SBIR Phase I: Low-Cost Ultra-Efficient 50-gm, 300-W Servoelectronics Module with Integral Sensors

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2007
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0712348
Award Id:
84806
Agency Tracking Number:
0712348
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
625 MOUNT AUBURN ST, SUITE 102/103, CAMBRIDGE, MA, 02138
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
620793612
Principal Investigator:
WilliamTownsend
DEng
(617) 252-9000
wt@barrett.com
Business Contact:
WilliamTownsend
DEng
(617) 252-9000
wt@barrett.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project will evaluate the feasibility of reducing manufacturing cost by an order of magnitude of a power efficient ultra-miniature, brushless servo-electronics module. The module integrates rotor-position sensing for high-performance servomotor applications. Starting with a recently proved prototype driving high-performance robotic arms, the innovation hinges on substituting a $500 ultra-precise 40,000-counts/revolution, optical encoding chip with a new $8 magnetic-encoder chip (array of Hall Effect sensors). Since the array is to be literally embedded into the servo-electronics, the technical challenge is to overcome parasitic variations in magnetic field by leveraging the existing 32-bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP) used for commutation. The research will identify and measure the effects of electromagnetic fields on the magnet encoder, validate a shielding-plus-DSP-compensated approach to reduce these effects, and measure the degree of precision drop and its effect on commutation efficiency and overall performance. As machines become more intelligent through embedded processing and sensor fusion we expect them to do more too, improving not only industrial productivity, but our quality of life. While embedded processors and MEMS-based sensors have become tiny, highly effective, and affordable, similar improvements in servomotors have evolved more slowly. At fractional-horsepower levels the power electronics contribute significantly to total motor-system bulk. By making brushless motors (including drive electronics) smaller and more efficient, the resulting devices and machines will become simplified, lighter, less obtrusive, and far more capable. Robots will become more agile with additional degrees of freedom and less mass to accelerate.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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