Importance & Brief Note On Motion Control Technology For Robotics Industry

Motion Control

ALIO puts the emotion in motion control. We provide optimal motion control solutions for our customers by constantly focussing on nano precision and repeatability. Through partnership and collaboration with our customers, we consistently provide cost-effective and timely ultra-precise motion control solutions for the most exacting applications.

ALIO is synonymous with accuracy and innovation in ultra-precision motion control solutions. The company is driven by a peerless team of exceptional engineers that have an obsessive focus on nanometer-level motion control, customer success, and pushing the boundaries of what is perceived as possible.

ALIO has built its reputation by taking on and succeeding with projects and applications that other motion control suppliers decline. We project a compelling image — and one that our competitors struggle to equal — which is built upon a solid foundation of honesty, integrity, and passion.

It is all about heritage and focuses when it comes to motion control. ALIO has an 18-year history working at the vanguard of nano precision motion control, something that no other motion control supplier can get close to claiming

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Alio Industries: Motion Control

In 2001, ALIO started life building the piezo hexapod, a product with unrivalled precision that the industry told us was impossible to build. From that day to this we have consistently pushed the boundaries in the achievement of precision in motion control.

We offer a high-end boutique-like service, with a strong emphasis on responsiveness to our customers. As a company we have always been focussed on nano precision, and as such we have a reputation, a knowledge base, and a level of stability that cannot be matched when ultra precise and reliable motion control is demanded.

Read Also: Hexapod robot

Motion control is one of the main sub-categories of automation in association with control over the movement of different mechanical, robotic, and other industrial products. It’s a means for providing the machine or the product that is being manufactured the movement and control to shift, move, and perform necessary operations.

For getting to know its importance in robotics and other related industries, let’s dig deeper to know the crux behind this automation technology named motion control.

How Does Motion Control Work?

Motion control has a typical component, without which the functionality of this kinetic control system fails. These pillars of motion control are, but not limited to, motion controller, Linear actuator, sensors, and an energy amplifier.

The motion control system, like the one used by the ALIO Industries might be either a closed-loop or an open one. For open loops to work, the motion controller is expected to send the command using the amplifier. This command is received by the actuator, which is also termed as the prime mover.

However, the motion controller, in this case, does not know if the prime mover has received the actual command or not. Basic examples for these mechanisms are a fan, coolers, stepper motor, etc.

Read Also: Linear actuator

In the case of a closed-loop motion control system, micron precision and tighter control, matter first. So, a measuring device must be added at the receiving end of the motion. This measuring device can convert the measurement of the controller’s command received into a signal.

This signal is sent back to the motion controller. Then, it suggests or responds to the error, if there is any. Once that is done, the whole system is defined as a closed-loop.

Who Invented Motion Control?

There is no specific inventor of motion control in the market. The theories related to motion control and relative subjects began at around 1906. Sherrington was the author of the Reflex Theory.

His implications of the study were related to the input to control motor and stimulate better and efficient reflexes. From thereon, the research went on, and the various studies/theories under the umbrella of motion control were developed.

Read Also: Nanopositioning

Then around 1945-46, John Parson pioneered the production of Sikorsky helicopter blades, running over electronic controls.

This further led to the invention of CNC machine tools. Otherwise, known as the Computer Numerically Controlled tools. Around 1950, big brands like General Motors, Lewis, and Giddings used CNC technology backed controls.

That phase saw how vacuum tubes were controlling the machines smaller in size. With time, apart from the revolution of programming and controlling computer machines, the Automobile and Aerospace industry saw the greater boom for electronic and CNC backed control systems.

However, it was General Motors that requested a replacement of massive relay cabinets. They were occupying unnecessary space on the floor, and other manufacturing areas were still left to evolve using better controlling solutions.

So, by 1968, Dick Morley’s team created the programmable controller. It was backed by transistor logic, and of course, the solid-state memory. Then by 1976, Sega company started using the concept of motion control in different video and VR games they developed.

Read Also: Air bearing system

On the other hand, direct current motors were being used in prototypes and mechanical tools for better speed and torque control in comparison to the alternative current motors. Moving forward, there were advancements for alternating current in VSDs through open and close-loop iterations.

By 1993, with multiple failed attempts followed by success stories, Sega developed the technology in their arcade games that would help users play games with full-body motion sensors.

What Is Motion Control In Robotics?

A motion control system is an ensemble of components relevant for motion and other operationalities, proving the whole mechanism to be termed as a robot.

  • A motion controller helps to generate setpoints and closes the loop for the arms or legs of a robot.
  • An amplifier is needed for converting the control signals from the motion controller to the actuator’s understandability.
  • Actuators can be of different types, depending on the need for the style of the motion to be performed by the robot. These actuators can be hydraulic, linear, or air cylinders.
  • Feedback devices will help drive the sensors back to the motion controller from the actuators to close the loop and prove that the operation has been successful. These closed loops help in micron precision and accuracy in the movements that are expected from robots.

Other mechanical components that drive the blend of robotics with motion control include ball screws, rotational bearings, gears, belts, etc.

Read Also: Rotational stage

What Is Precision Motion?

ALIO Industries define the blend of precision and motion control with the use of Hexapods. The term precision can be a synonym of accuracy and repeatably. However, with the motion used by Hexapods, this term is focused on minimizing the errors of every motion in response to the compression and tension generated by each leg when putting another step into transition.

Here, the precision motion also means repeatability with 10 nanometers or even less. The industry sectors like optical inspection, alignment applications, micromachining, and photonics components are increasingly demanding the services of precision motion control equipments.

However, the degree of precision motion control required by different manufacturing firms is variating. It depends upon their standard operating procedures and the need to serve the end-user with minor deviation.

Read Also: Z-Axis stage

Advantages & Disadvantages




  • The automation of the learning curve is better than other controlling systems. With time, the robots and other tools based on motion control learn to grow in precision, accuracy, and repeatability with the data and feedback.
  • Motion controllers might sometimes require a fixed tuning to be adjustable with the feedback loop system.
  • The sensors and the amplifiers connectors help to have better closed-loop operations at a faster speed. The signals are easily transmitted. Thus, insights about the motion control system’s functionality are generated on-the-spot; to be rectified on-time.
  • Proper electronic support and encoding need to be in knowledge for trying to set the mechanism of the motion control.
  • It can copy the human body’s movement because of the intelligent conglomeration of components belonging to the field of both electronics and mechanics.
  • If the whole motion control system is not properly programmed, it might cause unreliable movements, especially when the feedback device keeps sending signals.