Size really does matter when it comes to direct-drive linear actuators. The smaller the actuator, the more that can be crammed side-by-side into the tight spots normally occupied by pneumatic cylinders or ball screws. But size isn't everything. Force and acceleration capabilities matter too. So does ease-of-installation. Copley Controls has just developed a compact actuator that balances all of these needs. Sized to mount on 28-mm centers, the new ServoTube Model STA11 is the company's most compact direct-drive linear actuator to date. Yet it's no weakling. The STA11, which has an 11-mm thrust rod, offers a peak force of 92N and continuous force of 23.5N. It has maximum velocity of 5.6 m/sec, accelerates instrumentation-type loads to 25g, and provides a 14- to 232-mm stroke. Read more about the new actuator here, including comments from one of the first engineers to use it.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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