A design for a novel brushless permanent-magnet tubular linear motor has been developed for use in high-precision robotics applications. In this design, the magnets in the moving part are oriented in a SN-SN—NS-NS fashion which leads to higher magnetic force near the like-pole region. The linear motor is used in conjunction with a position sensor, power amplifiers, and a controller to form a complete solution for precision actuation and control. 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. It has a 10-cm travel range and 26-N maximum pull-out force. The position resolution is better than 20 μm. The compact size of the motor suggests it could be used in robotic configurations requiring moderate force and precision from limited space. The motor could be used in applications 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, directly-driven actuator, which is required to extend into a spatially constrained environment.

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