Development of a novel direct-drive tubular linear brushless permanent-magnet motor Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper presents a novel design for a tubular linear brushless permanent-magnet motor. In this design, the magnets in the moving part are oriented in an NS-NS-SN-SN fashion which leads to higher magnetic force near the like-pole region. An analytical methodology to calculate the motor force and to size the actuator was developed. The linear motor is operated in conjunction with a position sensor, three power amplifiers, and a controller to form a complete solution for controlled precision actuation. Real-time digital controllers enhanced the dynamic performance of the motor, and gain scheduling reduced the effects of a nonlinear dead band. In its current state, the motor has a rise time of 30 ms, a settling time of 60 ms, and 25% overshoot to a 5-mm step command. The motor has a maximum speed of 1.5 m/s and acceleration up to 10 g. It has a 10-cm travel range and 26-N maximum pull-out force. The compact size of the motor suggests it could be used in robotic applications requiring moderate force and precision, such as robotic-gripper positioning or actuation. The moving part of the motor can extend significantly beyond its fixed support base. This reaching ability makes it useful in applications requiring a small, direct-drive actuator, which is required to extend into a spatially constrained environment.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, W. J., & Murphy, B. C.

publication date

  • September 2004