Prosthetics of decades past were clunky devices that had limited motion capabilities. In the last decade, prosthetics, particularily prosthetic hands, have come a long way towards being fully-functional. In some ways, strength for example, they can outperform biological hands. With help of 3D printing technology, they're also becoming much more affordable.
The introduction of micro linear actuators has helped make this possible. Tiny actuators that can fit within a prosthetic hand have made it possible to not only drive the fingers directly, rather than with motors and cables, but offer incredible strength. This is why manufacturers around the world are choosing the best micro linear actuator for prosthetics, the Actuonix PQ12 for their products.
These days, drones rule the skies. Available in a thousand different varieties from as many manufacturers, drones have exploded in popularity in the last decade. Used in many industries including military, photography, surveying, fire, search and rescue and many others, drones are here to stay.
Drones have grown in functionality in recent years. Since Actuonix invented it, the affordable micro linear actuator has been used in drones for such accessories as camera gimbals, retractable landing gear, arms for grasping, picking up and dropping items, as well as other customizations.
Now that it's possible to buy RC linear servos that are plug and play compatible, these devices are going to continue to rise in popularity against rotary servos.
Our micro linear actuators are space-certified! Affordable linear actuators in aerospace was laughable in decades past but I'm happy to tell you that our L12 actuators are circling your head on the International Space Station as you read this!
This is just one way that these products have affected the aerospace industry. This is an area where we have limited intel in to how these products are being used as aerospace companies are usually on the cutting-edge of tech and often unwilling to tell us what they're building.
Automation in Manufacturing
Motion control in manufacturing is becoming more important as robots are doing many jobs that used to be performed by humans. The best jobs for robots are jobs that are repetitious, tedious, dangerous or require high-precision and consistency. Linear actuators in manufacturing are helping to streamline processes and keep product prices low.
Autonomous robots are devices that can detect what's happening in their environment and adapt accordingly. Everybody remembers the iconic Roomba. When it was first released it caused a lot of excitement for the future of autonomous robots. It's ability to completely clean a floor without human assistance was a brand-new concept and it introduced the general public to the idea of autonomous robots.
Autonomous robots make use of linear actuators to perform different functions such as driving arms, directing cameras, adjust height as well as many other applications
We're starting to notice that our products are regularly being used in animatronic displays. An art once dominated by the rotary servo, linear actuators in animatronics have simplified linear movements and allow builders to take their creations to new heights. For a cool demo of an animatronic Halloween costume, check out this automated Ironman mask.
FIRST Robotics is helping hone the skills of young engineers and hobbyists all over the world. FIRST teams are building some incredibly cutting-edge robots and many of them choose our FRC legal micro linear servos to give their robots added functionality. Actuonix is proud to not only offer products that are FIRST competition legal, but we sponsor various FIRST robotics teams.
A while back we had the pleasure of having our local FIRST team in the shop here to demonstrate their 2017 robot build. It has a shooter mechanism that uses our L16 actuators to pull against a spring, it them lets go and springs back shooting a ball outwards. It's a great robot and we wish them luck this season.
Having access to linear actuators in robotics projects and training is helping the next generation of engineers design products that we will all benefit from in the future. We're committed to supporting the education of young engineers and through college project sponsorship and our generous student discount have put our actuators into the hands of hundreds of students who would not otherwise have access to them.
Many don't realize this, but there are dozens of clubs out there dedicated to building custom models ranging from the B-2 Lost In Space Robot through to R2D2 and more. Iv'e recently had the pleasure of working with Doug, a world-class R2D2 builder, and his R2D2 model is nothing short of amazing. It's voice activated and fully-functional. Check out Doug's build on YouTube.
Micro linear actuators for RC and custom models help builders like Doug bring their creations to new heights and offer new levels of functionality.
Linear actuators in robotics are helping drive many different industries. They offer movement possibilities that were not previously available with rotary servos or the expensive linear actuators of the past. These devices are helping drive the ever-evolving world of robotics, and we're glad to be on the forefront of this motion revolution.