Contributing to more flexible and easier robot design

Nikon expands lineup of C3 eMotion intelligent actuator units for robotic joints used in collaborative robot

March 3, 2022

C3 eMotion units IAU-30 (left) and IAU-300 (right)

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the expansion of its C3 eMotion intelligent actuator unit lineup, each of which combines vital robotic-joint components including a motor, speed reducer*, motor driver, brake and encoders together into one package. Nikon will now offer the new IAU-30 and IAU-300 types, which differ in terms of size, torque and other characteristics.

The C3 eMotion is a robotic joint unit for collaborative robots that, when used together with robotic arms, facilitates easier building of robots even by users who have no knowledge of robot design. Moreover, thanks to its high versatility, the C3 eMotion can also be used as a component in semiconductor equipment, machine tools, measurement instrument, conveyance equipment and other machines and systems which require high stopping accuracy, machining precision or similar.

The C3 eMotion operates under Nikon's proprietary double-encoder structure (containing two encoders), which enables detection of external forces and robot operation stoppage in response, direct teaching in which the robot can be made to learn commands via direct manipulation by human users, and a wide range of other useful functions.

Nikon plans to showcase their new models at International Robot Exhibition 2022 (iREX2022), which is scheduled for March 9–12, 2022 at Tokyo Big Sight. Please visit booth number E3-30 in East Exhibition Hall 3.

Product Information

Product Name C3 eMotion intelligent actuator unit (IAU-30)
C3 eMotion intelligent actuator unit (IAU-300)
Availability July 2022 (planned)

Development Background

Many manufacturers face labor shortages and as they need to implement production facility automation and labor-saving in response, there is an increasing demand for robots that can work cooperatively alongside humans. However, because robots comprise a wide array of components such as motors, speed reducer, motor driver, brake and encoders, sophisticated skills and know-how are required to coordinate all of these. With the C3 eMotion, Nikon combines all of these parts into a single-package robotic joint unit which can be used together with a robotic arm to form a robotic joint structure.

In addition to the IAU-60 and IAU-200 units released in 2020, Nikon has added the new IAU-30, which is compact type and IAU-300 which is larger-hollow and larger-torque type. These additions to C3 eMotion lineup give customers a wider range of options, enabling freer robotic system creation tailored to specific user needs. Moving forward, the company will continue developing new models and expanding this lineup in order to better address market demand.

C3 eMotion (IAU-30), C3 eMotion (IAU-60), C3 eMotion (IAU-200), C3 eMotion(IAU-300)

Main Features

1. Contributing to more flexible and easier robot design

Combining a C3 eMotion unit with a robotic arm selected based on intended usage application enables easy changes to robotic joint numbers, maximum load capacity and other factors, thus facilitating more flexible and easier robot design.

2. High safety performance

The double-encoder structure utilizing encoders in two locations at both the input shaft and output shaft enables detection of even minor external forces applied during robot operation. For example, if a human worker or object comes into contact with the robot while it is working, the robot can detect the impact (external force) and safely stop operations.

3. Operations with direct teaching

The double-encoder structure enables responses to detected external forces, it is possible for human operators to directly manipulate the robot and thus program operations through the direct teaching.

4. High-precision positioning performance

Because high performance encoders installed on both the input shaft and the output shaft via the double-encoder structure make it possible to monitor rotation speeds on both shaft and positioning information with high accuracy. This enables high-precision positioning performance, which is vital for collaborative operations between human workers and robots.

Main specifications

Model number IAU-30 IAU-300
Rated voltage 48 V
Peak torque 30 N·m 400 N·m
Rated torque 10 N·m 130 N·m
Rated speed 30 min-1 15 min-1
Torque detection range
(F.S. [full scale])
14 N·m 280 N·m
Torque detection accuracy ±10% F.S.
Encoder accuracy ±15 arc sec. (max.)
Gear ratio 81 101
Brake holding torque (input shaft) 0.4 N·m 3.5 N·m
Driver Built-in actuator
Communication EtherCAT CiA 402*
Diameter 70 mm 142 mm
Length 161.1 mm 185 mm
Weight 1.6 kg 8.9 kg
Operating temperature 0–40℃ (no condensation)
Storage temperature 0–50℃ (no condensation)

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.