small, precise, smart… in motion

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SQUIGGLE micro motor technology

Patented piezoelectric motor with small size, high force and speed

The heart of New Scale's M3 smart module platform is the SQUIGGLE motor, a revolutionary piezo micro motor with incredibly small size and big performance.

This patented ultrasonic motor creates high force (or torque) and high 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, and operates on 3.3 V. This makes it ideal for hand-held and portable products.


Operating principle

Piezoelectric actuators change shape when electrically excited. A SQUIGGLE motor consists of several piezoelectric ceramic actuators attached to a nut (stator), with a mating screw (shaft) 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." With this unique design, SQUIGGLE motors have:

Linear SQUIGGLE micro motors

In a linear SQUIGGLE motor, the rotating nut turns the threaded screw to create a smooth bi-directional linear motion with sub-micron resolution. Thread friction drives the shaft, directly converting rotary motion to linear motion without the need for a gearbox. The speed and position of the threaded screw can be precisely controlled.



Rotary SQUIGGLE micro motors

In a rotary SQUIGGLE motor, a smooth shaft is in friction contact with the stator. Ultrasonic vibrations of the stator cause the shaft to rotate with milliradian resolution. These direct-drive motors have no need for gear reduction mechanisms.



The design above, with axial preload, is designed for high torque and high resolution. It delivers high peak torque at sustained speeds and is self-locking for high holding torque.



The design above, with orthogonal preload, is designed for speed. It achieves 12,000 rpm, the fastest micro motor on the market.


M3 smart modules

SQUIGGLE motors have excellent position resolution: you can signal the motor to move very small distances, measured in microns or milliradians. However, the motor speed will vary with applied load and device friction. Closed-loop control is recommended for applications requiring exact position, repeatable position, or precise speed.

Our M3 (micro-mechatronic) smart 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.

Learn more: 




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.

Note: we don't sell SQUIGGLE motors! Our M3 Modules have SQUIGGLE motors inside. The following pages are provided for your information about the motor technology inside these all-in-one motion systems. 

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.