If you thought it wasn’t possible for robots to have soul, this video will likely change your mind. These four robots, Harry, Dave, Chuck and Ritchie, presented their composition on Mechatronics TV in 2011 to an enthusiastic audience. And so they should be – these advancements designed by Toyota mean the beginning of a new era for many facets of daily life.

 

In 2008, Toyota introduced their violin-playing robot. Although the music that sounded was not very complex, it showed that incredibly precise movements requiring precise strength of force can be performed by machines. While the human hand has 29 major joints in it, this robot’s hand has 17, which is leaps and bounds towards complete dexterity.

 

In 2011, Toyota released a robot that could play the trumpet, along with their other three robot band mates. What this incredible feat required was a re-creation of human lips that were able to make all the same shapes a human’s could. This ‘Partner Robot’ is aimed at assisting in the medical field, nursing and in everyday housework.

 

What this means for technology has less to do with the music or the instrument and more to do with the robot’s capabilities. The precision movements these ‘Partner Robots’ are capable of are essential for hospitals, work with the elderly, helping the disabled and even common tasks around the household. While the technology still has a ways to go before it is operational in real life setting, these robots may soon be helping walk those in wheelchairs, providing medication and, because of its exceptional weight, support standing or sitting for those who have trouble.

 

Toyota is not stopping anytime soon. They are designing a whole line of robotics that can assist the elderly disabled and the average person in a variety of ways. Toyota has stated in a press release that these robots are aimed at being available for commercial use sometime this year. They expect to have a fully functioning line of ‘Partner Robots’ in use by 2020.

 

Healthcare systems all across the world are under a tremendous amount of strain. It is hard to find a family doctor and the wait times for hospitals are enormous. A human requires years of training, and can be physically exhausted if they are worked too long. A robot can solve these issues. They are inexhaustible, provide an extra hand, take the load off the health care professionals and require no training, only programming. With the way things are moving, it won’t be long before these ‘Partner Robots’ are performing brain surgery in between folding the laundry.

 

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In 2010, Ryerson University students designed and built an automated desk with the memory capacity. For university students, this prototype gives any student a desk that can be tailored to any height. For others who spend long hours in seated positions, this table is an easy way to maintain correct posture throughout the day or adjust the height level if needed.

 

This ergotable uses a single actuator, connected to a desk top and base to control the height. The control system is linked to a computer, which has installed software that can be programmed to remember the individual settings of each user. So long as the software is installed on the computer, any laptop or desktop can use the system, as it is connected through USB to the computer.

 

When a user approaches the table, it is in its highest position. This prevents the individual from having to bend over to put their items on the desk, reducing the chance of back injury. When logged into the software and seated, the automated desk adjusts to the desired position and the user can begin work. When finished, the individual stands and the desk rises to its highest position once again. The user can now remove their items without having to bend.

 

Having an adjustable seat does wonders to help with back pains, correct posture and other injuries associated with long periods of seating, but having an adjustable desk gives any user the ability to find the best seated position, and then adjust the desk to the height.

 

Most experts believe a person can be seated longer without experiencing discomfort if they change their seated position every 15 minutes. With an automated desk and accompanying software, these motions can be pre-programmed into the software to remind the person that 15 minutes has passed. Not only can they then change their chair position, but they can also adjust their desk height to a different level.

 

Although the desk in the video is designed for a small workspace, any size desk can be fitted with linear actuators and control systems to allow for a completely adjustable height. The importance of ergonomic seating and furniture makes a difference when you are required to remain seated for long periods. With the rise of professionals working from home offices, this affordable solution will not break your wallet or your back.

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When Boston Dynamics needed a mechanism that could perform like an actual muscle, they found the perfect solution in electric linear actuators. The ‘Cheetah’ robot – the fastest four-legged robot in all of history – is in the midst of the design process for use the military. In its current state of design, the robot can run at almost 30mph (48.2kph), but what makes it run so fast is its biological similarity to the animal it is modeled after.

 

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the funding source for Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot, has begun to model many of its robots after the animal kingdom. It is not surprising to see such a sight since much of the animal kingdom has undergone millions of years of evolution in order to create some of the most efficient, adaptive and advanced biological organisms ever seen. DARPA has stated their “goal is not to copy nature,” rather they are using nature as a base for design and technology and building from there. When an animal boasts 0-40mph in three strides, better than a Ferrari Enzo or Corvette Twin Turbo, it just may have a thing or two to teach us.

 

While designing the Cheetah robot, Boston Dynamics used linear actuators not only to push the legs for motion, but also to contract and stretch the spine, an essential element in the animal’s trademark stride. The motion system for the legs relies on the power of four actuators, one attached to each leg. The actuators are needed to move in very specific patterns to achieve the balance and stride, so while even at high speeds they may look synchronized, they are offset to very precise measurements.

 

If you look at a picture of a cheetah in the fully extended portion of its stride, you will notice that not all fours legs are touching the ground. What you will also notice is the curvature of the spine. This flexibility allows for much more speed of the animal. The Cheetah robot mimics this physical trait with two actuators comprising what would make up the spine. As the electric linear actuators pump the legs, the two spinal actuators contract and expand, bending the whole body and making it work together to optimize the speed.

 

Boston Dynamics has worked hard to increase the power of the robot over time. Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert has stated that, “more power means faster motion and more margin in the actuators for better control.” The better the speed and control, the more versatile the robot can become.

The control system used to manipulate the motion of the spine and legs is an outboard system, but ideally will be integrated with the robot so it is completely self-sufficient. In the video, the wires that extend above the Cheetah lead to the current control system.

 

The Cheetah robot has been funded by DARPA in order to aid the military in defense missions, humanitarian aid and emergency response. The difficult terrain where these missions are being conducted is not always easy to traverse, and robot enables access to areas that other robots, vehicles and humans may not be able to go.

 

DARPA is far from finished perfecting this machine though. The Cheetah still needs to be kept in one spot by a boom-type device and can only run over flat terrain. DARPA has begun to fund the next generation of Cheetah, called the Wildcat, with the expectation of field-testing in late 2013. This robot is expected to be able to perform at speeds of up to 50mph in outdoor terrain and contain a onboard control system.

 

Linear actuators have many different uses that push forward some of the most advanced technology known to us today. Among those uses, the simulation of biological organisms is now added. Boston Dynamics has created a machine based on the biology of the cheetah, but with any luck will one day surpass the limits of even the animal kingdom – with the help of linear actuators.

 

 

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Observatories around the world use linear actuators to control the closing and opening of their roof panels when they want to observe the sky. The La Canada observatory in Avila, Spain uses two actuators to extend the window panels that are controlled from the observatory PC. Taking a lesson from these massive observatories, even an amateur astronomer can create an observatory in their own home.

 

In the video below, the individuals have created their own observatory in the attic of their home, complete with a movable roof. The system uses a few linear actuators that are built to withstand 400lbs of weight on each side. The roof has been re-constructed so that it creates a tight seal that keeps out the elements when it is closed. This is important if the space is being used as an amateur observatory, since the equipment that is commonly used can be rather expensive, such as computers and telescopes.

 

The choice to create this space using linear actuators on the top of their house is ideal, because viewing the night sky from the ground can be problematic. If you live in a suburban area, trees, other houses or light posts can be an impediment to viewing the astronomical events. In the video, it is clearly noticeable that the trees are higher than the houses. The light of a whole galaxy can be hidden behind a light post from earth. This makes an observatory constructed on the roof of a home very ideal.

 

Although the control of the La Canada observatory is linked with a PC, for a project this size, it would likely be best to use a control system with a switch that enables the motion of the roof.

 

The actuators in this video extend a great deal, but because of the roof, they cannot completely extend and may not provide a complete view of the sky.  In order to complete this project, an amateur astronomer may want to create a panel that extends upward from the floor, allowing the telescope to lift higher than the roof to provide a complete view of the sky regardless of how much or how little the panels open.

 

High-tech, professional observatories are not the only structures that can use actuators for their observatories. With a bit of ingenuity and know-how, any amateur astronomer can turn their attic – or any room on the top floor of their house – into an observatory.

 

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The world of science fiction is not far off into the future, and heading the field is CHARLI (Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence) L and CHARLI 2, the first human-sized robots to walk this earth with help of liner actuators.

 

Between 2009-2010 VT’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory designed CHARLI L (for lightweight’), the precursor to CHARLI 2. This robot is one of the latest constructions in a long line of ‘humanoid’ robots dating all the way back to 1986 designed to push humanity forward to an age in which robots are an integral part of our everyday lives.

 

Virginia Tech has since developed the next level of humanoid robot, named CHARLI 2. This design requires the use of 32 actuators for the robot to function. The greatest challenge that exists for robotics researchers is how to enable it to assess its surroundings and make a decision out of the possibilities. This entails the robot communicating with itself effectively between its 32 actuators, the sensors and its processor. It uses a software program designed to give its actuators the instructions on how much and how fast to extend or contract to create any desired motion. Any motion the robot performs, from a hand movement to a waist bend, is accompanied with the help of a linear actuator. Its bipedal feats, an evolutionary trait only exhibited by humans, would not be possible without the use of linear actuators to   adjust the thighs, calves, knees and feet.

 

The design of CHARLI is inspired by human form and the actuators serve as human muscles. They contract and extend, not unlike a human’s 640 muscles, so that CHARLI 2 can interact with the world around it.

 

The military is funding the continued research by VT to create CHARLI robots that are useful in firefighting.  Researchers hope that the future for CHARLI is bright, having it aid in elderly care or domestic chores. CHARLI is already able to pick itself up if it falls, hold delicate objects, walks and even maintains balance if given a good shove.

 

This award-winning robot is a game changer. This is the first life-sized humanoid robot that has such versatile qualities. As time moves forward, those who are continuing to develop CHARLI hope to one day see him folding laundry, greeting guests, answering phones, fetching wayward soccer balls and any other task that the average person would prefer to have a robot do.

 

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High Speed Linear Actuator delivers exceptional output for industrial machines. The design and make of these actuators is marvelous and different from the rest. We at Progressive Automations, Inc manufacture high end High Speed Linear Actuator for industrial and commercial purposes. Our high-end manufacturing facility delivers outstanding products for an affordable cost. One of the striking features of our products is the customization offered. We ensure to provide you with complete customization for the products we offer, if you have a specific requirement then feel free to call us for more details.

Customized products is one of our main services, we have technicians working round the clock to offer you with fully customized products. We ensure all our products are tested several times before dispatching to the ultimate customer, if any our products fail the quality test then they are immediately discarded from the production list. All our products are manufactured by adhering to International Quality and manufacturing standards, it ensures in giving the best output at all times.

Our design of actuators has maximum benefits; they can be installed in any machine that requires linear motion. We do installation of these actuators; we ensure the entire packaging and dispatching from our side. Progressive Automations, Inc provides all the information that you need to know about the functioning of actuators. For more information, please feel free to log on to http://progressiveautomations.com. Our website will provide you with in-depth information about the working of actuators, if you come across any doubts then give us a call, as we would love to answer all your questions.

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Heavy Duty Linear Actuators are widely used in truck repair devices. One of the striking features of heavy-duty actuators is that they have the capacity to lift trucks without any problems. The design and make of these actuators is truly world class and different from the rest. We at Progressive Automations, Inc manufacture high-end Heavy Duty Linear Actuators for commercial and industrial processes. The functioning of this actuator is different; it is installed underneath the lifting planks of the machine.

The process for working of truck repairing equipment is easy. The truck is loaded on the lifting device in neutral gear. During the lifting process, the driver needs to engage the truck in drive mode so that the wheels are locked. The truck cannot move forward or backward and results in quick lifting. The onboard computer sets pressure, the actuators then raises the planks with the use of set pressure. The computer also locks the functioning of actuators when the truck is in lifting process. This helps in lifting the truck smoothly, unnecessary jerks are avoided, and the operation concludes with smoothness. The truck is then fully raised on those planks with the use of actuators, now the computer again locks the pressure with the required setup.

The engineer can now perform repairs by going underneath the chassis of the truck. Once the repairs are finished, the truck is lowered by releasing the pressure slowly. The onboard computer handles the entire operation and locks the actuators when the truck is lowered. Feel free to log on to http://progressiveautomations.com for more information.

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The need to transport raw material from one department to the other is important during manufacturing process. This process is completed with the use of Dual Table Lift that has the capacity to lift machinery with ease. The use of actuators makes it possible for lifting heavy items. We at Progressive Automations, Inc manufacture high-end actuators for industrial and commercial purposes. Our actuators are different from the rest and provide maximum stability during such requirements. The working of such actuators is simplified with the use of controls, the user can steer the working of actuators.

Actuators are installed in the base of the lift table that has the capacity to lift heavy machinery. The height of the lift table can be lowered during loading of machinery. The user can simply lower the height by clicking a button. Once the ramp is lowered, the user can easily load the machinery. Raise the ramp after loading so it is easy to transport from department to the other. Some tables come with motors for providing transportation options. The user can drive the table to the required area with the use of motor powering the table, different speed settings are provided which come handy in such situations, and the entire transportation becomes effortless.

Feel free to log on to http://progressiveautomations.com for more information on actuators. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility ensures to provide the best actuators with complete support. We are present in manufacturing actuators from years, our experience has surely proven itself from years.

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12V Linear Actuators are widely used in machines used for manufacturing purposes. We at Progressive Automations, Inc provide high-end 12V Linear Actuators for industrial processes. We have a high-end manufacturing plant for actuators that are required by several industries. We inculcate use of international quality and work standards for the creation of these actuators. They need to clear quality tests successfully before delivery, it is important to know their perfection matters in processes where error is not an option.

A soda bottle-sorting machine makes use of 12V Linear Actuators that provides stability and durability. The bottle needs to be directed in one direction for soda filling, the onboard computer provides the required calculation for sorting. The machine applies pressure by movement of actuators, all the bottles queue up in the right direction for soda filling, it also promises firm output without any problem. Maintenance and repairs are less compared to other devices used for queuing bottles. Linear actuators have made their progress over the period, with the use of such technology we have been able to provide endless solutions for several engineering processes.

Feel free to log on to http://progressiveautomations.com for more details on actuators and their performance. Our website is detailed with information that can prove beneficial for your needs. We have also mentioned the power and output of every actuator that can be used in different requirements. Benefit maximum performance form the products that we have to offer, this is our promise and would surely offer you the best in industry.

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Kitchen equipment requires technology for smooth functioning; a 12V Actuator is contributing its 2 cents by offering state-of-the-art facilities. Doors and cabinets make use of actuators for smooth functioning. These actuators provide exceptional performance and output when installed in kitchen equipment. We at Progressive Automations, Inc manufacture high-end 12V Actuators for industrial and commercial purposes. Our manufacturing facility promises to deliver excellent quality actuators, they are tested for performance and durability.

Accessing kitchen cabinets ensures prompt storage of utensils; one can easily find them when they are stored in right manner. One of the striking features of actuators is that they come with zero maintenance or repair, the design installed in creating these wonders is truly different from the rest. We have spent years of research in designing these wonders. Every kitchen-based actuator undergoes series of tests; it has to clear with excellence before final delivery.

Progressive Automations, Inc adheres to International Manufacturing Standards for actuator technology, several quality and certification tests ensures genuineness of actuators. Door locks and drawers also come in the same category of kitchen equipments. Technology is developing on regular basis, new designs and modern architecture is taking over, feel free to design your own kitchen which will exceed your expectations. This is how you can customize your kitchen; use of bright colors will match the architecture present in your home. Our actuators can function freely in robust environments without any problem. For more information on actuators, feel free to log on to http://progressiveautomations.com, our detailed website will provide you with maximum information.

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