Integrated Motors Offer Design Benefits for Mobile Robots

Integrated Servo Motors Open Space In Compact Robot Housings

The integrated servo motor is a variation of a brushless servo motor gaining popularity in mobile robot applications because of its reduced space requirements and developmental cost savings. Integrated servo motors combine the servo motor and the motor’s electronic controller (including drive or amplifier) into a single housing to save space and eliminate wiring.

Photo 1: An integrated motor with the electronics housed on the back.

The integrated servo motor typically houses control electronics at the back of the motor, near the feedback device and/or along one side of the motor. Connectors for power, communications, and I/O also are positioned near the back or side of the motor, usually grouped together on one surface. (See integrated servo motor configuration in Photo 1.) No other external electronics package is required to drive or control the motor. Command signals from the mobile robot’s central processing unit can be wired directly to the integrated servo motor.

Combining a servo motor and controller into a single, integrated package eliminates the need for mounting an external motor controller inside the body of the mobile robot, saving valuable space and reducing the size of the robot.  Integrating the motor controller into the motor housing also eliminates the need for motor power and feedback cables normally needed to connect the separate servo motor to its external controller.

Depending on the servo motor size, cables can be quite bulky. Eliminating these cables frees additional space in the robot to accommodate other material handling mechanisms, sensors, or operator-interface components. Figure 1 shows the space savings
of an integrated servo motor compared to a traditional servo system and an integrated servo motor.

Fig. 1: Using an integrated servo motor in place of a traditional servo system eliminates the external motor controller as well as motor power and feedback cables from the system.

Integrated motors benefit the mobile robot designer in many areas by reducing the number of components in the system, eliminating cables or wire harnesses, freeing valuable space, simplifying the bill of materials, enabling faster design cycles, and saving money.

Rice, E. (2019, 08 22). Integrated Motors Offer Design Benefits for Mobile Robots. Retrieved from Fierce Electronics : https://www.fierceelectronics.com/components/integrated-motors-offer-design-benefits-for-mobile-robots

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