke to Maximilian Babe, Poursteady’s Jack of all trades and current manufacturing manager about the final products.
Poursteady manufactures two different models. The PS1 five-station machine and the PS1-3c three-station machine. Each Poursteady machine automatically produces the perfect pour-over coffee based on the barista’s precise needs. “We wanted to design a tool that the baristas wanted to use, one that would give them the perfect cup of coffee every time while they made sure the grind was just right and that the customer was being well taken care of.” To do this, Stuart and the Poursteady team needed components that were not only accurate, but highly reliable, and offered long life. “Our machines have literally made millions of cups of coffee without a breakdown.”
The idea was for the machine to only automate the steps in making perfect pour-overs that made sense. This means that the recipes are variable depending on what the baristas choose to program into the machine. Hundreds of formulas can be stored and can be perfectly repeated with the push of a single button. Water is measured to the gram.
The robotic system provides the shapes and sizes of the spirals that are poured. Precise motion in multiple directions along with precise timing of each step is tracked and executed by the machine — using the Technosoft VX Intelligent Drive — for up to five cups at a time. Each cup can have a different sequence based on its program. Any combination of pour and motion is possible. This not only allows baristas to do other work and help customers in another way, it reduces the training the coffee shop owner needs to provide. And, it allows the shop to make more cups of coffee in less time, getting through a line of customers faster and more efficiently.
Stuart is a robotics engineer, and he used industrial automation components rated and tested for years of continuous use. Both machines use the same motion control components. Using two maxon DC motors and three belts, the machine is able to manipulate the pour spout any way it chooses. The 3c machine is around 24 inches long, which is much narrower than an espresso machine. One belt runs the full length of the X axis of the brewer. It attaches to a gear and pulley design where a second belt runs from the pulley to the motor shaft, all inside the cage of the system. The Y axis is connected directly to a motor that sits outside the cage and pivots back and forth dependent on the controller signal programmed into the unit.
The combination of motions from the design allows a user to program the unit for any type of flow — simply back and forth along one axis or a wobble along one or two axes, or a circular pattern that can be adjusted for width as well as shape.
The DC motors used in the PS1 and PS1-3c include maxon’s 30 Watt, EC45 Flat motor for the X axis and the EC32 Flat motor for the Y (or tilt) axis. The motors are electronically commutated, thus enabling extremely long motor life, since there are simply no mechanical brushes to wear out. Hall effect sensors are built into some DC motors in order to provide feedback to the control electronics. The motors offer good heat dissipation and high overload capability. Both the EC45 flat and EC32 flat DC motors have a stainless-steel housing, vary widely in diameter, and offer different shaft lengths as well. The motors can be used at any speeds needed to accommodate the application. The dynamic load of the nozzle that is always moving during the pour sequence, is light and requires little torque. Precision of the operation is what’s important, and Poursteady acquires that through the use of a closed loop control system.
“We are not the experts on how a particular shop, or barista, should prepare their coffee. With the Poursteady machine the flexibility is there for the user,” Maximilian explained. Whatever coffee, roast, and dripper preferred can be set and saved in a recipe file. If a user finds they can’t get the perfect pattern on their unit, Poursteady will help provide a custom pour pattern for them.
The next goal for the company is to provide a way to make a one-minute cup of pour-over coffee. This would allow a barista to make over 100 cups of coffee per hour with a single operator and therefore reduce customer wait time, allowing for a better barista-customer experience overall.
For more information, visit Poursteady or to learn more about the DC motor and drive system capabilities please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Developing Exoskeletons for children present their own engineering challenges simply because children are still growing.
Exoskeletons were largely developed for people that have sustained paralysis or suffer muscular dystrophy. For adults who have stopped growing there is no risk of outgrowing the exoskeleton. However for children their growth and ability present a multitude of challenges for design engineers. An exoskeleton that fits a six-year old perfectly may be much too small by the time the child turns seven. For a child with spinal muscular atrophy an exoskeleton is designed to recognise users are not completely paralysed but are able to move their legs to a certain extent. Sensors within the frame detect weak leg movements and respond immediately to provide support. As a result, the child is able control the exoskeleton directly with the legs.
Spanish company, Marsi Bionics, manufactures exoskeletons mainly for adults but have developed two exoskeletons for children, the Atlas 2020 and Atlas 2030. Weighing approximately 14 kgs it is made for children from 3 years up who have a neuromuscular disease. The exoskeleton can be adapted to various leg lengths and hip widths, so that it also fits teenagers up to about 14 years of age. The “Atlas 2030 is an upgrade of Atlas 2020”, explains Elena García, creator and co-founder of Marsi Bionics. “The main difference is that Atlas 2020 is intended for use in hospitals for gait training and rehabilitation, while Atlas 2030 is designed for use in private homes as an integral part of the patient’s everyday life. Both devices are ready for industrial production and until then, Atlas 2020 will continue to be used in hospitals for clinical research.”
maxon motor have five drive systems in each leg of the children’s exoskeleton. Brushless flat EC45 motors deliver very high torque in a compact design, coupled with inductive MILE encoders that act as sensors. The motors are controlled by servo controllers from maxon’s ESCON series. “EC flat motors provide the best power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratio”, explained Elena García. “This is a variable of paramount importance, as gait exoskeletons require high power but a very low weight and volume.” The exoskeletons will be made available commercially once CE certification marks have been received.
For more information contact maxon motor Australia Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.