SQUIGGLE micro motor technology
Patented piezoelectric motor with smallest size, high force and speed
The heart of New Scale's M3 micro mechatronics module platform is the SQUIGGLE motor, a revolutionary linear micro motor with incredibly small size and big performance.
This patented ultrasonic motor creates high force and speed with only a few parts – compare to complex electromagnetic gearhead motors with hundreds of parts. SQUIGGLE micro motors allow product designers to add motion features into products where they could not have been imagined before.
This simple, robust piezo motor is scalable to much smaller sizes than electromagnetic motors, without significant loss of power efficiency. This makes it ideal for portable products such as micro cameras, medical devices and biometric detection systems.
SQUIGGLE micro motor features
- Precise: nanometer resolution
- Fast: variable speed from 1 μm/second to 10 mm/second
- Strong: models with up to 5 Newton force
- Tiny: as small as 1.8 x 1.8 x 6 mm
- Quiet and smooth
- Non-magnetic, vacuum and cryogenic options available
The SQUIGGLE motor operating principle
Piezoelectric actuators change shape when electrically excited. A SQUIGGLE motor consists of several piezoelectric ceramic actuators attached to a threaded nut, with a mating threaded screw inside.
Applying power to the actuators creates ultrasonic vibrations, causing the nut to vibrate in an orbit - similar to a person's hips in a "Hula Hoop."
Linear SQUIGGLE micro motors
The rotating nut turns the threaded screw, creating a smooth in-and-out linear motion. Thread friction drives the shaft, directly converting rotary motion to linear motion. This means:
- No parasitic drag - less wasted power
- Zero backlash (with a light pre-load)
- Very high stiffness
- Nanometer resolution and high force
- Smooth velocity at microscopic speeds
- Off-power hold
- Very small diameter
- Manual screw rotation for off-power positioning
- Standard linear motors feature direct linear drive - no gearbox
The speed and position of the threaded screw can be precisely controlled. Most importantly, the screw holds its position when the power is turned off.
Rotary SQUIGGLE micro motors
We have also developed a high-torque rotary piezoelectric motor using the SQUIGGLE motor operating principle. This rotary motor has twice the torque of similar-sized DC micro motors. It needs no gear reduction mechanism, delivering high peak torque at sustained speeds as well as high holding torque.
M3 Modules: Complete closed-loop systems with the SQUIGGLE motor inside
SQUIGGLE motors have excellent position resolution: you can signal the motor to move very small distances, measured in microns or nanometers. However, the motor speed will vary with applied load and device friction. Therefore closed-loop control is recommended for applications requiring exact position, repeatable position, or precise speed.
Our M3 micro-mechatronic modules deliver this closed-loop control. We combine our SQUIGGLE motors with precision miniature position sensors to create "ingeniously small" closed-loop actuators of 12 x 30 mm or smaller. All drive electronics are in the module - you just provide 3.3V and simple, high-level motion commands over a standard serial interface.
Custom motion system development for OEM products
We have developed a range of SQUIGGLE micro motors and drivers that we use to create full custom motion systems to your specifications. We help you define, create and integrate these motion systems into your OEM products. Our team will help you navigate the tradeoffs in size, speed, force and power use.
- SQL-RV-1.8 SQUIGGLE motors - the world's smallest linear motor. We use our SQL-RV-1.8 motors in OEM applications where small size and lowest power use are paramount. These motors are less than 3 x 3 mm, with drive ASIC less than 2 x 2 mm.
- Other custom SQUIGGLE motors allow us to create linear motion systems with higher force, longer travel, higher precision, or other special requirements.
- Custom rotary SQUIGGLE motors deliver high peak torque at sustained speeds as well as high holding torque, with no gears.
In addition to SQUIGGLE motor - based systems, we may employ our UTAF motor technology and expertise in piezoelectric motion system development to solve your OEM problem. Contact us today to learn more.