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Title:
ELECTRIC GENERATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/057051
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An electric generator device includes a magnetic stator assembly, opposed coils, and a rotary-to-linear converter (e.g., cam). The coils are configured to reciprocate relative to the magnetic stator assembly or to linearly translate in a common direction relative to the magnetic stator assembly. The coils are coupled to the cam and, upon rotary or linear motion of the cam, reciprocate or linearly translate relative to the magnetic stator assembly. The reciprocation or linear translation of the coils creates an electric current flowing through the coils, which may then be harvested.

Inventors:
HUNTER, Ian, W. (6 Oakdale Lane, Lincoln, MA, 01773, US)
Application Number:
US2010/055581
Publication Date:
May 12, 2011
Filing Date:
November 05, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NUCLEUS SCIENTIFIC, LLC (6 Oakdale Lane, Lincoln, MA, 01773, US)
HUNTER, Ian, W. (6 Oakdale Lane, Lincoln, MA, 01773, US)
International Classes:
H02K7/075; B60K7/00; H02K7/18; H02K33/18; H02K35/04
Domestic Patent References:
2002-11-28
2008-01-24
Foreign References:
US20070090697A12007-04-26
GB2344223A2000-05-31
US4981309A1991-01-01
US59049609A2009-11-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH, James, M. et al. (Hamilton, Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C.,530 Virginia Rd, P.O. Box 913, Concord MA, 01742-9133, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An electric generator device, comprising:

a rotary-to-linear converter;

a magnetic stator assembly; and

opposed coils, each coil arranged to reciprocate relative to the magnetic stator assembly and each coil coupled to the rotary-to-linear converter, the rotary-to-linear converter driving the coils in reciprocation upon rotation of the rotary-to-linear converter, resulting in electric current flowing though the coils.

An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the device harnesses electricity by drawing current from the coils as the rotary-to-linear converter rotates.

3. An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the device harnesses electricity by drawing current from the coils as the rotary-to-linear converter translates relative to the magnetic stator assembly. 4. An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the magnetic stator

assembly includes a magnetic stator shared by the reciprocating coils.

5. An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the magnetic stator

assembly includes multiple magnetic stators, each magnetic stator corresponding to a reciprocating coil.

6. An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the coils are arranged to reciprocate 180 degrees out of phase with each other. An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the magnetic stator assembly includes multiple inner magnets and the coils surround the multiple inner magnets.

An electric generator device as in claim 7 wherein the magnetic stator assembly further includes multiple outer magnets arranged parallel to the inner magnets and arranged outside of the coils.

An electric generator device as in claim 8 wherein followers are coupled to the coils at locations of the coils not covered by the outer magnets.

An electric generator device as in claim 9 wherein (i) the coils are rectangle- shaped, (ii) the outer magnets include four magnets arranged outside of the coils along the four sides of the coils, and (iii) the followers are connected to the comers of the coils.

An electric generator device as in claim 1 wherein the rotary-to-linear converter is a cam.

An electric generator device as in claim 1 1 wherein (i) the cam is part of a disc, (ii) the magnetic stator assembly is arranged in parallel with the plane of the disc, (iii) the coils are coupled to the cam using followers; and (iv) rotary motion of the disc causes rotary motion of the cam to cause reciprocation of the coils along the magnetic stator assembly and to generate electricity.

An electric generator device as in claim 1 1 wherein (i) the cam includes an inner surface and an outer surface and (ii) each of the coils is coupled to the cam using a pair of followers, a first of each pair of followers interfacing with the inner surface, and a second of each pair of followers interfacing with the outer surface.

14. An electric generator device as in claim 13 wherein the cam includes a protiiision that includes the inner surface and the outer surface, the inner surface facing inward and outer surface facing outward.

An electric generator device as in claim 13 wherein (i) the cam includes a groove that includes the inner surface and the outer surface, the inner surface facing outward and outer surface facing inward and (ii) each pair of followers are arranged inside the groove.

An electric generator device as in claim 1 1 wherein the cam includes an even number of lobes.

17. An electric generator device as in claim 16 wherein each of the lobes is a portion of an Archimedes spiral.

18. A method of generating electricity, the method comprising:

driving coils in opposed reciprocation relative to a magnetic stator using a rotary-to-linear converter; and

harvesting electric current flowing through the reciprocating coils.

Description:
ELECTRIC GENERATOR

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Application No.

12/590,496, filed November 9, 2009. The entire teachings of the above application are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Electric generators convert mechanical energy to electrical energy by forcing electric charges to move through an electrical circuit, which is typically a coiled wire. There are two main types of electric generators: direct-current generators, which produce electric current that flows in one direction, and alternating-current generators, which produce electric current that reverses direction. Both types of generators work based on the same principles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

With greater interest in clean energy there is more interest in the efficient generation of electricity. An electric generator device includes a rotary-to-linear converter, a magnetic stator assembly, and opposed coils. Each coil is arranged to reciprocate relative to the magnetic stator assembly and is coupled to the rotary-to- linear converter, which may be, for example, a cam, Scotch yoke, crank, or other mechanical device for converting rotaiy motion into linear motion. Upon rotation, the rotary-to-linear converter drives the coils in opposed reciprocation, resulting in electric current flowing though the coils, which may then be harvested by drawing current from the coils.

The coils may linearly translate in a common direction, along with the converter, relative to the magnetic stator assembly, which also results in electric current flowing though the coils. The linear motion may occur with or without the rotaiy motion. The magnetic stator assembly may include a single magnetic stator that is shared by the coils or may include multiple magnetic stators, each magnetic stator corresponding to a coil. A magnetic stator may include a single magnet or multiple magnets, and the coils may surround the single or multiple magnets, in which case the multiple magnets are inner magnets. The stator may further include multiple additional magnets arranged parallel to the first magnets and arranged outside of the coils, in which case the multiple additional magnets are outer magnets. In such a configuration, followers may be coupled to the coils at locations not covered by the outer magnets. For example, the coils may be rectangle-shaped, and four outer magnet assemblies may be arranged outside of the coils and along the four sides of the coils, but not covering the corners of the coils. The followers may then be connected to the corners of the coils, through intermediate structures, such as, for example, housings that surround the coils. The rectangle-shaped coils may be manufactured by stamping or etching a plurality of coil segments, such as U-shaped segments, and assembling the coil segments into a coil.

In configurations including a cam, the cam may be part of a disc and the magnetic stator assembly may be arranged parallel with the plane of the disc.

Further, the coils may be coupled to the cam using followers, and rotaiy motion of the disc may cause rotaiy motion of the cam, causing reciprocation of the coils along the magnetic stator assembly and generation of electricity. The opposed coils may be arranged to reciprocate 180 degrees out of phase with each other to cancel each other ' s vibrations. The cam of the device may include an inner surface and an outer surface, and each of the coils may be coupled to the cam using a pair of followers, where a first of each pair of followers interfaces the inner surface and a second of each pair of followers interfaces the outer surface. In one configuration, the cam may include a protrusion with inner and outer surfaces, where the inner surface faces inward and the outer surface faces outward. Alternatively, the cam may include a groove with inner and outer surfaces, where the inner surface faces outward and outer surface faces inward. In such a configuration, each pair of cam followers is arranged inside the groove. The cam may take a variety of forms. For example, the cam may include an even number of lobes, each of which may be in the form of a portion of an Archimedes spiral. This application relates to U.S. patent application titled "ELECTRIC MOTOR" by inventor Ian W. Hunter (Attorney Docket No. 4489.1000-000), U.S. patent application titled "ELECTRIC COIL AND METHOD OF

MANUFACTURE" by inventors Ian W. Hunter and Timothy A. Fofonoff (Attorney Docket No. 4489.1003-000), and U.S. patent application titled "TUNABLE

PNEUMATIC SUSPENSION" by inventor Ian W. Hunter (Attorney Docket No. 4489.1004-000). These applications are being filed concurrently with the present application, and the contents of these applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing will be apparent from the following more particular description of example embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 1A and I B illustrate example rotary devices.

FIG. 1 C illustrates an example magnetic stator assembly.

FIGS. I D- I F illustrate cross-sections of example rotary devices.

FIGS. 2A-2C illustrate components of an example rotary device in action. FIG. 2D illustrates an example shape of a cam.

FIGS. 2E-2H illustrate an example rotary device in action and coupled to a wheel.

FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate an example rotary device with an additional cam and magnetic stator components.

FIG. 4A illustrates a mount attached to the magnetic stator assembly of an example rotary device.

FIG. 4B illustrates a simplified cross-section of an example rotary device attached to the chassis of a vehicle.

FIGS. 5A-5D illustrate a support structure coupling a magnetic stator assembly and mount of an example rotary device with electromagnetic actuators and coils of the device through a plurality of shafts. FIG. 6A illustrates a rotary bearing coupling a support structure of an example rotary device with a cam of the device.

FIG. 6B illustrates a wheel structure coupling a cam of an example rotary device with a wheel of a vehicle.

FIG. 7 illustrates a horizontal cross-section of an example rotary device.

FIG. 8 illustrates a horizontal cross-section of an example rotary device from a top-down view.

FIG. 9 illustrates an inner structure of a magnetic stator assembly of an example rotary device.

FIG. 10 illustrates a horizontal cross-section of an example rotary device.

FIG. 1 1 illustrates a horizontal cross-section of an example rotary device. FIG. 12A illustrates a vertical cross-section of an example rotary device showing how a support structure of an example rotary device may be arranged.

FIGS. 12B-12D illustrate an example tunable pneumatic suspension.

FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate an example rotary device at different vertical positions.

FIGS. 14A- 14C illustrate the constniction of an example coil of an electromagnetic actuator.

FIG. 15 illustrates a wheel that includes an example rotary device.

FIGS. 16A and 16B illustrate different views of an example rotary device.

FIGS. 16C and 16D illustrate two rotationally offset cams.

FIG. 16E illustrates an example shape of a cam.

FIGS. 17A and 17B illustrate a disc of an example rotary device coupled to a rim of a wheel.

FIG. 18 illustrates two support stnictures coupling respective magnetic stator assemblies with electromagnetic actuators through a plurality of shafts and fluid dampers.

FIGS. 19A- 19C illustrate an example arrangement of magnetic stators. FIGS. 20A-20G illustrate the constniction of an example coil of an electromagnetic actuator.

FIGS. 21 A and 2 I B illustrate a side view and a top view of two rotary devices with respective wheels. FIGS. 22A-22C illustrate various different rotations of the wheels.

FIGS. 23A and 23B illustrate vertical movement of the wheels.

FIGS. 24A-24F illustrate a top view of a vehicle having four pairs of rotary devices with respective wheels. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A description of example embodiments of the invention follows.

Fig. 1A shows an example rotary device 100 inside a wheel. The device includes a magnetic stator assembly 120, opposed electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b, and a linear-to-rotary converter (e.g., cam) 105. The device may be attached to the chassis of a vehicle, for example, at a point on the far side of the wheel (not shown). The rotary device depicted inside the wheel may be attached to the wheel via the cam 105 using a circular plate, for example, which has been removed to show the inside of the wheel. Such a plate may be attached to both the rim of the wheel and the cam 105 using fasteners, such as bolts. The wheel and cam support plate rotate relative to a hub 145 about a bearing 150. It is important to note that the cam 105 is shown as an oval shape, but may take other forms, such as, for example, a cam having multiple lobes.

Fig. I B shows the example rotary device 100 from the side of the wheel 140 and with the tire of the wheel 140, and some other components, removed. The core of the rotary device includes the cam 105, two opposed electromagnetic actuators

1 10a, 1 10b, and magnetic stator assembly 120. The electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b each include a coil 1 15a, 1 15b that is arranged to reciprocate relative to the magnetic stator assembly 120. One electromagnetic actuator 1 10a is shown having a housing 155a surrounding its coil 1 15a and the other electromagnetic actuator 1 10b is shown with its housing removed to show its coil 1 15b.

The magnetic stator assembly 120 depicted in Fig. I B is oriented vertically and may include a plurality of magnetic stators 125a, 125b. Each of the magnetic stators 125a, 125b may include a single magnet or multiple magnets. As current is applied to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b of the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b (e.g., alternating current), the actuators 1 10a, 1 10b are forced to reciprocate vertically along the magnetic stator assembly 120 due to the resulting electromagnetic forces. As known in the art, when a coil carrying an electrical current is placed in a magnetic field, each of the moving charges of the current experiences what is known as the Lorentz force, and together they create a force on the coil. As depicted, the rotary device 100 may include a plurality of shafts 130a, 130b, coupled to a bearing support structure 165. The electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b may slide along the shafts using, for example, linear bearings. Other bearings that may be used include air bearings, silicon nitride bearings, graphite bearings, and linear recirculating ball bearings. Attached to each electromagnetic actuator 1 10a, 1 10b may be a pair of followers 135a-d used to interface with the cam 105. To reduce friction, the followers 135a-d may spin to roll over the surfaces of the cam 105. The followers 135a-d may be attached to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b via, for example, the actuators ' housings. As the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b reciprocate, the force exerted by the followers 135a-d on the cam 105 drives the cam 105 in rotary motion.

Fig. 1 C illustrates an example magnetic stator assembly 120 with two magnetic stators 125a, 125b. The magnetic stators 125a, 125b each include multiple magnets. For example, magnetic stator 125a includes, on one surface of the stator 125a, eight magnets 160a-h.

Figs. I D- I F illustrate simplified cross-sections of example rotary devices. The device of Fig I D is within a wheel 140 of a vehicle and includes a hub (or mount) 145 coupled to a magnetic stator assembly 120 having two magnetic stators 125a, 125b. Also shown are two electromagnetic actuators (including coils) 1 10a, 1 10b that reciprocate relative to the magnetic stator assembly 120 along shafts 130a, 130b (shown as dashed lines). The shafts 130a, 130b are coupled to a bearing support structure 165, keep the components of the device in vertical alignment, and prevent the wheel 140 from falling off of the device. A cam plate 170 coupled to the wheel 140 is rotably coupled to the bearing support 165 through a bearing 150. Affixed to the cam plate 170 is a cam 105 used to drive the plate 170 and, thus, the wheel 140 in rotary motion. The cam 105 is driven by the reciprocation of the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b using followers 135a-d that are coupled to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b and that interface with the cam 105. Also included in the example device is a fluid damper 175a coupling the bearing support 165 and the mount 145. The fluid damper 175a suspends the mount 145 above the ground and may allow for some movement between the bearing support 165 and the mount 145, depending on the amount of resistance of the damper. For example, if the damper is a pneumatic damper, higher gas pressures inside the chambers of the damper allow for less movement than lower air pressures.

Fig I E illustrates that in the absence of the fluid damper 175a, the electromagnetic forces caused by the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b and magnetic stators 125a, 125b may suspend the mount 145 above the ground. If, however, electrical current is removed from the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b, the associated electromagnetic forces will also be removed and the mount 145 may drop toward the ground, along with the magnetic stator assembly 120 and vehicle chassis, as illustrated in Fig. I F.

Figs. 2A-2C illustrate components of the rotary device 100 in action, including the rotary device ' s electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b (with associated coils 1 15a, 1 15b and followers 135a-d) and cam 105 moving relative to the magnetic stator assembly 120 (including associated magnetic stators 125a, 125b). The housings by which the followers are attached to the coils are not shown in these figures. As illustrated by Figs. 2A-2C, the reciprocal movement of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b in opposition drives the cam 105 to rotate, which, in turn, may cause a wheel attached to the cam 105 to rotate. The coils 1 15a, 1 15b are shown in Fig. 2A as being at almost their furthest distance apart. Fig. 2B shows that as the coils 1 15a, 1 15b move closer to each other, the coils 1 15a, 1 15b drive the cam 105 to rotate in a clockwise direction, thereby causing any attached wheel to also rotate clockwise. In the example device, the force exerted on the cam 105 is caused by the outer followers 135a, 135c squeezing-in on the cam 105. Fig. 2C shows that the coils 1 15a, 1 15b are yet closer together causing further clockwise movement of the cam 105.

After the coils 1 15a, 1 15b have reached their closest distance together and the cam 105, in this case, has rotated ninety degrees, the coils 1 15a, 1 15b begin to move away from each other and drive the cam 105 to continue to rotate clockwise. As the coils 1 15a, 1 15b move away from each other, the inner followers 135b, 135d exert force on the cam 105 by pushing outward on the cam 105. Again, it is important to note that the cam 105 is shown in the figures as an oval shape, but the cam 105 may be shaped in a more complex pattern, such as, for example, a shape having an even number of lobes, as illustrated in Fig. 2D. The sides of each lobe may be shaped in the form of a sine wave or a portion of an Archimedes spiral, for example. The number of lobes determines how many cycles the coils must complete to cause the cam to rotate full circle. A cam with two lobes will rotate full circle upon two coil cycles. A cam with four lobes will rotate full circle upon four coil cycles. Additionally, more lobes in a cam creates a higher amount of torque. In addition to driving the cam in rotational motion, the electromagnetic actuators may act as generators by drawing current from the coils as the cam rotates. This also has the effect of reducing the rotational movement of the cam when energy is absorbed from the rotational movement of the cam. In an application of the device in a vehicle, drawing current from the coils may act as a regenerative braking mechanism for the vehicle. Because the devices may act as generators, rotation of the wheel caused by an outside force may recharge the batteries of a vehicle. For example, the vehicle may be positioned so that at least one of its wheels is placed on a recharging device that causes the wheel to rotate. Such a recharging device may be similar to a dynamometer, which may be placed on or in a floor. But while a vehicle causes a dynamometer to rotate, it is the rotation of the recharging device that causes the vehicle ' s wheel to rotate, thereby causing the electromagnetic actuators to act as generators and to charge the vehicle ' s batteries. The recharging device may be powered by, for example, electricity or fuel.

In some devices, heat produced by the reciprocation of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b may be reduced by spraying a liquid coolant, such as, for example, water, on the coils 1 15a, 1 15b. This may be accomplished by spraying liquid through openings 146 in the magnets of the magnetic stators 125a, 125b and onto the coils 1 15a, 1 15b as they pass by the openings 146. The liquid coolant may be transported to the openings 146 through channels in the magnetic stator assembly 120. The sprayed liquid may then be collected for reuse or may be allowed to convert to a gas and be vented from the rotary device.

Figs. 2E-2H also illustrate components of an example rotary device in action, but with a wheel 140 that is attached to the cam 105 through a plate, or similar structure (not shown). A white circle appears on the wheel 140 to show the wheels position at different points during reciprocation of the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b. As illustrated by the white circle in 2E-2H, the wheel 140 rotates along with the rotating cam 105.

Fig. 3 A illustrates a rotary device similar to the device of Figs. 2A-2C, but with an additional cam 106 on the other side of the magnetic stator assembly 120. Reciprocation of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b acts to also drive the second cam 106 in rotary motion, and the second cam 106 may be attached to the other side of a wheel using, for example, another circular plate. Also shown is that the magnetic stator assembly 120 of the example device may be in the shape of a long extended box-shaped core of magnetically permeable material, with a magnetic stator 125a, 125b at either end. In the example device, each magnetic stator 125a, 125b includes magnets on all four sides of the magnetic stator assembly 120. The box-shaped core, on which the magnetic stators 125a, 125b are affixed in the example device, may act as a return path for the magnetic flux of the magnetic stators 125a, 125b. Also shown in Fig. 3A is that the coils 1 15a, 1 15b of the electromagnetic actuators may have a rectangular shaped cross-section and arranged to surround the magnetic stators 125a, 125b. This arrangement allows for efficient utilization of the electromagnetic forces between the coils 1 15a, 1 15b and the magnetic stators 125a, 125b.

Fig. 3B illustrates the rotary device of Fig. 3A, but with additional magnets

325a, 325b arranged outside of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b. According to the example device, each end of the magnetic stator assembly 120 includes an additional four magnet arrays, one on each side of a rectangular cross-section coil 315a, 315b. The additional magnets 325a, 325b enables the creation of more electromagnetic force. Also shown in Fig. 3B is an additional magnetic return path 320 for the additional magnets 325a, 325b.

Fig. 4A illustrates a mount 145 to which the magnetic stator assembly 120, including magnets and return paths, may be attached. The mount may be part of, or further attached to, for example, a chassis of a vehicle (not shown). Specifically, the mount 145 includes outer and inner hub plates 445a, 445b, the latter of which may be bolted to the chassis of a vehicle. Deliveiy of electrical current to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b may be accomplished using electricity-conducting flexures (not shown in Fig. 4A) that extend from the mount 145 to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b. The flexures allow current to be delivered to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b even as the coils reciprocate along the magnetic stator assembly 120. Thus, the flexures may electrically couple to an electrical supply (not shown in Fig. 4A), such as a batteiy, coupled to the mount or located in the chassis of a vehicle, the supply delivering electrical current to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b.

Fig. 4B illustrates a simplified cross-section of an example rotary device attached to the chassis of a vehicle 405. Fig. 4B is similar to Figs. I D- I F, but with some components removed for clarity. The figures shows a mount 145 coupled to the chassis of a vehicle 405 and a magnetic stator assembly 120. Also shown are a cam 105, cam plate 170, wheel 140, bearing 150, and electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b. Coupled to the mount 145 is an electrical unit 410, which is used to deliver electricity to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b through a pair of flexures 415a, 415b. Also coupled to the mount 145 is a batteiy 420 for storing electrical energy. Although the electrical unit 410 and the batteiy 420 are shown as being coupled to the mount 145, the electrical unit 410, batteiy 420, or both may, instead, be coupled to the support structure 165 (Fig. I D).

According to the example rotary device, the electrical unit 410 may be controlled by a controller 430 on the chassis of the vehicle 405 and through a fiber- optic cable 435 running between the controller 430 and the electrical unit 410. The example rotary device also includes a bidirectional power line 440 connecting the electrical unit 410 and the batteiy 420. During operation as a motor, power may flow from the batteiy 420 to the electrical unit 410 and on to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b. During operation as a generator, power may flow from the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b to the electrical unit 410 and on to the batteiy 420. The vehicle may also include a charger 425 for charging the batteiy 420 using an external power source (not shown), such as an electrical outlet or gasoline engine in the case of a hybrid vehicle. During such charging, power flows from the external power source to the charger 425 and on to the batteiy 420 through line 427, the electrical unit 410, and the bidirectional power line 440. Thus, the batteiy 420 may be charged by either an external power source or by the rotary device acting as a generator. Through delivery of electricity to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b, the electrical unit 410 may control the reciprocation of the coils. For example, when at speed, the electrical unit 410 may control the constant reciprocation of the coils. In vehicular embodiments, the controller 430 may be operated by a driver (not shown) of a vehicle and, in response to actions by the driver, the controller 430 may send commands to the electrical unit 410 to cause the rotaiy device to accelerate, decelerate, or change direction, for example. In addition, the electrical unit 410 may be configured to provide an electrical component to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b to drive their coils in the same direction, thereby creating a vertical translational movement of the wheel 140. Any translational movement of the wheel 140, caused by the rotaiy device or not, may be sensed by the electrical unit 410. In some configurations, the electrical unit 410 may be configured to absorb energy from the translational movement of the wheel by causing the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b to act as electrical generators and dampers. This energy may be transferred to the batteiy 420 for storage.

The controller 430 can convert operator (i.e., driver) commands and sensor data into electrical drive currents that are applied to the electromagnetic actuators 1 10. The following provides examples of how these conversions can be

implemented. The static subsystem of the rotaiy device provides a motive force which can include static ("DC") and dynamic ("AC") responses. The DC, or low- frequency forces, may provide suspension (e.g., terrain clearance as a function of load weight) and other slowly varying functions. The dynamic forces may provide propulsion, accommodation of terrain variation, and steering. The design of the rotaiy device also inherently separates "common-mode" from "differential-mode." For example, a pair of wheels with individually controlled rotaiy devices can be driven in "common-mode" to establish DC position, and in "differential-mode" to accommodate varying operator inputs (e.g. , steering, braking, "gas pedal" accelerator) and sensor feedback (e.g. , position, clearance).

The controller 430 may use a unified design based on an underlying symbolic mathematical system model so that configurations, designs, tradeoffs, subsystem boundaries, boundary conditions, etc. can be simulated, varied, and evaluated; and the models can be embedded in a virtual environment to enhance vehicle control (the driver experience). At a high level the rotary device (or entire vehicle) can be approximated by the system of equations x = Ax + Bu (the state equation), in which x(t) is the vehicle state vector, x its time derivative, A a matrix of properties, B a control matrix, and u(t) a control function. The state x and the matrices A and B may encompass all the parameters of the vehicle (e.g. , 3D position, speed, attitude, etc. ) and environment (e.g. , mass, aerodynamic drag, energy reserve, etc. ). In the simplest representation, A and B are time-invariant (i.e., the vehicle and its environment can be described by an nth-order system of ordinaiy differential equations with constant coefficients), which is a model that has been extensively studied, is easily solved and is a good approximation for many practical situations. Extensions to nonlinear and time-varying cases, and to stochastic processes, are available with modem tools. Formulation of the underlying controller in state-space allows invocation of a variety of powerful mathematical control algorithms including, for example, Wiener- olmorgorov filter theory, Kalman filtering, and their modern nonlinear extensions.

The control function u(t) may encompasses all the attributes desired by the vehicle operator, including the equivalent of a traditional steering wheel, accelerator, and brake pedals, but also new functions such as, for example, jumping, wheel- shaking, friction control or dithering, attitude change, modulation of suspension dynamics, etc. made possible by the novel rotary motor and by combinations of these motors in novel vehicles. The control functions may be implemented by, for example, a control computer within the controller 430. A control program may operate within this computer to implement the state equation (and its nonlinear, time-variable, and/or stochastic extensions) to convert the control function into electrical drive signals. The drive signals may be DC currents, pulse-width- modulated pulse trains, synthesized waveforms, multiphase AC, or other signals suitable for the impedance presented by the motor drive coils and connected mechanical load. Thus, the control computer may take account of the operator input, all vehicle dynamics, sensor feedback, and error indications, and calculate the required drive signals, in real-time. The controller 430 may take account of the phase of the drive coils and cams with regard to their angular position, i.e. , aligned, out of phase by 90 degrees, opposed 180 degrees, or otherwise arranged. Pulse-width modulated ("bang-bang") drive to the actuator coils, in which the supply voltage is switched on and off in rapid sequence to achieve the desired time-function response, has an important efficiency advantage over proportional control with linear amplifiers because of the lower losses in switched (on/off) power drivers compared to linear amplifiers, which are usually at best 50% efficient.

Pulse-width modulated waveforms may be synthesized by the control computer or its peripheral interface circuits.

Fig. 5 A illustrates a bearing support structure 165. A rotary bearing (not shown) that supports the cam plate and, thus, the wheel is mounted to a flange 585. The bearing support 165 and the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b with coils 1 15a, 1 15b are kept in vertical alignment using a plurality of shafts 130a-d. If the rotary device is employed in the wheel of a vehicle, the support structure 165 allows the magnetic stator assembly 120, mount 145, and chassis of the vehicle (not shown) to remain suspended above the ground without electrical power. In the absence of the support structure 165, the magnetic stator assembly 120, mount 145, and vehicle chassis may drop toward the ground when current is not applied to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b. Thus, both the support stnicture 165 and the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b can provide suspension for the vehicle, but the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b require electrical power to lift the magnetic stator assembly 120, mount 145, and vehicle chassis off the ground. The support stnicture 165, on the other hand, may use fluid dampers (not shown) for suspension.

The support stiiicture 165 also enables the use of multiple flexures in series for delivering electricity to the coils. For example, one set of flexures may inn between the mount 145 and the support stnicture 165, and another set of flexures may inn between the support stnicture 165 and the coils 1 15a, 1 15b. Use of multiple flexures is advantageous when the bearing support 165 moves in a vertical direction. During such vertical movement of the bearing support 165 and reciprocation of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b, one set of flexures may flex with respect to the vertical movement of the bearing support 165, and the other set of flexures may flex with respect to the reciprocation of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b. If only one set of flexures were used (e.g., connected directly between the mount 145 and the coils 1 15a, 1 15b), more flex would be required upon vertical movement of the bearing support 165 and reciprocation of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b, possibly leading to increased stress and wear on the flexures.

Fig. 5B illustrates the magnetic stator assembly 120, mount 145, and vehicle chassis as being raised with respect to the other components of the rotary device. This is accomplished either by adding an electrical component to the coils 1 15a, 1 15b to cause both coils to move in the same direction (e.g., in this case down relative to the stator assembly and chassis) or by using the fluid dampers (not shown) of the support stnicture 165, as described below. The vertical movement of the coils 1 15a, 1 15b may occur concurrently with, or apart from, opposed coil reciprocation. The effect that the vertical movement has on a vehicle, for example, is to raise or lower the vehicle ' s ride height or to act as a shock absorber (e.g., going over bumps). To raise a vehicle ' s ride height, either the fluid dampers or the coils 1 15a, 1 15b may be used to raise, and keep raised, the chassis of the vehicle with respect to the wheels. To act as a shock absorber, either the fluid dampers or the coils 1 15a, 1 15b may react to a bump in the road by allowing the wheels to quickly rise with respect to the chassis of the vehicle and then return to their normal position. In addition, all four wheels of a vehicle may be thiiist rapidly downwards with respect to the chassis of the vehicle to cause the vehicle to jump off of the ground. Thus, the rotary device may exhibit at least two degrees of movement: rotational movement with opposed reciprocation of the coils and linear movement with movement of the coils in a common direction. These degrees of movement may be performed either separately or together.

Fig. 5C shows a horizontal cross-section through the device showing the support stnicture 165 as surrounding, but not coupled to, the mount 145. Also shown are a plurality of shafts 130a-d coupled to the support stnicture to maintain alignment among the components of the rotary device. A plurality of fluid dampers 175a-d, described below, are also shown.

Fig. 5D illustrates the side of an example rotary device including one pair of flexures 505a, 505b ninning between components 545a, 545b of the mount 145 and the support stnicture 165, and another pair of flexures 510a, 510b ninning between the support stnicture 165 and the electromagnetic actuators 1 10a, 1 10b. Fig. 6A illustrates a rotaiy bearing 150 used to couple the bearing support structure 165 with one of the cams 105. An inner race 650a is coupled to the bearing support 165 and an outer race 650b couples a wheel structure (not shown), such as a cam plate and, thus, to the cam 105 and outer wheel rim. The wheel structure may be a plate, a plurality of spokes, a lattice, or other appropriate structure as known in the art. The rotaiy bearing 150 is not coupled directly to the mount 145, but rather, in the example device, through a fluid damper. Another rotaiy bearing (not shown) may be used to couple the support structure 165 with the other cam 105 on the other side of the rotaiy device. Because the rotaiy bearing 150 rotably couples the bearing support structure 165 with an outer wheel rim, the support structure 165 and wheel have the same vertical position with respect to each other. Because of its constant vertical position with respect to the wheel, the shafts 130a-d may be fixed to the support structure 165, thereby preventing the shafts from coming into contact with the wheel.

Fig. 6B illustrates a wheel structure 605 coupling a cam 105 of an example rotaiy device with a wheel rim 140 of a vehicle. As illustrated, the cam 105 is fixed to the wheel structure 605, and the wheel structure 605 is fixed (e.g., using bolts) to the wheel 104 rim. Rotation of the cam 105, thus, causes rotation of the wheel structure 605 and the wheel 104.

Fig. 7 shows a horizontal cross-section of an example rotaiy device. The cross-section is cut through one of the electromagnetic actuators 155. Inside the electromagnetic actuator 155 is shown a coil 1 15a and the components of the magnetic stator assembly 120. According to the illustrated device, the magnetic stator assembly 120 includes an inner magnetic stator component 125a, including a plurality of magnets, and an outer magnetic stator component 325a, also including a plurality of magnets. The magnetic stator assembly 120 also includes an inner magnetic flux return path 725a for the inner magnetic stator component 125a and includes an outer magnetic flux return path 735a for the outer magnetic stator component 325a. As described above, the inner magnetic stator component 125a and inner magnetic flux return path 725a are located inside of the coil 1 15a, and the outer magnetic stator component 325a and outer magnetic flux return path 735a are located outside of the coil 1 15a. Also shown in the cross-section is the housing of the electromagnetic actuator 155, which surrounds the coil 1 15a and magnetic stator assembly 120 and slides along the long axis of the magnetic stator assembly 120 by sliding along a plurality of shafts 130a-d. The housing of the electromagnetic actuator 155 may hold the coil 1 15a using, for example, four bolts that run through the comers of the rectangular-shaped coil 1 15a.

Fig. 8 shows another cross-section of the example rotary device, but from a top-down view. As in Fig. 7, the cross section shows a coil 1 15a, inner magnetic stator component 125a, outer magnetic stator component 325a, inner magnetic flux return path 725a, outer magnetic flux return path 735a, electromagnetic actuator housing 155a, and shafts 130a-d. The inner magnetic stator component 125a and inner magnetic flux return path 725a are mounted to an inner structure 820 of an example magnetic stator assembly. As can be seen, a bolt may be inserted through bolt holes 815 at the corners of the coil 1 15a to fix the coil 1 15a to the housing 155a.

Fig. 9 illustrates an inner structure 820 of an example magnetic stator assembly. A mount 145 (Fig. 4A) may be attached at point 910 to, for example, couple the stiiicture 820 to the chassis of a vehicle. Channels 905a-d may be used to transport a cooling fluid within the magnetic stator assembly to spray on the coils through the magnets.

Fig. 10 shows a cross-section of the example rotary device. The cross- section is cut through the middle of the device and shows the inner structure 820 of the magnetic stator assembly, mount 145, inner magnetic flux return path 725a, and outer magnetic flux return path 735a. The cross-section also shows a channel 1005 used to access the inner part of the magnetic stator assembly for running wires or cooling fluid, for example.

Fig. 1 1 shows another cross-section of a rotary device as in Fig. 10, but at a point slight higher than the cross-section of Fig. 10. In addition to the channel 1005 for limning wires or cooling lines, the cross-section shows channels 1 105a-d for inserting fasteners, such as screws.

Fig. 12A shows a vertical cross-section of the example rotary device. The cross-section shows how the support stiiicture illustrated in Figs. 5A and 5B may be slidably coupled to the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 using additional shafts 1230a, 1230b and fluid dampers 175a, 175b. As illustrated in Fig. 12A, the support structure 165 may be coupled to the lower rod of a fluid damper 175a.

Specifically, a connecting arm 1215a pinned at point 1225a to the lower end of the rod 1220a is joined to the support at point 1205. An upper rod of the fluid damper 175a may be connected to the mount 145 of the device, which may be part of a vehicle ' s chassis. The mount 145 joins suspension arm 1240a at point 1210. The shaft 1230a, fixed to the support 165, slides through the suspension ami 1240a at opposite ends. The upper rod of the damper 175a is pinned to the suspension arm 1240a at point 1235a.

The fluid dampers 175a, 175b may be a pneumatic suspension, such as a piston with opposing gas chambers. The pressure of the gas in each chamber above and below the piston may also be dynamically adjusted to either change the position of the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 (e.g., move up or down) or to change the stiffness of the dampers 175a, 175b. To change the position of the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145, pressure in the gas chambers may be adjusted so that the chambers have different pressures. For example, if the fluid dampers 175a, 175b each include a top and bottom chamber, more pressure would be applied to the top chamber to move the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 in the upward direction, and more pressure would be applied to the bottom chamber to move the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 in the downward direction. To change the stiffness of the dampers 175a, 175b, equal pressure may be added to or removed from the top and bottom chambers. If the rotary device is used in the wheel of a vehicle, changing the position of the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 can change the ride height of the vehicle, and changing the stiffness of the dampers 175a, 175b can change the stiffness of the vehicle ' s suspension.

The cross-section of Fig. 12A also shows the inside of the magnetic stator assembly. An example arrangement of the coil 1 15b of an electromagnetic actuator, inside magnetic stator component 125b, and outside magnetic stator component 325b can be seen through the cross-section. Also visible is the magnetic flux return path 735b for the outside magnetic stator component 325b.

Figs. 12B- 12D illustrate an example tunable pneumatic suspension. Fig.

12B shows that the suspension 175a includes a piston 1276 and opposed chambers 1277a, 1277b applying respective opposed pneumatic pressures to opposite faces 1278a, 1278b of the piston 1276. The example suspension 175a includes a top chamber 1277a and a bottom chamber 1277b. Also shown is a pneumatic controller 1279 that independently controls the pneumatic pressures in the chambers 1277a, 1277b.

The pressures of the chambers 1277a, 1277b may be adjusted to change the relative positions of the piston 1276 and the chambers 1277a, 1277b by differing the pressures. For example, as shown in Fig. 12C, a higher pressure in the bottom chamber 1277b of the suspension 175a, as compared to the top chamber 1277a, exerts more force on the bottom face 1278b of the piston 1276, causing the piston 1276 and the bottom chamber 1277b to move away from each other. As shown in Fig. 12D, a higher pressure in the top chamber 1277a, as compared to the bottom chamber 1277b, exerts more force on the top face 1278a of the piston 1276, causing the piston 1276 and the top chamber 1277a to move to move away from each other. If the suspension 175a is part of a vehicle, this movement can change the ride height of the vehicle, the direction of the vehicle ' s movement depending on whether the chambers 1277a, 1277b or the piston 1276 are coupled to the chassis of the vehicle. Either the chambers 1277a, 1277b or the piston 1276 may be grounded, while the other is coupled to the chassis of the vehicle.

In addition to changing the position of the piston 1276, the pressures of the chambers 1277a, 1277b may be adjusted to change the stiffness of the suspension 175a by adding or removing equal pressures to or from the chambers 1277a, 1277b. Adding equal pressure to both chambers 1277a, 1277b increases the stiffness of the suspension 175a, and removing equal pressures from both chambers 1277a, 1277b decreases the stiffness of the suspension 175a. If the suspension 175a is part of a vehicle, changing the stiffness of the suspension 175a can change the stiffness of the vehicle ' s ride.

Fig. 13 A illustrates an example rotaiy device incorporating many of the above-described features. The rotaiy device includes, for example, a cam 105, two opposed electromagnetic actuators (including an example housing 155a and coil 1 15b), a magnetic stator assembly (including an example inner magnetic stator component 125b, outer magnetic stator component 325b, and outer magnetic flux return path 735b for the outer magnetic stator component 325b), mount 145, suspension arms 1240a, 1240b, followers 135a-d, support structure 165, rotary bearing 150, shafts 130a, 130b, 1230a, 1230b, and fluid dampers 175a, 175b.

Fig. 13B illustrates the rotary device of Figs. 13A, but where the fluid dampers 175a, 175b have been used to raise the magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 by, for example, applying more pressure to a top chamber within each of the fluid dampers 175a, 175b. As illustrated in Fig. 13B, the fluid dampers 175a, 175b, suspension arms 1240a, 1240b, magnetic stator assembly and the mount 145 are in a vertically higher position than illustrated in Fig. 13 A.

Figs. 14A- 14C illustrate the construction of an example coil from one of the electromagnetic actuators. Instead of being made from one continuous piece of material, the coil may include multiple flat coil segments stacked together and electrically coupled in series. Fig. 14A illustrates four coil segments that are combined into one coil 1400. The coil of a given electromagnetic actuator may include a number of such coils. Fig. 14B illustrates one of the coil segments 1401. Fig. 14C illustrates an exploded view 1405 of the coil of Fig. 14A. Each segment 1410a-d of the example coil may be a flat, U-shaped piece of metal formed by, for example, a stamping or etching process. The segments 1410a-d may be assembled in the configuration shown in Fig. 14C to form a full coil.

Fig. 14C shows four U-shaped coil segments 1410a-d that are stacked on top of each other, where each segment is rotated 270 degrees (or 90 degrees depending on the direction of rotation) with respect to the coil segment it follows in the stack of coil segments. In stacking the segments 1410a-d in rotated positions, the segments 1410a-d may be positioned so that a starting end 1425 of an upper coil segment 1410b in the stack interfaces a finishing end 1420 of an immediately lower coil segment 1410a in the stack. The coil including the four U-shaped coil segments

1410a-d, for example, loops around three times to finish at the same relative position (e.g., ends 1415 and 1450) that it started.

Electric current may flow through the coil, for example, from a starting end of a bottom-most coil segment in the stack to a finishing end of a top-most coil segment in the stack. In the example coil, when assembled, electrical current 1455 may flow through the coil, for example, from a starting point 1415 to an ending point 1450. The current 1415 may begin at point 1415 and flow counter-clockwise around segment 1410a to point 1420. At point 1420, the current continues to point 1425 as points 1420 and 1425 are in electrical contact with each other once assembled, as shown, for example, in Fig. 14A. From point 1425, the current 1415 flows counter-clockwise around segment 1410b to point 1430, where the current continues to point 1435 as described above. From point 1435, the current 1415 flows counter-clockwise around segment 1410c to point 1440, where the current continues to point 1445, and flows counter-clockwise around segment 141 Od to point 1450. If combined with other segments, the current may continue to flow from one segment to a subsequent segment in a longer coil. Overall, a method of manufacturing such an electric coil includes fabricating the multiple flat coil segments, stacking the multiple coil segments together where each coil segment is rotated with respect to the coil segment it follows, and fastening the coil segments together to form the electric coil.

To prevent the electrical current from straying from the above-described path, each segment may be coated with an electrically-insulating layer of material, except for the surfaces between which the current is meant to propagate, such as the top surface of point 1420 and the bottom surface of point 1425. Alternatively, instead of being coated, layers of electrically-insulating material may be inserted between the coil segments. When the coil segments 1410a-d are assembled in the form illustrated in Fig. 14A, fasteners, such as bolts, may be inserted through the openings shown at points 1415, 1420, 1425, 1430, 1435, 1440, 1445, and 1450. The segments 1410a-d may also be joined by soldering or brazing in addition to, or instead of, preloading the mechanical and electrical connections with fasteners. When the segments 1410a-d are assembled, there may remain gaps between some of the above points. To allow the fasteners to tightly secure the coil segments 1410a-d together, electrically-insulating spacers may be inserted between the points to fill the gaps. For example, when the segments 1410a-d are assembled, a gap may remain between points 1415 and 1450, and one or more spacers may be inserted between points 1415 and 1450 to fill the gap. On the other hand, no gap should exist between points 1420 and 1425. The fasteners may also be insulated using, for example, heat shrink tubing. The coil segments 1410a-d may be mechanically and electrically joined together using bolts that pass through openings included in the segments 1410a-d, where the openings are positioned outside the coil path so that a continuous, helical, flat coil may be formed. Fabricating coil segments at a constant thickness may be simple and inexpensive, but, at a constant thickness, the coil segment connections may occur outside the coil path so that intermediate segments do not overlap with the connection points. The shape of the connection points 1415, 1420, 1425, 1430, 1435, 1440, 1445, 1450 may be chosen so that there is adequate contact area for a good mechanical connection that produces an acceptable contact resistance between the segments. The coil segments may be electroplated, with gold or nickel for example, to further reduce the contact resistance.

The connection points 1415, 1420, 1425, 1430, 1435, 1440, 1445, 1450 may be raised or lowered so that the coil path continues in a smooth manner, without any sudden ledges or stress points, and with the connection centered at the level of connection. For example, for the connection between segments 1410a and 1410b, point 1420 may be lowered and point 1425 may be raised, as illustrated in Fig. 14C. The amount that the points are raised or lowered by may be one-half of the thickness of the segments 1410a-d. The overall helical path may be set by slight inclines, or a continuous incline, included in supporting structures immediately above and below the coil. The supporting stnictures may be clamped-down on the coil when the bolts are tightened, and can also include starting levels for the four bolts so that the coil may be formed with smooth transitions and minimal deformation in the segments 1410a-d when the bolts are tightened. A similar approach is possible where three bolts are used and segments repeat more frequently, possibly forming a triangular shaped coil. Use of a greater number of bolts is also possible. The segments may also be fabricated so that a circular path is formed, rather than a rectangular one.

Instead of including raised and lowered sections in the coil segments 1410a- d, the connection points 1415, 1420, 1425, 1430, 1435, 1440, 1445, 1450 may be of half-thickness, where two segments join together to yield the coil path thickness, and the path would continue smoothly. This type of connection may overlap with intermediate segments to a larger degree. Additionally, in some devices, added stress and deformation caused by not raising and lowering the connection points 1415, 1420, 1425, 1430, 1435, 1440, 1445, 1450 in the segments 1410a-d may be acceptable, and the tensioning in the bolts may be used to give the segments 1410a-d their final shape.

Fig. 15 illustrates another example rotary device 1500 inside a wheel. As with the devices described above, the device 1500 may be attached to the chassis of a vehicle. The device 1500 includes a cam 1505, two opposed electromagnetic actuators 1510a, 1510b, a magnetic stator assembly 1520 (including magnetic stators 1515a, 1515b), a support structure 1525, and fluid dampers 1530a, 1530b. The rotary device depicted inside the wheel may be attached to the wheel via the cam 1505 as described below.

Fig. 16A illustrates the example rotary device 1500 with the tire of the wheel, and some other components, removed. The device 1500 is similar to the devices described above, but includes a central disc 1635 sandwiched between to pairs of electromagnetic actuators 1510a, 1510b, 1610a, 1610b and two magnetic stator assemblies 1520, 1620. Each of the magnetic stator assemblies 1520, 1620 includes two magnetic stators 1515a, 1515b, 1615a, 1615b, which include magnetic flux return paths 1640a-d and magnets (e.g. , 1630a, 1630b). The housings surrounding the coils of the electromagnetic actuators 1510a, 1510b, 1610a, 1610b are not shown. Each coil reciprocates along four arrays of magnets, which, as described above, may include multiple magnets. Two of the magnet arrays are located inside the coil (e.g., inner magnetic stator component 1630b) and two are located outside the coil (e.g., outer magnetic stator component 1630a). Each set of magnets are mounted to a magnetic flux return path 1640a-d.

The disc 1635 includes two cams, one on either side of the disc 1635. Each cam of the example device is in the form of a groove that includes an inner surface 1605a and an outer surface 1605b. Coupled to electromagnetic actuators 1510a and 1510b are two pairs of followers 1625a, 1625b, the different followers of each pair interfacing with a respective surface 1605a, 1605b of the cam. Electromagnetic actuators 1610a and 1610b are similarly coupled to followers. As the coils move towards each other, one of the followers of each electromagnetic actuator 1510a, 1510b exerts force on the inner surface 1605a of the cam. As the coils move away from each other, the other follower exerts force on the outer surface 1605b of the cam.

Fig. 16B illustrates a different view of the example rotary device 1500. It should be apparent that each pair of electromagnetic actuators (pair 1510a, 1510b and pair 1610a, 1610b) are at different phases of reciprocation. This is because, in the example device, the cams on either side of the disc 1635 are rotationally offset from each other by, for example, forty-five degrees. This helps to prevent the actuators from stopping at a point on the cams from which it would be difficult to again start. Thus, if one pair of actuators stops on a "dead-spot" of its respective cam, the other pair of actuators would not be at a dead-spot. Alternatively, if the cams were not offset from each other, or if only one cam were used, a controller may control the rotation of the cam so that the actuators do not stop on a dead spot. Fig. 16B also illustrates an arrangement of the coils and magnetic stator

components. For example, magnetic stators components 1630b and 1630c are located inside the coil of actuator 1610a, and magnetic stators components 1630a and 1630d are located outside the coil.

Fig. 16C illustrates two rotationally offset cams 1505, 1606. The cams 1505, 1606 may be part of or mounted on a disc 1635. One cam 1505 may be on one side of the disc 1635, and the other cam 1606 may be on the opposite side, as indicated by the dashed line. In some devices the cam may be offset by forty-five degrees, for example. The cams 1505, 1606 may have any even number of lobes. Cams having two lobes, for example, may be offset by forty-five degrees. Cams having four lobes, for example, may be offset by twenty-two and a half degrees.

Fig. 16D illustrates a vertical cross-section of a disc 1635 with two rotationally offset cams, each having in inner surface 1605a, 1605c and an outer surface 1605b, 1605d. Due to the offset, the inner surfaces 1605a, 1605c are not in line with each other. Likewise, the outer surfaces 1605b, 1605d are also not in line with each other.

Fig. 16E illustrates that the inner and outer surfaces 1605a, 1605b of a cam may be shaped in a complex pattern, such as, for example, a shape having an even number of lobes. As noted above, the sides of each lobe may be shaped in the form of a sine wave or portions of an Archimedes spiral, for example. The inner and outer surfaces 1605a, 1605b illustrated in Fig. 16E each have four lobes.

Fig. 17A illustrates how the disc 1635 of the example rotary device may be coupled to the rim 1705 of a wheel. The rim 1705 may consist of one piece to which the disc 1635 may be affixed using fasteners, such as bolts, along an inner ring 1715. Alternatively, the rim 1705 may include two parts 1710a, 1710b that bolt together along ring 1715. When fastened together, the two parts 1710a, 1710b form a full rim 1705 with inner ring 1715. A tire may then be mounted to the rim 1705. Fig. 17B shows how the disc 1635 may be fastened to the inner ring 1715 of the disc 1635.

Fig. 18 illustrates two support structures 1525, 1825 coupling respective magnetic stator assemblies 1520, 1620 with electromagnetic actuators 1510a, 1510b, 1610a, 1610b through a plurality of shafts and fluid dampers 1530a, 1530b, 1830a. Support stnicture 1525 is slidably coupled to magnetic stator assembly 1520 using fluid dampers 1530a, 1530b. Fluid damper 1530a may be coupled to the support stnicture 1525, for example, at point 1810 and coupled to magnetic stator assembly 1820a at point 1805. Likewise, support stnicture 1825 is slidably coupled to magnetic stator assembly 1620 using fluid damper 1830a and a corresponding fluid damper (now shown) on the far side of the device.

Figs. 19A- 19C illustrate an example arrangement of the components of a magnetic stator assembly. Referring to Fig. 19A, magnet array 1910a is an outer magnet array and magnet array 1910b is an inner magnet array. The overall magnetic flux return path 1640a supports the magnet arrays. The particular geometric shape of the example return path 1640a allows the return path 1640a to be formed using a cost-effective extinsion process. Specifically, four flux paths may be joined together at a center junction and two end junctions, and many such stiiictures may be cut from a single extinsion. Also illustrated is a base stnicture 1920a on which the magnetic stator components may be mounted.

Fig. 19B illustrates a component 1905 used to deliver liquid coolant to the magnets, which may be sprayed onto the coils as they pass by the magnets. Liquid coolant may be transported from the base stnicture 1920a to the magnet arrays 1910a, 1910b through a component 1905 that is fastened along the edge of the return path 1640a. The liquid may flow through an opening 1915 in the base structure 1920a, through a channel 1917 of the component 1905, and into a chamber 1925 located in a gap formed by parts of the return path 1640a. From inside the chamber 1925, the liquid coolant may be directed through openings (e.g., holes) in the magnet arrays 1910a, 1910b and sprayed onto the coils as they reciprocate by the openings.

Fig. 19C illustrates four magnetic stators that are coupled to a central mount 1945. If the rotary device is employed in the wheel of a vehicle, for example, the mount 1945 may be coupled to the chassis of the vehicle.

Figs. 20A-20G illustrate the construction of an example coil from one of the electromagnetic actuators. Fig. 20A shows an entire coil 2000 from an

electromagnetic actuator. It should noted that the coil 2000 may consist of many smaller coils. Fig. 20B illustrates four coil segments that are combined into one coil 2005. A number of such segments may be combined to form the larger coil 2000 of Fig. 20A. Fig. 20C is an exploded view 2010 of the coil 2005 of Fig. 20B. Each segment 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030 of the example coil may be a flat piece of metal formed by, for example, a stamping or etching process. The segments 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030 may be assembled in the configuration shown in Fig. 20C to form a full coil. When assembled, electrical current 2075 may flow through the coil, for example, from starting point 2035 to ending point 2070. For example, the current 2075 may begin at point 2035 and flow counter-clockwise around segment 2015 to point 2040. At point 2040, the current continues to point 2045 as points 2040 and 2045 are in electrical contact with each other when the segments are combined. From point 2045, the current 2075 flows counter-clockwise around segment 2020 to point 2050, where the current continues to point 2055 as described above. From point 2055, the current 2075 flows counter-clockwise around segment 2025 to point 2060, where the current continues to point 2065, and flows counter-clockwise around segment 2030 to point 2070.

As described above, to prevent the electrical current from straying from the above-described path, each segment may be coated with an electrically-insulating layer of material, except for the surfaces between which the current is meant to propagate, such as the top surface of point 2040 and the bottom surface of point 2045. When the coil segments are assembled in the form illustrated in Fig. 20B, fasteners, such as bolts, may be inserted through the openings of the segments. When the segments are assembled, there may remain gaps between some of the above points. To allow the fasteners to tightly secure the segments together, electrically-insulating spacers may be inserted between the points to fill the gaps.

Fig. 20D shows one coil segment 2015. Fig. 20E shows a second coil segment 2020 stacked on top of segment 2015. Fig. 20E shows a third coil segment 2025 stacked on top of segments 2015 and 2020, and Fig. 20G shows a fourth coil segment 2030 stacked on top of segments 2015, 2020, and 2025, resulting in a full coil as illustrated in Fig. 20B.

Fig. 21 A illustrates a side view of two rotary devices with respective wheels

2105a, 2105b. Fig. 2 I B illustrates a top view of the same two devices and wheels 2105a, 2105b. The two devices are used in tandem and may be used in vehicular applications. For example, a vehicle may include four pairs of devices, one pair at each corner of the vehicle. Each device includes a magnetic stator assembly, opposed coils, and linear-to-rotary converter (hidden from view). The devices are coupled to respective wheels 2105a, 2105b and are held together with a central mounting stiiicture 145. The mounting stmcture 145 may include, or be coupled to, a vertical shaft 21 10 for coupling to the chassis of a vehicle. The shaft 21 10 may allow rotation of the two wheels 2105a, 2105b relative to the chassis of the vehicle and about the shaft 21 10.

Figs. 22A-22C illustrate example rotations of the wheels 2105a, 2105b. Fig. 22A shows that the rotary devices may create propulsion for the vehicle by causing both wheels 2105a, 2105b to rotate in the same direction. Fig. 22B shows that the rotary devices may cause the two wheels to turn with respect to the vehicle by rotating the wheels 2105a, 2105b at differential rates. The difference in wheel rotation rates creates propulsion for the vehicle and causes the vehicle to move along a curved path. Fig. 22C shows that the rotary devices may cause the two wheels to turn with respect to the vehicle by rotating the wheels 2105a, 2105b in opposite directions when the vehicle is not in motion.

Figs. 23A and 23B illustrate example vertical movement of the wheels

2105a, 2105b. Fig. 23 A shows that one of the devices may cause its respective wheel 2105b move in a vertical direction off of the ground. The wheel 2105b may also be rapidly shaken in the vertical direction to remove liquid from the surface of the wheel 1205b. Additionally, both wheels 2105a, 2105b may move up or down together to lower or raise the ride height of the vehicle. The two wheels 2105a, 2105b may even be thrust downward with sufficient force to cause the vehicle to jump. Fig. 23B shows that the shaft 21 10 may be coupled to the chassis of the vehicle so as to allow for angular movement of the shaft 21 10 relative to the chassis by, for example, using a pivot 2305 or similar component to couple the shaft 21 10 with the chassis. In this configuration, different vertical movements of the two wheels 2105a, 2105b causes the wheels 2105a, 2105b to tilt, or camber. For example, one wheel 2105a may move downward and the other wheel 2105b may move upward, causing the wheels 2105a, 2105b, as well as the mount 145 and shaft 21 10 to tilt. Alternatively, a pivot, or similar component, may be used to couple the shaft 21 10 with the mount 145, causing the wheels 2105a, 2105b and the mount 145 to tilt, but not the shaft 21 10.

Figs. 24A-24F illustrate a top view of a vehicle 2405 having four pairs of rotary devices with respective pairs of wheels 2410a-d. Fig. 24A shows the vehicle 2405 with four pairs of rotary devices and respective wheels 2410a-d, one pair at each corner of the vehicle 2405. The vehicle may also be configured with different wheel arrangements, such as two pairs of rotary devices and respective wheels at the front corners of the vehicle. In such an arrangement, the wheels at the rear comers of the vehicle may be conventional vehicle wheels. As shown in Fig. 24A, all of the wheel pairs 2410a-d may be oriented in the forward direction to provide forward propulsion for the vehicle. Fig. 24B shows that the two front pairs of wheels 2410a, 2410b may be turned to the right, for example, to cause the moving vehicle 2405 to turn to the right. Fig. 24C shows that the rear pairs of wheels 2410c, 2410d may be turned in a complementaiy direction, for example, to the left, to improve the turning radius of the vehicle 2405. Fig. 24D shows that each of the wheel pairs 2410a-d may be oriented in a direction that is tangential to a circular path to cause the vehicle 2405 to rotate about its center. Fig. 24E shows that each of the wheel pairs 2410a-d may be oriented in the same direction, other than the forward direction, to cause the vehicle 2405 to move, for example, diagonally or sideways. Fig. 24F shows that each of the wheel pairs 2410a-d may be pointed toward, or away from, the center of the vehicle to prevent any movement of the vehicle, obviating the need for a parking brake. The independent movements of each wheel may be controlled by a respective electrical unit 410 (Fig. 4B) and all movements may be coordinated by a central controller 430 (Fig. 4B ) in communication with the electrical units.

While this invention has been particularly shown and described with references to example embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention encompassed by the appended claims. For example, in addition to being used in a motor vehicle, the disclosed devices may also be used in trains, planes, robots, and force-reflecting human interfaces.