A new type of direct-drive variable-reluctance actuators for industrial automation

Chow Norbert Cheung

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Most advanced manufacturing processes require high speed and high precision motion control for material transfer, packaging, assembly, and electrical wiring. Examples are surface mounting of electronic components, wire bonding of semiconductor chips, and assembly of watches and hard disks. To achieve precise motion control, most of these high-performance manufacturing machines use rotary d.c. or a.c. motors as the prime motion actuator, and couple their output shafts to mechanical motion translators (e.g. reduction gear, belt, ball screw, etc.). Though this is the most widely used method, it has disadvantages of reduced accuracy, complex mechanical structure, difficult adjustments and alignments, high production cost, and low reliability. In this paper, the author proposes a new direction in high performance machine design, and suggests that future high performance motion systems should be designed through "simplifying the mechanics through specialized direct- drive actuators and advanced control methodologies". For this purpose, this paper investigates a class of variable reluctance (VR) direct-drive motion actuators for high performance machines. The paper looks into several specialized motion actuator systems designed by the author, (including limited stroke actuator, gripper, artificial limb, linear motion device, and planar motion device), highlights their features and advantages, and describes the challenges of controlling these devices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE ICIT 2002 - 2002 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology
Subtitle of host publication"Productivity Reincarnation Through Robotics and Automation"
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)0780376579
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
EventIEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, IEEE ICIT 2002 - Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 11 Dec 200214 Dec 2002


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, IEEE ICIT 2002


  • Actuators
  • Automation
  • Direct-drive
  • Motion control
  • Variable reluctance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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