Monday, 10 December 2018

YouBionic One


It’s been some time since we checked in with our friends at YouBionic and boy have they been busy! The Italian company made a splash with its bionic wearable hand and augmented human arm and has recently announced its latest project, the YouBionic One.

Continuing on the path of utilizing additive manufacturing, the 3D printed parts are combined with a series of Actuonix micro linear actuators to create a fully functional upper-torso robot.

Impressive in its own right, paired with Boston Dynamic’s Spot Mini, the end result is an incredibly capable robot which could have far reaching applications in personal, commercial and industrial spaces.

For more on YouBionic’s projects check out the latest from 3D Printing Industry and 3Ders.org:

YOUBIONIC DEVELOP ROBOTIC CENTAUR WITH 3D PRINTED ARMS AND BOSTON DYNAMICS SPOT MINI

Youbionic adds 3D printed bionic arms to Boston Dynamics robot dog SpotMini


Want to build your own YouBionic One? The 3D Printing files and instructions are available on the YouBionic store for $179 USD.



Tuesday, 20 November 2018

FIRST Robotics Update: C.A.A.T.S. FTC

The FIRST Robotics season is now under way. Throughout the competition season we’ll be checking in with the recipients of our Actuonix Motion Devices FIRST Robotics Sponsorship Program to keep up to date with their progress.

C.A.A.T.S. FTC is an all-girls team comprised of middle and high-schoolers from five schools in the Minneapolis area. The team’s initial week of competition took place at Burnsville High School on October 7th. Actuonix spoke to coach Pam Hockenberry about the team’s success and what they’re working on in the coming weeks.

“The team was very happy to have had success with their autonomous program. Their program resulted in sampling the correct mineral during a few matches. The program always samples from the same mineral location so they have a chance of it being the gold piece. From week zero we changed from a color sensor to a distance sensor which made the landing portion of autonomous consistent and reliable every time.”


“For week two, they have added marker placement and refined two of three autonomous programs. They now have the ability to land, place a marker and park on either side of the lander.”

“Next steps will be to look at a mechanism to manipulate the minerals in tele-op and intentional mineral sampling in autonomous. The team is also interested in doing more outreach such as visiting companies with their robot.”


With a 1st place finish already under their belts, we’re looking forward to more updates from the C.A.A.T.S. team this season. To follow their progress and learn more, visit http://caatsftc12735.weebly.com/ and check them out on Instagram @ftc_caats.

For more information on the FIRST program and an introduction to this year’s Rover Ruckus game, check out the video below:







Monday, 15 October 2018

Actuonix Motion Devices 2018 FIRST Robotics Sponsorship Program Winners


Actuonix Motion Devices is proud to announce the winners of our 2018 FIRST Robotics Sponsorship Program. Dozens of teams from across North America entered to win one of five product or financial awards.

Congratulations to the winning teams:

Coram Deo Academy Robotics - Lantana, TX
SwampBots - Aluchua, FL
CAATS - Minneapolis, MN
Robocracy - Chappaqua, NY
Kuriosity Robotics - Belmont, CA

Actuonix Motion Devices would like to thank all of the teams for their participation. We’ll be reaching out to all applicants in the coming week with further support oppourtunities for this season.
Thursday, 27 September 2018

FIRST Robotics Sponsorship Open to Submissions

Applications are now open for the Actuonix FIRST Robotics Sponsorship Program. Actuonix offers five FIRST Robotics Team sponsorship oppourtunities this year: 2 financial sponsorships of $500 USD and 3 product sponsorships of $250 in-store credit. 

For more information, eligibility criteria and application form, visit: https://www.actuonix.com/Articles.asp?ID=279 

The submission deadline is October 1, 2018 and winners will be notified no later than October 15, 2018.
Wednesday, 8 August 2018

YouBionic Update!


Here's a great demonstration of YouBionic's latest prosthetic creation using Actuonix actuators.  YouBionic continues to design progressively more impressive 3D printable  prosthesis and robotics.  

Visit https://www.youbionic.com/ for more detail on how to print your own.


Explore a more detailed article at digitaltrends.com 
Monday, 30 July 2018

IOT WIFI CONTROL - NEW PRODUCT RELEASE!

Internet of things or IOT has finally hit the mainstream.  While home automation is still fragmented into many different standards and systems, Google and Amazon have brought simple and inexpensive WiFi home automation speakers to market, and services like IFTTT.com and Samsung Smartthings are making interfacing between standards much simpler.  So the question is, how do we make our projects move? 

Today, I'm going to give you a look at our latest product - the Actuonix IOT Servo Shield.  Plug in a Particle Photon WiFi module  and you're ready to control actuators using your cell phone (Android or IOS) or many of the Home Automation options offered by IFTTT.com .  The IFTTT service supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa, giving you custom voice control options.  The Actuonix IOT Servo Shield makes wiring a breeze.

There are many applications for a voice or internet controlled actuator, a few of our favorites are: a Chicken Coop door that opens automatically at sunrise and closes at sunset, a secret compartment that opens when you speak the secret phrase,  and a window that automatically opens or closes based on forecast weather.

We can't wait to see what everyone does with these!

More details: 

IOT Servo Shield and Particle Photon: 
https://www.actuonix.com/IOT-WiFi-Bundle-p/iot-shield-photon.htm

Actuonix Datasheet: 
https://s3.amazonaws.com/actuonix/Actuonix+IOT+Servo+Shield.pdf  

"If this then that" service:
www.ifttt.com 

The Wifi Module:
www.particle.com 

Here's a sneak peak of our next blog post: A WiFi controlled chicken coop door.  


As installed: 1 x 12V DC supply, 1x Double case, 1 x LAC, 1 x IOT WiFi Bundle, 1 x -R extension cable, 1 x T16-300-64-12-P.  

For shorter strokes, only an IOT WiFi Bundle, dc supply, and -R type actuator are needed.
Thursday, 31 May 2018

How To Use An External Limit Switch Kit With A Linear Actuator

Linear actuators come in many different stroke lengths to suit a variety of needs. That said, you may find yourself needing to customize your linear actuator by reducing the stroke. Usually, the simplest and fastest way to achieve this is by installing a linear actuator limit switch kit.


What is a linear actuator limit switch kit?


By default, many linear actuators have a means to either stop the actuator when it reaches its end of stroke, or prevent it from damaging itself. The most common ways of accomplishing this are by adding stall protection, to prevent the device from trying to push against its end-limit until it burns itself out, or an internal limit switch. On devices with limit switches, the moving mechanism within the actuator physically contacts a switch within the actuator that cuts power to the device.


linear actuator limit switch kit
Actuonix Limit Switch Kit


Some larger actuators have adjustable end limit switches. With Actuonix devices, the tiny size of the actuator makes this impossible. This is where an external limit switch kit comes in.

A limit switch kit is a set of two simple switches that when wired into your actuator's control circuit, replace the function of the internal switches. This kit is mounted externally and requires that the moving part of your mechanism actually makes contact with the switch on the retraction and/or extension strokes.

It can be the rod or block of the actuator itself, or any moving part of your mechanism that contacts the switch, your choice.


Pretty simple right?

Using one of these kits, you can customize the stroke of your actuator to whatever you want below the maximum, factory stroke of your device.



How do limit switches work?


External limit switches are used to break an electrical circuit when activated. Our limit switches have a sprung bar that when depressed, breaks the electrical connection that is driving the actuator, causing it to stop. Using a diode in the circuit allows the actuator to move in the opposite direction.

There are many different types of limit switches out there in a variety of sizes to accommodate everything from micro linear actuators to heavy duty linear actuators.



Pros and cons of installing an external limit switch kit


Pros:

  • Makes it simple to customize your actuator's stroke below the factory setting
  • Much cheaper than ordering a custom linear actuator (which must be done at higher quantities)
  • Simple to wire up and effective

Cons:
  • It increases the complexity of your project and may make your wiring a little more messyTakes a little more time to set up than just plugging your actuator in
  • Makes your design slightly more complex

Which actuators are compatible with a limit switch kit?


You can install limit switches on any -S or -P Actuonix linear actuator. The -P series does not have internal switches, instead it has stall protection when used with the LAC board. This means that if you're not using it with an LAC it's possible to burn the device out if you run it to it's end limit and continue to apply power.

If you're planning on using a -P actuator without an LAC, it's a good idea to use a limit switch kit as well to avoid damaging the actuator.



How To Install A Linear Actuator Limit Switch Kit


A limit switch kit must be wired into the control circuit of your actuator. Here are some things that you will need:

Parts:

Actuonix -S series or -P series micro linear actuator
External limit switch kit
Control switch of your choice
Power source
Heat shrink tubing (if you're soldering the connections)


Tools:

Wire stripper
Soldering iron or connectors with crimping tool

All you need to do is simply wire the limit switches into your control circuit following the wiring diagram below.


how to install limit switches


Summary


Installing an external limit switch kit is a cheap and easy way to build a custom linear motion solution that meets your exact needs. Our kit comes with almost everything that you will need to install your kit including two switches and diodes.

Have a question? Feel free to reach out to our sales team. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 2:30pm Pacific Standard Time excluding Canadian and provincial holidays. If you leave a message or email outside of those hours we will get back to you the next business day.