Accurate measurements in filling mechanisms and dispensing instruments are common in professional tools, patient therapy and business machines. However, the requirements for accuracy increase dramatically in a surgical procedure — especially when the measurement affects an implant.
Working with medical design firm Devicix, Disc Dynamics developed a precise surgical tool to create an artificial nucleus for a minimally invasive surgical procedure, called the Dascor Disc Arthroplasty System. The implant restores the proper gap height in patients with Degenerative Disc Disease by injecting a two-part polymer to replace a portion of surgically removed disc between the patient’s vertebrae. The technique requires a precise amount of material and depends on an accurate measurement.
The initial technique used a pneumatic process for the injection, but proved difficult to control. A newer design uses a motor driving ball screw, monitored by a linear position sensor, to deliver an accurate quantity of the polymer. Disc Dynamics’ engineers chose Temposonics’ C-Series linear position sensor for ease of connection to the mechanical system, as well as eliminating three potential problems: wear, drift-over-time and periodic calibrations.
MOTION MONITOR Temposonics’ linear C-Series position sensor monitors the motion of a motor driving ball screw to dispense a precise amount of a two-part polymer.
The extremely small magnetostrictive sensor is 36 mm with an 18 mm dead zone and 21 mm null zone and 4 mm sensor shaft diameter. The resulting overall length-to-active zone ratio enables smaller device designs in desktop-size medical equipment. The linear position sensor, combined with a pressure sensor, provide the feedback for closed loop control of the injection process to dispense exactly the amount determined from a CT scan.
In the system, the C-Series provides position feedback for calibrating its forward and rearward travel limits, eliminating the need for redundant limit switches. In addition, the resolution and repeatability of the absolute output of the C-Series sensor eliminated an encoder initially used in the design.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.