Maxon Precision Motors (Fall River, MA), a leader in electric motor technology and motion control products, is pleased to announce a strategic collaboration with National Instruments (Austin, TX). The initiative will look to highlight mutual areas of interest in the field of robotics. An informal relationship between the two companies was initiated as early as 2006, with the inclusion of NI LabVIEW VIs in Maxon's EPOS family of digital position and speed controllers. Most recently the two companies collaborated on the design and development of ViNI , an all inclusive robotics platform created by engineers at National Instruments. ViNI is driven exclusively by Maxon motors, gearheads and encoders and NI CompactRIO embedded controls.
"NI and Maxon have worked together to integrate the high productivity of NI LabVIEW graphical software and the high-precision drive systems of Maxon Motors so roboticists don't have to assume the integration workload," said Shelley Gretlein, Senior Group Manager of LabVIEW Real-Time & Embedded at National Instruments. "Also, with the release of LabVIEW Robotics software, design engineers now can access native Maxon Motor interfaces ready-to-run on their next autonomous system."
Other notable robotic applications driven by Maxon motion control products include the Mars "Rover" by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, "Da Vinci" surgical robot by Intuitive Surgical and "DARwin" the humanoid robot developed at RoMeLa, the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech University.
Both Maxon and National Instruments recognize that advancements in each respective area of expertise are complementary and look to provide designers with state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions for developing new robotic products and applications. Several joint marketing efforts are slated for 2010. Maxon will continue to focus its R&D efforts on electric motors, sensors and motion controllers while National Instruments will leverage its LabVIEW platform, NI LabVIEW NI SoftMotion Module, and CompactRIO.
"It is an exciting time to be involved in the robotics industry. Over the years Maxon has directed a significant portion of our engineering efforts toward the development of specialized products for robotic applications, and we are just beginning to realize the benefits of our investment. We are pleased to be working with NI and their talented group of engineers", states Kirk Barker, Electronics Product Manager.
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