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 landscape of product development is changing. Electronic components and the devices that use them are shrinking, while power and functionality are rising. As a result, heat management is now in the forefront of the design process.
Ahead of their appearance at Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis, we look at some of the engineering behind two robots from the hit show, BattleBots, as well as some tried-and-true fighting tactics engineers should keep in mind when taking their own robots into battle.
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