Modern hi-tech advancement is not only about inventing new devices or introducing novel technologies. All these seem to be merely the first step on the way to a better and more comfortable environment. The second step is streamlining the inventions already brought about by the scientific progress. In many cases, it boils down to miniaturization – a contemporary trend of manufacturing smaller products and gadgets.
Remember what mobile phones or computers looked like a couple of years ago? Cumbersome contraptions weighing a ton and taking half the room. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but old models of many devices were really too awkward to handle. Now the world of technology goes micro and even nano imparting products – from chips and transistors to linear micro actuators – with sophistication, performance, and posh design that could never be attained before.
And the realm of automation is rapidly moving with this mainstream current.
Linear Actuators Go Mini
Humans use muscles to perform mechanical jobs. Machines leverage actuators to do the same. Linear actuators are devices that convert different forms of energy into mechanical motion. There are three basic types of them – pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric. The first two use fluids to provide movement and the third – electric power. Because of the morphological properties of the fluid flow hydraulic and pneumatic actuators are harder to position and control than the electric ones which makes the usage of the latter easily customizable to cater to various needs.
Being an important part of many state-of-the-art devices actuators are subject to the miniaturization fad as well providing the motion they perform with minute accuracy. The tendency, however, hasn’t deprived them of their benefits. For instance, it has retained all the mobility advantages of DC powered appliances since in a micro linear actuator 12v battery is utilized to operate it. Moreover, with the advent of the latest know-how installing and controlling a micro linear actuator has become a breeze.
The modern micro linear actuator servo system allows to correct the action of the device through a feedback mechanism that ensures the desired effect the motion produces. Computer software has also made these gadgets more elaborate. An arduino micro linear actuator leverages the corresponding open-source platform which is increasingly used today as a brain of many devices. Hardwired into a micro linear actuator arduino tool can read an input signal of a sensor to promptly transform it into an output which in this case amounts to activating the device.
Being thus upgraded micro linear actuators are employed in many mechanisms where there is no need for a strong force and where the constrained space imposes strict size limitations. Miniature linear actuator applications are versatile helping people to add some automation streamlining their domestic and working environments.
What are Micro Actuators Best for?
As the very name suggests, micro linear actuators are light and small with their size not exceeding several decimeters. Being also quiet and highly reliable they are a perfect solution to be leveraged for numerous purposes.
- Domestic automation: Every new technological development brings our homes closer to the futuristic image we have so far seen only in science fiction movies. Desks that adjust their height according to the user’s requirements and hidden lifts that can lower your computer screen under the table are the first household micro actuator-powered gimmicks that come into mind. In the kitchen, the potential of micro linear actuators can be utilized in lifting systems raising/lowering cabinetry or elevating/hiding food processing machines.
- Recreational facilities: Private yachts and RVs can be made truly chic by equipping them with pop-up or drop-down TV lifts geared by micro linear actuators which thus saves a lot of room in those generally space-strapped settings. Similar mechanisms are a part of many modern art installations.
- Industrial precision operations: Robots and their parts (such as grippers) meant to handle miniature fibers (both semiconductor and optical) and lenses require accurate precision in their movements. Micro linear actuators here are just indispensable to help them to be positioned and adjusted, to say nothing of focusing and zooming. Cell manipulation practiced in biology and medicine is another sphere where such precision is imperative.
- Micro scanners: These are employed for many purposes starting from barcode reading and finishing with laser image projection. The principal operation involved in such devices is tuning of tilting suspended micromirrors which can be effectively achieved by leveraging micro linear actuators.
- Microfluidics: Miniature pumps and valves equipped with micro linear actuators are widely applied in chemistry, medicine, and biotechnology where they are responsible for the dosing of medicines and other substances the accurate measurement and delivery of which are crucial. The same can be said of numerous technical appliances such as inkjet printers or agricultural sprinkler systems.
Contemporary technology is robustly entering a miniaturization phase which has significantly widened the gamut of micro linear actuator applications as well. These petite but durable and economically viable devices are used in many spheres of industrial and home automation providing a plethora of task-dependent capabilities in small-dimension settings.