Versatile and adaptive, robots have the benefit of increasing manufacturing productivity by automating and performing repetitive tasks 24x7. Robot arms are often designed to be trainable or operate as a team as cooperative robots (cobot/co-robot). Normally, servo or stepper motors are the driving devices of these arms.
However, to improve the robot's performance, engineers can utilize strain wave gearing (aka harmonic strain wave gearbox), which are known for reducing the inertia of the robot arm and improving dynamic performance through faster acceleration and faster settling time. Strain wave gearing offers high reduction ratios in a single stage and very low backlash, making these drives suitable for high-precision applications such as surgical robotics. Harmonic strain wave gears can also increase payload capacity and reduce power requirements.
In addition to monitoring angular position, it is paramount to monitor drive torque output to ensure smooth, steady motion of the robotic arm. Strain wave gearing torque sensors are a critical element in modern robotic applications where high precision torque measurement is required.
FUTEK's strain wave gear torque sensor supports motion control with low power consumption, light-weight, low-profile, and high-precision capabilities for for closed-loop feedback with high flexibility on geometry and design.
Light-weight, low-profile, and high-precision Strain wave gearing torque sensors, paired with IAA Series Analog amplifiers, IDA100 Signal Conditioner or QIA Multi-Channel SPI Digital Output.
The strain wave gearing torque sensor is mounted between the robot arm strain wave gearbox and its mounting points.
The torque sensor measures the torque outputted during arm movement which is then amplified by the IAA Series , IDA100 amplifier or QIA Multi-Channel SPI Digital Output.
The amplified signal is then sent to the PLC or robotic arm controller, providing high precision torque feedback and allowing closed control loop system.
Additionally, with the IDA100, amplified output from the sensor can be monitored and analog amplifier settings can be adjusted digitally with FUTEK's SENSIT™ Software.