Flexible motor takes shape

March 26/April 2, 2003

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have designed a motor that can be made in a range of shapes, including nearly flat.

Key to the flexibility of the design is lead zirconate titanate, a piezoelectric material that changes shape in the presence of an electric field.

The researchers bonded the material to a flexible metal strip to create a bendable arm. They translated the bending motion into the rotation of the motor by placing 12 arms around a shaft containing a ratchet mechanism and stimulating the arms in the same direction at once.

The researchers' prototypes reached speeds of 600 revolutions per minute.

The design's simplicity and low materials cost make the flat motor potentially cheaper than today's electric motors, according to the researchers. Components for the prototype are around $150; a commercial version might cost as little as $10 to mass produce, according to the researchers.

The researchers are currently working on using the motor in a refrigeration compressor. The flexible motor could also be used in small electronics devices and to change the shape of structural elements like fins or wings.

Page One

3D holo video arrives

Design handles iffy nanocircuits

Network builds itself from scratch

Molecule toggle makes nano logic

News briefs:
Rubber stamp writes data
Flexible motor takes shape
On-chip battery debuts
Tilted trenches turn out tiny wires
Plastic coating makes chips biofriendly
Hydrogen yields smaller nanowires

Research Watch blog

View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works

RSS Feeds:
News  | Blog

Ad links:
Buy an ad link


Ad links: Clear History

Buy an ad link

Home     Archive     Resources    Feeds     Glossary
TRN Finder     Research Dir.    Events Dir.      Researchers     Bookshelf
   Contribute      Under Development     T-shirts etc.     Classifieds

© Copyright Technology Research News, LLC 2000-2010. All rights reserved.