MARCH 15--New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY, USA; www.newscaletech.com) has received its second US patent for its piezoelectric SQUIGGLE motor. Patent #7,170,214 was issued on January 30, 2007, to inventors David Henderson, New Scale founder and co-CEO, and Dan Viggiano III, New Scale chief operating officer. It is a continuation-in-part of Henderson's fundamental SQUIGGLE motor patent #6,940,209 issued in September 2005. The patent covers the latest design innovations that facilitate high-volume manufacturing and allow further miniaturization of this tiny ultrasonic device, which at 1.5 x 1.5 x 6 mm is the world's smallest linear motor, according to the company.
The new patent also grants application claims for integration of the SQUIGGLE motor in an ultrathin autofocus assembly for mobile phone cameras and in a miniature syringe pump assembly for medical use. The SQUIGGLE motor enables smaller size, higher precision, and longer battery life in both applications. The patent also covers integration of the SQUIGGLE motor with a tangential limit stop, a technique to stop shaft rotation without thread locking.
The patented SQUIGGLE motor design consists of piezoelectric ceramics bonded to a threaded nut, with a mating screw inside. Applying electrical signals to the ceramics creates ultrasonic vibrations in the nut, causing the screw to rotate and translate with precise linear movement in a very small space. SQUIGGLE motors are smaller, more precise, less expensive, and more efficient than conventional electromagnetic motors. They also operate reliably in extreme environments such as vacuum, cryogenic temperatures, and high magnetic fields.