Closed-loop control algorithms and smart electronics are built into the module itself. That’s always been part of the value proposition, but it is becoming more and more critical for customers who are often scientists, rather than closed-loop control experts, to deploy these systems. “By implementing a smart system, we can achieve motion and position control using a very tightly controlled closed-loop system, a high-resolution encoder, and a built-in microprocessor. Customers aren’t required to be motion control experts,” he said.
The M3-F focus modules from New Scale are configurable, fully integrated closed-loop actuators. They are designed to easily replace fixed-focus lens holders without adding system size or weight and, by providing very low power requirements, they are ideal for handheld and portable systems. The production-ready modules offer simple developer’s kits that allow for engineering teams to have an evaluation board up and running in minutes.
Modules are configurable for lenses from M6 to M12, and compatible with common image sensors, including 1/2-inch and 1/1.8-inch formats. The module size is approximately 20mm x 22mm x 16mm, offering resolution of 0.5µm, accuracy better than 30µm, and step and settle time that are less than 20ms for a 30µm step.
Each M3-F focus module incorporates a piezoelectric SQUIGGLE micro motor, motor drive ASIC, position sensor, and microprocessor. The modules accept high-level digital commands via standard serial interface (I2C or SPI), so no external control board is necessary. M3-F modules have low power consumption and maintain focus position during power-off, using a 3.3V input voltage for battery-powered operation.
The modules have a smaller size, higher resolution, and lower power use than traditional stepper motors. They are less expensive, afford more flexibility, and are easier to integrate than liquid lenses. The modules can be quickly configured to fit a variety of lenses, mounting interfaces, and macro and infinity image plane locations.