Automate 2015 - SMAC to Present Direct Drive Robotic Finger at Automate 2015

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators will unveil the first commercial direct drive robotic finger at Automate 2015. The finger will be on display at booth #488 and copy president, Ed Neff, will participate in the seminar, A Look at Leading Robotics Research on March 23rd, 1:30pm. During this talk, Mr. Neff will go into detail about how SMAC approached the challenge of a direct drive robotic finger and answer questions from the audience.

CARLSBAD, CA - SMAC has been making mechatronic actuators for 20 years. These are based on moving coil linear motors and have some unique capabilities. The units can touch surfaces - recognize this - then push / pull and feedback information.


2 years ago the company decided to develop direct drive fingers and eventually hands.

The key component is a small and very powerful direct drive rotary motor. At this time a 25mm motor running on 48 vdc with 135 mnm torque (at 1.5 amps) has been produced.

2 of these have been integrated - along with a 3rd 35 mm motor - into a finger assembly.

This assembly is now in test - "sliding" open an Apple I phone for example. (Apple phones are assembled and tested by SMAC's standard actuators).

The motor development is continuing with the next iteration target being an increase of torque by 40% and a drop in heat of 25%.

The finger will be presented at the Robotic show in Chicago this March, and then in Germany and Japan.

The Company aims at commercialization at the start of 2016. We have several Beta site opportunities - at Toyota, Foxconn, and Apple.

SMAC has had little contact with Universities. We did spend some time with the University of Eindhoven - they did not think a small direct drive motor was possible and so developed a proto mag gear which we decided not to use.

We are interested in possible co-operative efforts with US universities. Tracking of hand movements is one area. That would be quite useful in rapidly automating assembly processes. We also have a concept for a prosthetic hand using off the shelf easy to use programming tools.

Since SMAC president, Ed Neff, went to Michigan many years ago - he thought he might run this by Robotics.org people to see if there is any interest.

SMAC President, Ed Neff, will talk in person on the development of the robotic finger at Automate 2015, Monday, March 23rd, during the seminar, "A Look at Leading Robotics Research."

Featured Product

Bitflow is the leader in CoaXPress

Bitflow is the leader in CoaXPress

With the introduction of its Cyton and Karbon CXP frame grabbers, BitFlow has established itself as the leader in CoaXPress (CXP), a simple, yet powerful, standard for moving high speed serial data from a camera to a frame grabber. With CXP, video is captured at speeds of up to 6.25 Gigabits/Second (Gb/S). Simultaneously, control commands and triggers can be sent to the camera 20 Mb/S (with a trigger accuracy of +/- 2 nanoseconds). Up to 13 W of power can also supplied to the camera. All this happens over a single piece of industry standard 75 Ohm coaxial cable. Multiple CXP links can be aggregated to support higher data rates (e.g. four links provide 25 Gb/S of data). BitFlow CXP frame grabbers open the door to applications where cable cost, routing requirements and long distances have prevented the move to high resolution, high speed digital cameras. In many cases, existing coaxial infrastructure can be repurposed for CXP with very low installation costs.