Do you need motors, motion controls or DIY robots?

Oriental Motors USA, known for motors and motion controls, offer a wide range of do-it-yourself, custom robot designs, using its controllers, motors, drives, encoders and other components, as shown at Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

By Mark T. Hoske June 18, 2024
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand capabilities of a step-servo hybrid drive.
  • Learn how custom robot designs can be created using standard motor and motion control components.
  • Explore how a robot controller and gripper work with a controller and encoder to confirm the robot is grasping the correct piece.

Automate 2024: Motor, drive, robot design insights

  • Capabilities of a step-servo hybrid drive were explained at the Oriental Motor USA exhibit at Automate 2024 by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.
  • Custom robot designs can be created using standard motor and motion control components and downloadable software.
  • A robot controller and gripper can work with a controller and encoder to confirm the robot is grasping the correct piece.

Need a motor, drive, motion control system or a custom-designed robot? The displays at Oriental Motor USA’s Automate 2024 demonstrated that the company can help with motors, drives, encoders, motion controls and do-it-yourself robot designs.

Paul Bosnyak, application engineer, Oriental Motor USA, said the company’s mostly industrial offerings have expanded from motors and motion systems to include custom-built robotics, with multiple designs and options shown at Automate 2024 by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Industrial markets and applications are many, Bosnyak said, including semiconductor, medical, food and beverage and packaging. A sampling of the Oriental Motors USA booth follows, as explained by Bosnyak, including custom-build robotic options, photos and three videos.

Figure 1: One of several robot designs highlights use of Oriential Motors components, at the Oriental Motors USA exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 1: One of several robot designs highlights use of Oriential Motors components, at the Oriental Motors USA exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Step-servo hybrid drive

AZ series is a step-servo hybrid drive with options for AC or DC input, stored data, pulse input type, a variety of networks (EtherNet/IP from ODVA, EtherCAT from EtherCAT Technology Group, Profinet from PI North America, Modbus RTU, SSCNet III/H, Mechatrolink and RS485 communications). Monitoring is possible without requiring extra sensors.

AZ series has IP66 ingress protection and uses one cable versus three to save space. Support and maintenance are available. They’re easy to work on and use standard, less maintenance, uses standard motors from Oriental Motor. The software has 2D vision compatibility.

Figure 2: Robot design offers a longer reach among custom robots shown at the Oriental Motors USA exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 2: Robot design offers a longer reach among custom robots shown at the Oriental Motors USA exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

AZ series offers standard sizes. To build your own, start with choosing among motor and geared types (standard, planetary, planetary attach load, planetary high torque, tapered hob, harmonic without backlash and right-angle face gear), select connector type, and six actuator types (linear slides, compact electric cylinder, linear cylinder, gripper, rotary actuators and rack and pinion).

More details about custom robot designs

A robot’s home position easily can be set by moving the motor to the desired position and pressing a switch on the mechanical absolute encoder. Mexe02 data setting software or external input signal also can be used to set the home position.

Robots have a ISA standard robotic mounting face.

Figure 3: Compact design is shown by holding the MRC01 robot controller from Oriental Motor USA at its exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 3: Compact design is shown by holding the MRC01 robot controller from Oriental Motor USA at its exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

Robot designs include 3-to-7 axes. A 1kg payload, 5-axis robot with 400 mm reach could be used any many applications, including for imaging and sensing.

A 4-axis 5kg payload robot has 900mm reach and parallel link motion from its base to increase payload, and could be used for palletizing or pick and place.

Robot controller, gripper

The Oriental Motor MRC controller used with the custom robot designs is compatible with EtherNet/IP communications, has DC input, 24V, and software. Users can download software to create an application first. After purchase, users can import the design created in the trial version so design efforts are not wasted.

Figure 4: Robot controller display from Oriental Motor USA explains how to custom-build robots. Extra materials available discuss robot certification, the DGII Series rotary actuator and how to become a robot master in 3 steps, at the Oriental Motors USA exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 4: Robot controller display from Oriental Motor USA explains how to custom-build robots. Extra materials available discuss robot certification, the DGII Series rotary actuator and how to become a robot master in 3 steps, at the Oriental Motors USA exhibit at the Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

EH Series Gripper from Oriental Motor USA uses AlphaStep Hybrid Step-Servo AZ Series with battery-less, absolute, mechanical encoder; plus or minus 1,800 revolutions absolute range; quick, sensorless return-to-home. It has 3 axes of motion (2 EZS Series linear slides and a 2-finger gripper and stores data type drivers. The related demo showcased the compact gripper (see video), AZ Series torque limit control, product measurement capabilities and a variety of Oriental Motor products.

Oriental Motor USA TG rotary tables are available for two-axis motion.

Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering, WTWH Media, mhoske@wtwhmedia.com, compiled this report with material gathered from the Oriental Motor USA booth and online.

KEYWORDS

Automate 2024, robot design, motor and motion control

CONSIDER THIS

For robotic integration into machines or lines, a custom design might be needed.


Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.