Pneumatic Stepper Motor

The present technology is a new pneumatic motor, a pneumatic stepper motor that can be easily controlled for precise motion. Directional rotary motion of discrete displacement is achieved by sequentially pressurizing three ports of the motor. This is the first pneumatic stepper motor. The motor assembly includes a motor, gearhead, and position encoder. The motor accepts open-loop step operation as well as closed-loop control with feedback from the built in incremental encoder. Problem Solved/Background Pneumatic actuators are widely used for both commercial and industrial applications due to their low cost, compact size, high power to weight ratio, reliability, and low maintenance. In some situations these are preferred over the ubiquitous electric motors, especially when an air supply is readily available. The major limitation of pneumatic actuation, however, is the reduced precision in controlled motion. Air compressibility and friction produce a highly non-linear behavior of the controller-actuator system. Most of the solutions that have been proposed have been too complex for general application. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) This invention was developed for medical applications to be used in conjunction with a robot that can precisely operate within the presence of MRI equipment. Therefore it is constructed of nonmagnetic and dielectric materials. This actuator is fully compatible with the MRI environment. However, this technology can be used for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications.

Inventor(s): Stoianovici, Dan

Type of Offer: Licensing

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