Electronic actuation control unit with embedded energy storage for safety-critical mechatronic applications

The paper presents an Actuation Control Unit (ACU) for mechatronic applications with embedded energy storage to face safety critical applications. The idea is ensuring full operation also in case of battery failure by using super capacitors as local energy tank. Thanks to boost converter circuitry the supercaps provide the required voltage and current levels for the required time to guarantee actuator operation until the system enters in a safe condition.

The proposed compact realization has an energy capability up to 200 J covering the requirements of all the reported experimental applications (actuation of car door’s latch and of a robotized gearbox in vehicles, actuation of a servomotor for prosthetic arm in biomedical robotic applications) although the circuit schematic is parametric and can be re-scaled for higher energy values.

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