Eddy-Current Actuation Research

This video shows the four maneuvers an orbital inspector can use to move in all six rigid-body degrees of freedom. The live-action videos show a prototype inspector using induction couplers made of spinning permanent magnets to move itself on a low friction air table.

Our group has demonstrated motion primitives for multi-degree-of-freedom actuation. Eddy current-based systems are nonlinear and state-dependent, which pose challenges and opportunities for control. Our current research is combining relative motion and time-varying source currents to identify additional motion primitives and improve controlled actuation and mobility in 6 degrees of freedom.