Automation Blog

Robot Joint Platform Offers Safety, Scalability and Control for Next Generation Mechatronics

Robot Joint Platform Offers Safety, Scalability and Control for Next Generation Mechatronics

Collaborative robots (cobots) offer many benefits for automated operations, but a host of limitations make them difficult to implement. For example, if an off-the-shelf robot meets all the requirements to perform a specific task, systems integrators are limited to product-specific control software. In addition, these robots typically can’t be modified for different application requirements. And, if manufacturers choose to prototype and build their own robot or cobot, the system may not be scalable to an ideal size if future needs change.

Fortunately, a new robot joint platform is giving integrators unprecedented freedom and control, allowing them to build safe, high-performance robots and cobots that can be sized and adapted to changing tasks and requirements.

Meet Present and Future Robot Needs

The J-Actuator is a robotic joint platform that provides a foundation for designing robots and cobots according to their present and future needs. The units come in five different sizes (17-20-25-32 and 40) to satisfy a wide range of torque and performance requirements.

Highlights include:

  • The J-17 compact robot joint features a 70-Nm peak torque rating and a maximum speed rating of 5,000 rpm.
  • The J-40 robot joint is capable of 841-Nm peak torque.
  • Select units incorporate a high-efficiency harmonic reducer available with different gear ratios.

We designed the J-Actuator’s control electronics with versatility and high performance in mind. Each unit comes with an EtherCAT bus board, allowing it to communicate with a robot controller using Robot Operating System (ROS) software. This feature makes it easier to deploy the J-Actuator robot joint into any mechatronic systems. You can also monitor various conditions and adjust the performance according to the robot’s application and configuration, thereby optimizing system performance.

To ensure human safety, large-size J-Actuators come with a low-power, customizable electromagnetic friction brake that locks the axis in emergency situations or power failures — even under extreme conditions. Smaller models incorporate a lightweight pin-lock brake. Collision is prevented in three ways: torque measurement via high-resolution current control, measuring the torsional rigidity of the gear reducer and a high-sensitivity contact detection device with instantaneous response.

Additional features of J-Actuators include:

  • A 20-bit magnetic absolute encoder with single or dual outputs.
  • An external chassis so units can be integrated directly to meet specific requirements.
  • Differential real-time operation modes.

High Performance and Productivity for the Factory of Tomorrow

Off-the-shelf robots offer clear benefits, but designers don’t always have the freedom and flexibility to modify and scale them for different tasks — let alone think ahead about future operations. J-Actuators offer an ideal combination of performance, sensing, safety, modularity and scalability to ensure your robotic systems deliver high performance and productivity today as well as tomorrow.

IKO is the U.S. distribution partner for Automationware. You can download our brochure on J- Actuators at, or contact IKO at for more information.

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