How precision drives can improve the performance of robotic grippers, mobile robots

The Robot Report
How precision drives can improve the performance of robotic grippers

Precision drives are essential for numerous robotics applications. Source: FAULHABER

Today, a world without robots is inconceivable. The areas of application that require process safety, reliability, and economic efficiency from these robots are equally manifold. FAULHABER MICROMO LLC said its drive systems can play a major role in fulfilling these requirements because they combine durability and performance in a robust and compact design.

Thanks to these features, the precision drives can be used in a wide range of applications, from sewer robots and remote-controlled manipulators to robots for handling and logistics, as well as surgical applications or prostheses. FAULHABER said it offers an extensive range of products with more than 25 million possible combinations of microdrives, optical, magnetic, or absolute encoders, as well as speed and motion controllers with various interfaces.

These configuration options can be usesful wherever high dynamics or precise positioning are needed, the company said. At the same time, this technological construction kit is the basis upon which application-specific custom requests are realized, thus facilitating the further evolution of robotics.

Gripping without compressed air

In the past, small grippers that were both fast and powerful were always pneumatic because with compressed air, large amounts of pressure can be conveyed virtually without any time lag.

However, the elaborate infrastructure that was required for pneumatics is no longer needed today. Mechatronic gripping systems such as those from Schunk (shown below) can now easily achieve the performance of their pneumatic counterparts thanks to brushless DC motors, with a diameter of only 22 mm and an integrated motion controller.

Precisely fitting solution underground or in the warehouse

For instance, robots going into sewer systems take advantage of microdrive capabilities. DC motors with a diameter of just 15 mm and a precious-metal commutation system enable inspection robots to be overload- and shock-resistant, as well as robust in daily use.

These small drives are also useful in logistics. In this industry, an increasing number of work steps related to storing, retrieving, and preparing items for dispatch is handled by intelligent robots. A typical logistics unit consists of a lifting column and gripper. It contains a drive unit that can include brushless DC servomotors with an integrated motion controller and planetary gearhead.

When used in the lifting column, for example, this combination ensures precise positioning during storage or retrieval – all during continuous operation with constant load changes. FAULHABER said its small precision drive systems are represented in almost all areas of robotics.

Precision drives expertise from Schönaich

FAULHABER specializes in the development, production, and deployment of high-precision miniaturized and miniature drive systems, servo components, and drive electronics with up to 250 watts of output power. This includes putting into effect customer-specific packaged solutions, as well as an extensive range of standard products, such as brushless motors, DC micromotors, encoders, and motion controllers.

FAULHABER said it provides high quality and reliability in complex and demanding application areas, such as medical technology, factory automation, precision optics, telecommunications, aviation and aerospace, and robotics. From its DC motor with a continuous torque of 224 mNm to the filigree micro drive with an outer diameter of 1.9 mm, the company‘s standard range can be combined to create the optimal precision drives for a particular application. It also said this technological construction kit is the basis for modifications which allow to configure special versions to meet the specific needs of customers.

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Source: therobotreport

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