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There are several considerations when selecting a direct drive linear actuator for a specific application, such as the required speed, force, motion profile, available physical envelope, and environmental factors. This means the chosen actuator solution must produce the load force and speed requirements, fit in the available space, and perform as required under the subjected environmental conditions of the application.

Amplitude gain margin is a measurement in the frequency domain, taken from a Bode plot, that takes the amplitude below 0 dB at the lowest frequency point that the phase reaches -180 degrees (phase crossover frequency).

In simplified terms, bandwidth can be calculated as 1/(settling time) of a given step response of a servo system.

A collaborative robot (Cobot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. This is in contrast with other robots, designed to operate autonomously. A "cobot" is a robot that works in tandem with a human worker. The assumption is that a cobot and a human can produce an end result better and faster than either could do working alone.

Huge demand for robots, cobots, AI and Industry 4.0 is driving innovation hubs across the globe.  Whether the focus is software, industrial robots, cobots, medical robots or something else - the best way to facilitate and attract talent is to huddle around academic centers and universities.  Thus is born a Robotics Cluster, which is a group of entities that – formally or informally – locate in close geographical proximity.

A collaborative robot (or Cobot) is a robot that is made to work with or interact with human co-workers. For most of us normal folks, the most well-known example is Tony Stark’s robotic arm. (For those reading who are wondering why I don’t refer to the arm as JARVIS, it’s because JARVIS is the AI and controls other things but not the robotic arm.) Tony has bit of an unhealthy relationship with the robotic arm, he insults it, puts it in a dunce cap, puts it in time out, or threatens to dismantle it. At which point the robotic arm usually hangs his robotic limb downward into sadness. But, the robotic arm is there to do work for Tony in his basement. He may have a large house, but he doesn’t want a 10-foot-tall robot behind a fence. He wants an assistant, a co-worker of sorts that can help build his Iron Man suits.

Over Christmas my family and I traveled to Cape Canaveral, Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Since the trip (and even before) my house has been a buzz about rockets, astronauts, count downs, stages, boosters, and did I mention rockets? Naturally, I was one of the 3 million people to watch the launch of the Falcon Heavy live. And over the last few days, there have been several things that I have found myself reflecting on – and it isn’t nostalgia for the space race – its excitement.

We’ve covered feedback devices before in our Blog in Motion posts, but today we want to touch base on current trends we are seeing related to feedback devices for servo applications. We asked Dan Wolke a few questions about where we see the market heading.

Mechatronics is taking a holistic look at a complete machine solution, taking account of all elements that make up that system that are part of the machine, including mechanisms, motors, drive electronics, controls, interfaces, and ergonomics.  A variety of disciplines are involved when considering a machine design utilizing a mechatronics approach. It is a melding of the physical expectations of a motion system whether mechanical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic or any hybrid of technologies used to accomplish a physical task. Often, these systems are trying to duplicate, simplify, or assist a human function, most often a repetitive motion that a machine can do better.

Question: What is a linear actuator?

Answer: Quite simply, a linear actuator is a device that moves a load in a straight line.  Linear actuators come in many styles and configurations – our blog post today covers those actuators associated with motion control.

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