Hoverbots

Contactless motion

Planar Motor introduces Hoverbots, which are based on field-pinching technology to manipulate each individual work-piece without any contact in six degrees of freedom: unlimited planar translation in X and Y in addition to limited Z translation and pitch, yaw or roll rotation.

Planar motors are smart conveying robots that use magnetic forces for levitation and propulsion. (Fig.: Planar Motor)

The product is composed of two types of components: a stator and many movers. The stator is customized from standard modules and produces magnetic fields with individually controlled 3D field components in 3D space. The specially-engineered movers are responsive to the stator field excitation in a cooperative way. The stator magnet field has multiple local-minimum potential energy locations in the 3D space to pinch/lock a plurality of movers. It should be noted that field leakage in unwanted region are controlled at very small values to minimize interference with external process. By varying these minimum energy locations spatially, the mover will follow and move with those minimum energy locations. One system supports hundreds of movers simultaneously and each axis motion in every mover is independently controlled by Planar Motor´s efficient control algorithm running on powerful platforms.

Wireless transfer technology allows each mover to work continuously without stop for lunch break (energy charging). Hoverbots are more cost-effective than traditional track-based transfer systems relying on mechanical bearings. Hoverbots will create significant values for customers from greatly reduced space, unprecedented flexibility, ultra-low maintenance, integrated machine intelligence, and versatile six degrees of freedom motion for every work piece.

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Hoverbots provide customers a unique set of features. The system does not require any mechanical contact or bearing surface or any lubricantion. It is mechanically reliable without zero wear. Due to the six-degree of freedom motion every Hoverbot moves individually with each axis independently controlled to meet every changing customized needs. The flexibility is remarkable: Hoverbots move in arbitrary 2D path in a plane so that they can go from everywhere to anywhere at any time in any way specified by end users. Hoverbots work collaboratively with self-organizing and self-coordinating capabilities built in. They do not generate particles or contamination, which greatly help address concerns in clean manufacturing industries such as semiconductor and healthcare. The system is designed to work in harsh environments as well. pb

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