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Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6XL)

11/02/2020 - 13/02/2020

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

Industry 4.0 Summit

Manchester Central Convention Complex(M2 3GX)

31/03/2020 - 01/04/2020

The UK’s leading conference gathering of senior level executives from the UK manufacturing industry (more)

UKIVA Machine Vision Conference 2020

Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes(MK1 1ST)


Vision solutions have been applied in almost any industry you can think of. Food, beverage, pharmaceutical, (more)

PPMA Show 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

29/09/2020 - 01/10/2020

PPMA Show 2020 is the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and packaging (more)

Advanced Engineering 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

04/11/2020 - 05/11/2020

The UK's largest annual advanced manufacturing trade show, Advanced Engineering is your opportunity to (more)

Motion control solution delivers pinpoint accuracy on drone test rig

Motion control solution delivers pinpoint accuracy on drone test rig

A high performance test rig installed in the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena within Imperial College London is enabling engineers to test the next generation of aerial robotics for urban environments and extreme conditions. The researchers in the Arena can simulate different terrains in the air, the ocean and on land. The space also enables the engineers to create extreme conditions such as fire, smoke, and heat to simulate how the next generation of drones will perform in harsh environments.

Central to the facility is a massive and highly sophisticated test rig. Measuring 12m x 5m, the test rig frame provides a mounting for high speed digital cameras that capture and record the movement of the drones under test. The frame is required to move under control with load of 200kg, and the structure and motion control components had to ensure minimal deflection, as even small errors in movement would be magnified in operation.

To develop the test rig, Imperial College turned to motion control expert LG Motion, renowned for its portfolio of precise, reliable, multi-axis control components which can be modified and enhanced to provide custom solution packages.

The frame structure is built around modular aluminium profiles from Minitec with four Minitec belt drive actuators mounted on the corners of the installation. The Minitec LR 90 linear guide, consists of a single rail with shaft fixing, two timing belt pulleys with tooth belt-tensioner, and an LR 16-90 slide and tooth belt. Precise motion control comes via an Arcus PMX-4EX-SA multi axis controller. Encoder feedback from each axis ensure that the axes are synchronised.

Overall, the construction and design of the motion control components can deliver more capability than is currently required but it was felt desirable to build in some ‘future proofing’ for requirements currently un-defined.

Dr Mirko Kovac, director of the newly opened Brahmal Vasudevan Multi Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena, said: “We see the UK at the forefront of a billion dollar aerial robotics industry, and new test facilities like this will help the country to realise this ambition.”

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