Maxon Motor USA continues to shrink the size of its integrated motors and feedback devices. Here at the Medical Design and Manufacturing Show West in Anaheim, CA, the company showed off a new 6-mm DC motor with an integrated magnetoresistance (MR) encoder. “It's part of our growing focus on miniature mechatronic systems,” says Kirk Barker, the company's electronics product manager. Previously, the smallest size integrated motor of this type was 10-mm, Barker says. One of the first uses for the new motor is in a precision medical pump. Barker explains that the motor not only helps operate the pump but also acts as a sensor that reveals blockages or malfunctions—which turn up as changes in back-EMF and current. Stay tuned for more technical details on the new motor-encoder package as they become available.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.