An Integrated Electromagnetic Lifting Module for Robots

The usual way a robot moves an object is by grabbing it with a gripper or using suction, but [Mile] believes that electromagnets offer a lot of advantages that are worth exploring, and has designed the ELM (Electromagnetic Lifting Module) in order to make experimenting with electromagnetic effectors more accessible. The ELM is much more than just a breakout board for an electromagnet; [Mile] has put a lot of work into making a module that is easy to interface with and use. ELM integrates a proximity sensor, power management, and LED lighting as well as 3D models for vertical or horizontal mounting. Early tests show that 220 mW are required to lift a 1 kg load, but it may be possible to manage power more efficiently by dynamically adjusting drive voltage depending on the actual load.

[Mile]’s focus on creating an easy to use, integrated solution that can be implemented easily by others is wonderful to see, and makes the ELM a great entry for The Hackaday Prize.

7 thoughts on “An Integrated Electromagnetic Lifting Module for Robots

  1. Interesting for dead lifting something magnetic.

    also has potential for locking an actuator in place no? Like having one positioned over a metal plate inside the joint, and when you want to hold the position, activate, rather than putting continuous strain on the actuator to hold the position.

      1. Or have a permanent magnet for the holding force, and use the electromagnet to ‘kick’ the object off. Gives you the same result and stays solid state.

        That said, a linear actuator with a magnet on the end has the benefit of tuning the gearing to hit the sweet spot of energy usage and detach time.

  2. Interesting, but i really can’t imagine a lot of applications where the objects that i need to pick up would be fitting. However, it might be useful as a simple linear motor. Just need some mechanical design to actuate a gripper claw with this ELM… ;)

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