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At Your Service: Mobile Service Robots Operate with the Help of Motion Solutions

January 19, 2023

As their name would suggest, mobile service robots provide valuable services for humans, though these services differ in nature from the industrial robots utilized in automation processes within the manufacturing industry. Rather, service robots – which must be either semi or fully autonomous – work to help humans with dull, monotonous, repetitive, or unsafe tasks that are off the factory floor. Examples include inspections and surveillance of hazardous environments, material handling in a warehouse, and even food delivery!

The Benefits of Mobile Service Robots

From wheel drives to linear actuators for tilting and lifting, from the tilt/pan/zoom of an onboard camera gimbal to the LiDAR that provides the automated onboard control system with environmental details, service robots are critical to improving business productivity, processes, and operations. Specific benefits of employing service robots include:

Maximizing the speed and efficiency at which tedious tasks (like material handling) are accomplished
Operating autonomously in hazardous environments to minimize the need for human presence and intervention, thereby ensuring worker safety
Operating for extended periods of time without needing breaks or time off, such as cleaning and disinfecting robots in medical settings
Freeing human employees to focus on more complex, intellectual tasks

Service Robots Prioritize Dynamic Motors and Precise Feedback

Reliability, efficiency, precision, and dynamism are the name of the game as it relates to motion solution requirements for service robots. Dynamic response and precise feedback systems are necessary motor characteristics to increase safety while the robot is in operation. High-efficiency motors will allow service robots to run for long periods of time, which helps maximize the ROI of the device, while precision control for auxiliary applications (cameras, brushes for cleaning, etc.) is facilitated with proper selection and motor customization.

Torque-dense motor solutions help to provide a high payload capacity for the mobile robot while simultaneously delivering high motion performance for the overall device. Additionally, a smaller and more compact solution will contribute to longer run times between charging.

Highly reliable solutions reduce the total cost of ownership of installations, so selecting a dependable motor is critical.

What Mini Motor Will Work Best for My Service Robots?

Depending on the application’s specific requirements, a variety of miniature motors can be employed to power the service robot. High torque brush DC and brushless DC (including flat and cylindrical) motors, in conjunction with a gearbox, are ideal for wheel drive systems, while BLDC motors are often utilized for precise control in auxiliary applications for cleaning, inspection, and surveillance robots. Stepper motors are the ideal motor solution when precise control is prioritized over speed for complex motions like strafing. Similarly, when precise positioning is required, encoders are employed because of the feedback they provide; this is especially helpful when wheels are driven independently with a separate motor at each wheel. Brakes are also useful additions to the motion system, helping to stop the mobile service robot quickly when needed.

Searching for your next motion solution for your service robot? Reach out to our engineers directly for assistance!