The ability to transform digital information into physical motion is a base requirement for the 4th Industrial Revolution. This white paper highlights, discusses, and compares the most common communication (bus) systems, their typical attributes, and use cases related to the 4th Industrial Revolution.
In its early days, the Internet of Things (IoT) largely served as the "eyes and ears" of cloud-based services, collecting data from sensors, cameras and other input devices inhabiting the physical world, with less emphasis on manipulating or controlling the things it monitored. IoT-enabled automation and robotic applications have begun to merge, but their cost has generally limited their use to high-end industrial and commercial markets.
This is changing, however, due to increased accessibility of motor control and motion control on the one hand, and reduced cost of components such as small electrical motors. Previously reserved to high-end industrial applications and medical devices, the best motor driver ICs can now be implemented by any engineer to give their customers the best user experience possible. Fueled by these trends, embedded motion control devices have begun to enable development of smart, secure, low-cost motorized products that complement the IoT's eyes and ears with equally capable arms and hands.
This article will provide an introduction to, and overview of, the subject of embedded motion control and some considerations for design engineers when implementing motion control in embedded systems. Embedded motion control is a major emerging trend that's being driven by the interconnectedness of many different systems, such as new edge device applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the industrial IoT (IIoT), as well as other trends such as increasing integration and miniaturization of systems, and the spread of mobile/wearable consumer electronics – and artificial intelligence (AI).
What do self-driving cars, advanced 3D printers, and the next generation of “smart” prosthetic limbs have in common? They are all beneficiaries of the emergence of embedded motor driver chips and motion control technologies. These systems, which pair application-specific motion control silicon with open hardware and software platforms, are part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a trend that is accelerating the rate of innovation for robotics, industrial automation, and even consumer products that use mechatronic technology.
This new class of devices simplifies the development of mechatronic products by “encapsulating” most basic control functions as hardware logic or verified software building blocks that embedded developers can work with using the same rich toolsets and code libraries they use for conventional applications. In addition to dramatically shortening development cycles, embedded motion controllers make it possible to add new capabilities to existing products, and enable the emergence of many new classes of products.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has undertaken one of the world’s more ambitious solar energy development projects. The AutoR Project (Autonomous Rim drive heliostat) was launched to offer innovative technology enhancements to the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) world. The project’s goal is the development of CSP technologies that significantly reduce the cost of heliostat fields in order to make CSPs more cost-competitive and to promote widespread CSP deployment.
For the AutoR project, TRINAMIC Motion Control developed a new heliostat architecture that implements three key improvements: 1) heliostat rim drive hardware that reduces weight and improves performance, 2) decentralized heliostat control with low energy consumption using PV (photo-voltaic) energy supply with battery storage, and 3) wireless heliostat control to reduce cabling cost, simplifying deployment and scalability.
This white paper discusses the challenges the AVDesignHaus engineers were faced with while following their goal of designing the perfect turntable system, and how a smart piece of motion control silicon overcame this challenge by making it possible to totally silence the system's electromechanical actuators.
In the past years, the development of filament-based 3D printers (short FDM) was driven by technical enthusiasts to an impressive technology. Despite dealing with the limitations of 8-bit AVR controllers, the community was able to develop a CNC like path-controlled motor control using stepper motors in nearly all of the designs.
To bridge the chasm between technical enthusiasts and mainstream users, the technology now has to overcome several restrictions of existing designs and become accessible to the consumer market. This paper provides an overview of different concepts overcome these restrictions of existing designs without increasing MCU size and cost, by making use of dedicated motion control peripherals integrated in today’s stepper motor controllers.
Even though it can seem sometimes as if everything is going digital, physical control of the real world isn't going away anytime soon. The trend toward automating all aspects of the human environment has resulted in an explosion in the deployment of motion controlled systems. Motion control plays a major role in connecting the physical and digital worlds, by translating digital data into physical motion. As automation and robotics spread into consumer as well as industrial applications, motion control and motor drives are moving into areas where they've never been needed before, and small electric motors have become ubiquitous.
Product developers must deal with increasingly complex systems, and can no longer be experts in all of the specialized engineering fields required for building its subsystems. Motion control is one of those key specialist areas of knowledge. Yet knowing the right questions to ask before selecting a device for implementing motion control in a design is not always intuitive. We use 3D printing/digital desktop manufacturing as a real-world example of how motion control impacts an application.
Usually, design engineers either source motion control components as complete self-contained units, or build their own in-house. But designing motor drives and motion control components from scratch requires detailed application knowledge about handling electric motors. Experience in implementing a range of technologies - such as motor control loops, reading position sensors, and connection to various bus and communication interfaces - is often required. Since the core competencies of device manufacturers and system integrators that integrate electric drives into their products are typically on a much higher abstraction level, the decision to build its own may drain attention and energies away from a company's core development tasks.
Another alternative is to purchase motor drives that are self-contained hardware and software building blocks, which can be integrated into products without the need for detailed knowledge of motor control. This article will compare the tradeoffs in integrating motor drives into motion control applications as complete purchased units or as separate building blocks, vs. building them in-house. It will discuss different types of architecture and features of purchased drives and building blocks, and why these are important.
Schrittmotoren werden vor allem wegen Ihrer großen Zuverlässigkeit bei niedrigen Kosten eingesetzt. Diese Zuverlässigkeit wurde aber oft mit einer charakteristischen Geräuschentwicklung erkauft. Auch wenn die Zeiten, in denen Schrittmotoren im Voll- oder Halbschrittbetrieb spannungsgesteuert betrieben werden, schon lange vorbei sind, hängt dem Schrittmotor noch immer der Makel der Geräuschentwicklung an.
Um diesem Problem zu begegnen, hat Trinamic Schrittmotortreiber Bausteine entwickelt, die ohne zusätzlichen Entwicklungsaufwand und vor allem ohne zusätzliche Kosten die Geräuschentwicklung auf ein Minimum reduzieren. Neuen Regelverfahren dämpfen nicht nur die Vibrationen und Resonanzen direkt am Motor auf ein unhörbares Maß, sie sorgen auch dafür, dass sich die Spulen nicht mehr durch ihre magnetisch bedingte Verformung melden. Damit arbeiten die als laut geltenden Antriebe nun verblüﬀend leise. Dank kompletter Evaluations-Boards ist das Design-In der Schrittmotortreiber schnell erledigt. Die Ohren der Anwender werden es danken!