Elmo Motion Control Introduces Ready-to-Use Inertial Platform Stabilization Solution

Elmo's off-the-shelf solution stabilizes inertial platforms for any application in any environment with precise synchronization and absolute accuracy, speeding up implementation and reducing time to market.

Elmo Motion Control
Diagram of Elmo Motion Control’s Inertial Platform Stabilization Solution for a UAV.
Diagram of Elmo Motion Control’s Inertial Platform Stabilization Solution for a UAV.

Elmo Motion Control (Elmo), a leading provider of advanced motion solutions designed to make intelligent machines smarter, announces the availability of its new off-the-shelf Inertial Platform Stabilization (IPS) solution. In this solution, Elmo combines rugged hardware—a miniature, high-precision motion controller and the company’s signature compact servo drives—with embedded Software-in-the-loop (SIL) control capability and the Elmo Application Studio II (EASII) software tool to create a ready-to-use, high-performance solution with finely tuned synchronization and absolute accuracy that enables faster implementations and quicker time to market.

In a project to independently stabilize four cameras on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Elmo used the IPS solution with the P-Lion motion controller and eight compact and rugged Gold Bee 80A/80V servo drives. Flexible programming tools simplified implementation of the system and the SIL eliminated the need for dedicated hardware and software and intensive testing and verification processes to integrate the customer’s proprietary codes and algorithms. John Mclaughlin, President, North America, Elmo Motion Control, says, “The platform stabilization in this project is so precise that images from all four cameras are pieced together to form a single, wide-area, high-quality image every cycle. Plus, by opting for a proven off-the-shelf solution that was immediately ready to use, this customer—like many others—saved 8-12 weeks of custom programming and staff training, and sped up the timeline for delivering its products to the marketplace." Elmo Motion Control’s P-Lion Multi-axis Motion Controller.Elmo Motion Control’s P-Lion Multi-axis Motion Controller.

The complete IPS solution provides optimum stabilization that withstands temperatures from -40-70 C (-40-158 F), altitudes up to 40,000 ft., and high mechanical shocks or intense vibrations up to 14 GRMS. It includes:

  • Platinum Lion (P-Lion) Multi-axis Motion Controller: The lightweight, miniature motion controller is designed for enhanced connectivity and unlimited performance. The P-Lion can manage inputs from up to four inertially stabilized platforms at less than 250 μs cycle times with jitter of less than 5 µs.
  • Gold Servo Drives: Any Elmo Gold servo drive can be used in the IPS solution, allowing flexibility in selecting drives according to power, voltage or current requirements. All Gold servo drives operate with any feedback; comply with Safety, EMC, and Environmental standards; and are certified for Safe Torque Off (IEC61800-5-2, STO), Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) and Performance Level e (PLe). 
  • Software-in-the-loop (SIL) Control Capability: Since control design, kinematics and/or simulation code are often proprietary and classified, Elmo provides a “black box” environment where users can insert their external code and execute it in the real-time kernel of the P-Lion (1.5GHz core). 
  • Elmo Application Studio II (EASII) Software Tool: Included with an Elmo hardware purchase, the industry-leading software tool creates and implements motion, enabling end users to configure programs and fully manage Elmo’s servo drives and motion controllers. EASII provides a flexible, user-friendly programming environment; accurate mechanical plant transfer functions; 1D, 2D and 3D error mapping and corrections; drive feedback emulation; corrective servo tuning and other features and capabilities to optimize application performance.

Elmo’s field-proven P-Lion motion controller supports both inertial measurement units (IMUs) and gyros, receiving the sensor's measurements, via digital or analog signals, directly from the IMU and bypassing the servo drive. Communicating via fast EtherCAT, the motion controller transmits calculated, synchronized corrective actions to the servo drives, streamlining communication and resulting in precise, reliable and deterministic motion vital for highly sensitive inertial stabilization.