Patent Number: 6,297,612

Title: Motion control coupling apparatus

Abstract: A motion control system includes a signal conduit to which the various devices of the system, such as a motion controller and motor drive modules, are linked. The modules are intertied such that the order of the modules along the signal conduit does not affect system operability. In one embodiment, the signal conduit includes a substantially rigid substrate having a plurality of electrically conductive lines formed in one or more layers of the substrate. The substrate may include a one-piece construction to which the motion controller, drives, and other devices are attached, or the substrate may be in the form of a plurality of couplers joined one to the other by connectors. For the latter, the various modules of the system include a coupler with connectors which allow the various modules to be easily connected without the need for any tools and without concern for the order in which the modules are attached. In another embodiment, a flexible cable (such as a ribbon cable) forms part or all of the signal conduit which connects the various devices of the system. In either embodiment, a "plug-and-play" motion control system is provided which requires little or no technical expertise to assemble, install, and operate.

Inventors: Shloush; Moshe (Knoxville, TN), Davis; Gregory A. (Maynardville, TN), Bower; Benjamin D. (Knoxville, TN)

Assignee: Robotic Control Group, L.L.C.

International Classification: G05B 19/414 (20060101); G05B 019/18 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018