Presented at Actuator 2012
by David Henderson, New Scale Technologies
Micro-scale smart actuator modules have recently been commercialized for imaging systems. These products provide a complete motion solution that requires only battery power (3.3 VDC) and high-level digital commands (I2C or SPI) to produce precise step and velocity control. Extreme miniaturization is achieved using the latest innovations in piezo motors, drive electronics, position sensors, and microprocessors with embedded firmware. One “killer application” for micro motion is imaging and this market is projected to grow from 1.7 billion image capture devices in 2011 to 2.8 billion in 2015.
New Scale Technologies, Inc. has commercialized the UTAF® (Ultra Thin Auto Focus) and M3-F (Micro Mechatronics Module) systems for micro imaging applications. The UTAF module is used in mobile phone cameras with movement less than 300 micrometers and lens mass less than 0.5 grams. The M3-F module is used for non-consumer applications such as iris imaging, facial recognition and medical devices with movement greater than 1.5 millimeters and lens mass up to 5 grams. These new smart actuators enable “plug and play” integration, rapid prototyping and faster times to market.