Hydraulics at the End of a Wire...

The PowerCylinder™ is a high force/fast acting single-action actuator with integrated three-speed resistance regulated transmission and reciprocating pump. A closed system, the PowerCylinder™ can be driven electrically with a ball screw/stepper motor combination. Retraction of the actuator ram is powered by either internal conical springs or an external assist.

A PowerCylinder may be modulated through the control of a dual loaded dart valve which is integral to the system. Slight momentary over-retraction of the pump rod relieves the pressure in the ram chamber by redistributing minute amounts of hydraulic fluid to the accumulator.

For robotic applications, a PowerCylinder can be used singly to provide modulated unidirectional force. They can also be paired in an agonist/antagonist arrangement to deliver bidirectional forces. Two PowerCylinders can be configured to articulate the raising and lowering of a robotic beam. Harnesses are used to translate the PowerCylinder's ability push great loads into the ability to pull them. Control in this type of setup is through a neural network of sensors, motorized ball screws, and CPU controller, with or without a man-machine interface.

An agonist/antagonist arrangement requires dynamic tension much like musculature of the human anatomy. With a PowerCylinder, no energy is required to maintain stasis regardless of the load. Consequently, in the operating mode the two opposing PowerCylinders will be in a highly responsive dynamic equilibrium maintained by the electronics balancing the stepper motors. Precise control will come from the mechatronically integrated CPU.

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