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Component Roundup: Servo Motor for Mobile Robot, New Lidar Options

The Livox Mid-40 and Mid-100 offer less expensive lidar options for autonomous vehicles and aerial drones. Source: Livox

February 21, 2019      

Welcome back to another exciting week of component product news announcements from the world of robotics, engineering and other related pieces and parts. This week, we have a new servo motor  for mobile robots, inexpensive lidar options, and a pair of new linear position sensors for factory automation applications.

Freeing up space in mobile robots

Applied Motion Products this week launched a new series of integrated servo motors  aimed at mobile robot applications, including automated guided vehicles and autonomous mobile robots.

MDX Motor Applied Motion

MDX Integrated Servo Motor. Source: Applied Motion Products.

The MDX Integrated Servo Motors combine a high torque density, low inertia servo motor with an on-board drive and controller to save on space, wiring and cost over conventional servo systems with separate motor and drive components.

Control electronics are housed at the back, near the feedback device, which means no other external electronics packages are needed to drive or control the motor, Applied Motion said. The back of the motor also includes connections for power, communications, and I/O.

With the extra space, robot makers can accommodate other critical components, such as material handling mechanisms, sensors, additional axes of motion, or operator-interface components, the company said.

More information on the new series of motors is available here.

Livox launches $599 lidar sensor

Shenzhen, China-based Livox this week launched three high-performance lidar sensors aimed at “innovators, professionals and engineers around the world working closely with 3D sensing technology.”

The Mid-40 and Mid-100, Horizon, and Tele-15 sensors have been designed “with a wide range of different industry applications in mind,” the company said.

The Mid-40 and Mid-100 can sense 3D spatial information under several environmental conditions, and is aimed at autonomous driving, robotics, mapping, logistics, security, and search and rescue applications. The company said the sensor was developed with cost efficiency in mind, while still maintaining superior performance. Instead of laser emitters or “immature MEMS scanners,” the Mid-40 and Mid-100 uses lower cost semiconductor components for light generation and detection, Livox said. “The entire optical system, including the scanning units, uses proven and readily available optical components, such as those employed in the optical lens industry,” the company added. These factors help contribute to Livox selling the system at $599 for a single unit of Mid-40.

The Livox Horizon is a high-performance lidar that offers a broader field of vision (FOV) with much higher coverage ratio, while retaining the advantages of the Mid-40, including long detection range, high precision, and the compact size. The more rectangular design offers a FOV of 81.7 degrees horizontal and 25.1 degrees vertical, making this “highly suitable for autonomous driving applications,” Livox said. The company added that the Horizon delivers real-time point cloud data that is three times denser than the Mid series of lidar sensors.

The Livox Tele-15 sensors is designed for advanced long-distance detection, extending the real-time mapping range but keeping the same size, precision and durability of the Mid-40. When reflectivity is at 80%, the sensor features a measuring range of 500 meters, and with 20% it can still detect objects up to 250 meters, the company said. The Tele-15 has a FOV of 15 degrees, and delivers a point cloud that is 17 times denser than the Mid-40.

The Mid-40 is available now for $599; the Mid-100 is available for $1,499. Pricing for the Horizon and Tele-15 have not been announced, with availability in the second half of 2019.

More details are available here.

Linear position sensors

H.G. Schaevitz LLC Alliance Sensors and Harold G. Schaevitz Industries (HGSI) each introduced linear position sensors this week, aimed at factory automation and other industrial and commercial applications.

GHS-19 SS linear position sensor lidar options article

GHS-19 linear position sensor.

From the Alliance Sensors group is the GHS-19 series of spring-loaded linear variable inductive transducer (LVIT) gaging sensors. These contactless devices are designed for “dimensional gaging and position measurements in factory automation and in various industrial and commercial applications,” which includes automotive testing, robotic arms, and packaging equipment, “where the sensing element cannot be attached to the object being measured. Features of the GHS-19 include:

  • Low cost drop-in replacement for spring-loaded LVDTs, with same connector and pinouts;
  • 0.75 inch (19 mm) diameter aluminum or stainless steel body with1/2-20 mounting thread;
  • Excellent stroke-to-length ratio means much shorter housings;
  • Full scale ranges from 0.25 to 4.0 inches (13 to 100 mm)’
  • 1 pound (0.45 kgf) maximum tip force’
  • Contactless operation prevents sensor wearout from dithering or rapid cycling.
ILPS-27_LVIT Inductive Linear Position Sensor


The offering from HGSI is the ILPS-27 series ($416), designed for factory automation and applications such as “motor sport vehicles, automotive testing, solar cell positioners, wind turbine prop pitch and brake position, and packaging equipment,” HGSI said.

Features of the ILPS-27 include:

  • Contactless operation prevents wear out from dither or cycling;
  • 10 Ranges from 50 to 450 mm (2 to 18 inches);
  • Excellent stroke-to-length ratio;
  • 27 mm (1.05 inch) diameter anodized aluminum housing sealed to IP-67;
  • Radial cable exit version comes with swivel rod eye ends;
  • Axial termination versions with either M-12 connector or cable.

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading!