Minebea Co., Ltd., NMB Technologies Corporation parent company, finds itself in the arms – and legs – of a next generation robot.
With robot arms and legs that follow human limb movements, the new Power Loader robot is designed to assist humans in heavy work by increasing the forces applied to its control grip and lifting heavy objects by the operator’s intuitive senses. Installed into the wrists and ankles of the Power Loader prototype are Minebea’s 6-axis force sensors; which instantly and accurately detect the volume and direction of forces applied by the operator (three-way forces and twists).
Activelink selected Minebea’s 6-axis force sensors for the Power Loader Robot because of their compact size, light weight and low price through adoption of optical sensing systems.
The sensors adopt Minebea’s proprietary optical pickup system. This is a system in which a light emitting diode and an optical receiver are arranged opposite each other in a single optical unit. Light emitted from the light source is received by the optical receiver and converted into data. The sensors are also equipped with a high speed DSP (digital signal processor), which performs high-speed processing.
As a result, these sensors are able to provide high-accuracy force detection despite their small size and weight. They also enable direct connection to sequencer microcomputers, not via personal computers, and allow greater flexibility in system designing suited for applications.
It looks like the future of super human strength is not far behind, and Minebea is right in the middle of it.
About NMB Technologies Corporation – NMB Technologies Corporation, a Minebea Group Company, is the world’s largest manufacturer of miniature precision ball bearings and a volume leader in the design and manufacturing of precision electro-mechanical components, including cooling fans, precision small motors and mechanical bearing assemblies, among others. NMB products can be found in the personal computing, networking, telecommunications, home entertainment, home electronics, automotive, medical and industrial markets.