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delta robot using LiveDrive direct drive motors

Application Story: Robotic Arms 

Current Challenges of Robotic Arms

Industrial automation systems are expanding into many areas of assembly, packaging, and material handling applications. Articulated robotic arms must be scaled down to consume less space but also must handle a sufficient payload without sacrificing performance. In many robotic arm applications, safety is a critical requirement including safe stop functions, signal redundancy, and low operating temperatures to avoid injury.

The Solution?

Improve performance

Reduce complexity

Run the system cooler

Improving Performance

By removing the need for additional mechanical components such as gears and flexible couplings, Genesis’ direct drive motor technology offers zero backlash, high stiffness, faster settling times, and improved accuracy for robot arm applications that require high precision. Systems with direct drive motors also benefit from lower power loss caused by gearbox inefficiency. The high torque and low inertia design of Genesis motors allows robot arms to achieve faster acceleration for increased throughput and quick deceleration for safe stops.

Reducing Complexity and Cost

Direct drive motors are simple by design. Although they generally have higher upfront costs, the cost of ownership is significantly lower than a geared motor over the lifetime of the system due to the reduction of components. As torque is translated in the gear box, friction creates heat and wears the gear teeth over time. High internal temperatures reduce the viscosity of the gear grease. As the gear teeth come in and out of contact, they wear over time and the backlash increases. Both effects reduce the mean time before failure (MTBF) of the geared motor requiring more frequent replacement and higher cost of ownership. With a simple direct drive high torque solution, performance does not need to be sacrificed for cost.

Running the System Cooler

Genesis’ direct drive motors are designed with superior motor constants (Km). For a given amount of torque, a high Km motor can operate at a lower temperature. This is critical for robot arms that operate near humans. Typically, outer touch temperatures of robotic arms must be 60°C or cooler to abide by safety standards. Although the motor must be derated to account for the lower winding temperature, high torque can still be achieved with Genesis’ unique motor technology.

Visit our LDD housed direct drive motor page, our LDX frameless direct drive motor page, or contact us for more information.


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