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.
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.
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