Elliptec Resonant Actuator develops, manufactures and markets low-cost piezoelectric drives and drive systems for a growing product portfolio. Our patented low-cost piezoelectric motor has been sucessfully commercialised in volume applications requiring dynamics and precision.
These micro piezo motors have been successfully deployed in high-tech industrial and medical devices and in consumer goods in volumes of up to several 100,000 units per product line. This is made possible by Elliptec’s highly automated, competitive production capabilities and certified quality management in accordance with all ISO 9001 regulations.
A micro stepper and linear motor in one
The Elliptec Motor is a piezoelectric stepper and linear motor in one, with each step being only a few micrometers long; more than 20 steps are needed to cross the width of a hair. The motor moves as many as 100,000 steps or a distance of about 30cm in one second. The overall stroke length of the driven element is not limited and can be linear or rotatory. The motor is so fast that it can move to, and fully stop at, ten distinct positions within a 10mm stroke in the blink of an eye.
In addition to the excellent dynamics and precision, the low weight of the Elliptec Motor (1.2g) is an advantage for portable devices. The motor’s virtually silent operation is a plus for domestic applications.
Elliptec Resonant Actuator
As a further advantage, the Elliptec Motor is a backlash-free direct drive and typically does not require additional gearing. For this reason the motor accelerates and completely stops within milliseconds, a feature not easily achieved with conventional drive solutions, if at all.
Low-cost electronic driver
The driver electronics of the Elliptec Controller make the motor as easy to control as a conventional DC or stepper motor. In fact, it only needs a microcontroller and two transistors to make the motor’s heart (the piezoelectric element) beat with voltages of as little as 5V.
Applications for piezoelectric motors and actuators
The Elliptec Motor is especially well-suited for positioning tasks that require little force but a small, lightweight drive that offers high resolution and unmatched dynamics at a low-cost.
The Elliptec Motor precisely positions probes, waveguides and other optical components in compact portable instruments to enhance the quality of measurements. In a dosing apparatus it helps dispense liquid medications and other medial substances with minute precision. The motor’s motion profile is highly configurable. Of particular importance is that it can safely stop within microseconds while conventional electromagnetic drives have to deal with inertial delays.
Elliptec has solutions for the most dynamic high-precision positioning tasks. One-dimensional linear or rotatory motions with micrometer resolution and millisecond transients are achieved with minimal complexity. For example, rotating an optical mirror with a precision of ±0.3° within less than 10ms is easily achievable.
Two or three-dimensional positioning of electric contact needles, pipettes, waveguides and other lightweight elements can be quickly and cheaply designed and implemented. For example, Elliptec has designed an extremely lightweight pick-and-place device that fits into the palm of a hand. It is backlash-free due to injection-molded elastic joints and sufficiently low-cost for even the large-volume consumer market.
All-in-one standard piezoelectric drive unit
The Elliptec Module R40 is an all-in-one standard piezoelectric drive unit that combines the Elliptec Motor with a driven wheel, the control and driver electronics, and a precision position sensor. Integrated into a compact housing, the module is a unique drive that streamlines the product design in applications with smaller sales volumes.
The module is configured to mimic a DC or electromagnetic stepper motor but offers substantial functionality beyond this. It may thus be controlled through typical analogue DC or pulse-and-direction signals. The module provides a position feedback and can be programmed to execute arbitrary motion profiles. It has an optional USB interface and can be controlled from a PC via an intuitive graphic user interface.