What's the most popular type of linear actuator? Pneumatic. That's according to a recent survey of Design News readers. Some 57% of the respondents reported that they specify, buy, or approve pneumatic linear actuators. Other top options: Lead-screw driven (48%), belt driven (42%), and hydraulic actuators (42%). What's the most important factor in selecting a particular type of linear actuator or positioning system? Number one answer: That the product meets performance requirements. Vendors take note that pricing was number five on the list.
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
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