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.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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