With the passion to inspire and convey knowledge in a lively manner as well as the firm desire to transform even abstract and technical topics into an exciting experience, the designers at flying saucer (Berlin) and engineers at MKT AG (Olching) continue an age-old human aspiration: to artificially and artistically reproduce nature. From the first cave paintings to modern robotics, technology has always set limits here – and expanded them. As with the drives from FAULHABER, the continuous further development of which systematically pursues the goal of perfect motion: away from the clumsy imitation generally associated with "robots" towards a more flowing, natural movement without any discernible technical limitation.
FAULHABER drives are ideal for this purpose: the linear DC-servomotors combine the speed and robustness of pneumatic systems with the flexibility and reliability of electromechanical linear motors. The innovative and compact construction with self-supporting three-phase coil in solid, non-magnetic stator housing ensures extraordinary performance and dynamics with strictly linear force-current ratio – with a surprisingly small installation volume. The result is a fluid, lifelike and highly dynamic movement without cogging torque; exact position control can easily be realised via the integrated Hall sensors.
Balance and weightlessness
With all of these properties in the back of their minds, the industrial designers and engineers stumbled upon the "art forms" of naturalist and polymath Ernst Haeckel – particularly impressing them were the anthozoa, or sea anemones: the largest class of cnidarians served as the source of inspiration and namesake of the art-technology project. As invertebrates, with their physical characteristics and smooth and floating movement behaviour in the water, they pose unique demands. "That is precisely what the 'PROJECT ANTHOZOA' sculpture simulates. In perfect choreography with ethereal sounds, viewers are mesmerised by the merging of two movement concepts: subaqueous weightlessness and balance," says Axel Haschkamp from MKT.
A total of 120 linear DC-servomotor drives of the LM 2070 series with an equal number of EtherCAT controllers from FAULHABER are at work in this fascinating work of art to impressively demonstrate the perfect choreography of this movement. A flowing – even weightless – movement sets the highest standards on the control and on the bus system that is used. For this reason, a decentralised control structure was used for ANTHOZOA. Here, Motion Controllers of the third generation control the drives independently of the bus runtime, i.e., the drives are actuated with the internal clock speed of 100 μs to follow the target position, which is updated on the order of milliseconds. It is this combination that makes perfect synchronisation of the 120 drives possible.
"PROJECT ANTHOZOA" has already thrilled trade fair visitors in Amsterdam, Hanover, Bern, Munich and Nuremberg.