New robot-friendly servo motors

Louise Smyth

Applied Motion Products has introduced a new series of integrated servo motors that combine a high torque density, low inertia servo motor with an on-board drive and controller to save on space, wiring and cost over conventional servo systems with separate motor and drive components. The MDX Integrated Servo Motors provide greater design modularity and simplicity for a wide range of applications including Automated Guided Vehicles and Autonomous Mobile Robots in the accurate positioning of drive and lift axes.   

MDX Integrated Servo Motors house control electronics at the back, near the feedback device. No other external electronics package is required to drive or control the motor. The back of the motor also contains connectors for power, communications and I/O. The on-board controllers utilise the same command interfaces as external motor controllers including CANopen, RS-485, Modbus, and Ethernet connections as well as discrete I/O interfaces like pulse & direction. Command signals from a robot or machine’s central processing unit can be wired directly to the integrated servo motor. 

Eliminating the need to connect motor power and feedback cables to an external motor controller, MDX Integrated Servo Motors free space in a robot or machine to accommodate other critical components, such as material handling mechanisms, sensors, additional axes of motion or operator-interface components. Robot designers can focus less on controller placement and wiring and more on non-motor system components for faster design iterations. MDX Integrated Motors could benefit the robot designer in many areas by reducing the number of components in the system, eliminating cables or wire harnesses, freeing valuable space, simplifying the bill of materials, enabling faster design cycles and saving money.