Feel-good control system: Torque feedback for steering

Danaher Motion's Torque Feedback Device (TFD) combines tactile and position or velocity feedback with a steering wheel interface in a compact, IP66 rated package.
By Control Engineering Staff February 28, 2008

Danaher Motion introduced its Torque Feedback Device (TFD), which combines tactile and position or velocity feedback with a steering wheel interface in a compact, IP66 rated package. This allows electronic vehicle system (EVS), personal mobility and related mobile off-highway machine builders to develop robust vehicles and machines that deliver the performance and maintenance benefits of electric or steer-by-wire systems, with the tactile response of a hydraulic system.
“The Torque Feedback Device provides input to a controller that commands the actuation mechanism in steering and other by-wire applications,” says Geoff Rondeau, product manager. “The device also provides continuously variable torque output to simulate the‘feel’ that users of hydraulic systems are comfortable with, allowing operators to more easily adapt to an electric steer or steer-by-wire vehicle system. With legacy electric steering systems this functionality either didn’t exist, was too complex, or had to be developed and implemented by the vehicle manufacturer.”
The TFD is available in five standard configurations with torque densities ranging from 2.5 Nm to 12 Nm. They are tested to provide long life of more than 10,000,000 revolutions at 120 rpm, and are engineered to operate in ambient temperatures from -35
The company says the unit provides a variable torque output in proportion to a dc input for steering and other by-wire applications through state-of-the-art friction materials and a patent pending electromagnetic actuation system. The TFD also incorporates redundant sensors for failsafe shaft feedback and serviceability. A modular design enables the device to be easy adapted to specific application needs. All components and the finished assembly meet EU directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS), and are designed for use in EN 1175 and IEC 61508 compliant systems.
— Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor
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