This paper describes a microcomputer-controlled hydraulic actuator designed with controllability, flexibility and ease-of-use as the fundamental goals. To achieve this, the electronics, valving, sensors and hydraulic cylinder are contained in a single, pre-engineered package. The embedded electronics provide complete closed-loop control of the actuator, including self-diagnostic capability and nonvolatile storage of application specific motion programs. Multiple actuators can be controlled via a serial communications bus to execute coordinated motions, or individual actuators can operate as stand-alone devices with simple on-off inputs to control their motion.
This self-contained motion control package is well suited for the new generation of increasingly automated mobile machinery.