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Title:
ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTUATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/162561
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention provides a magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) including at least two magnets. One magnet is a semi hard magnet (310) and the other magnet is a hard 5 magnet (320). The hard magnet (320) is configured to open or close the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002). The semi hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet (320) are placed adjacent to each other. A change in magnetization polarization of the semi hard magnet (310) is configured to push or pull the hard magnet (320) to open or close a digital lock realised with the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002. The magnetic 10 actuator of the invention can also be used to realise a valve. (Figure 4)

Inventors:
PUKARI, Mika (Koskitie 12 C 37, Oulu, 90500, FI)
Application Number:
FI2019/050079
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 04, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AXTUATOR OY (KOSKITIE 12 C 37, Oulu, 90500, FI)
International Classes:
E05B47/00; E05B17/00; E05B47/02; E05B47/06; F16K21/00; F16K31/06; F16K31/08; G07C9/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUINNO OY (PO Box 346, Helsinki, 00131, FI)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) comprising at least two magnets, characterized in that, one magnet is a semi -hard magnet (310) and other magnet is a hard magnet (320) and the hard magnet (320) is configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002).

2. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the semi-hard magnet (310) is inside a magnetization coil (250), and has a coercivity less than a coercivity of the hard magnet (320), optionally at least 5 times less than the coercivity of the hard magnet (320).

3. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the semi-hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet (320) are configured adjacent to each other, and a change in magnetization polarization of the semi-hard magnet (310) is configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet (320) to move the hard magnet between an open position (400) or a close position (300). 4. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, rest state of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is closed , and the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is configured to return to the close position (300).

5. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, rest state of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is open, and the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is configured to return to an open position (400).

6. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is a self-powered actuator powered by any of the following: Near Field Communication (NFC), solar panel, user’s muscle power, power supply and/or battery.

7. A magnetic actuator (100) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, magnetic actuator body comprises a first axle (120), a second axle (130) and a user interface (140) connected to the first axle (120), and the semi-hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet (320) are inside the first axle (120).

8. A magnetic actuator () as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator () comprises a position sensor (240), configured to position a notch (330) of the second axle (130) in place for the hard magnet (320) to enter the notch (330).

9. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator electronics is connected to an identification device (210) via a communication bus (220), and the identification device (210) is configured to identify a user by any of the following: electronic key, electronic tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, NFC phone, and a 3D camera and/or scanner configured to authenticate the user by scanning or capturing the user’s face.

10. A magnetic actuator (l00)as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, in a close position (300), the hard magnet (320) is configured to be inside a first axle

(120), and a second axle (130) does not rotate, and the user interface (150) rotates.

11. A magnetic actuator (100) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, in an open position (400), the hard magnet (320) is protruded into a notch (330) of a second axle (130).

12. A magnetic actuator (100) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator (100) features at least one blocking pin (500) that is configured to protrude into a notch (520) of an actuator body (110) in the event of any of the following: external magnetic field is applied, external hit or impulse is applied, and/or a first axle (120) is turned too fast, to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator (100).

13. A magnetic actuator (100) as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that, the blocking pins (500) may protrude into the actuator body (110) from different angles.

14. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the semi -hard magnet (310) is made of Alnico and the hard magnet (320) is made of samarium-cobalt (SmCo).

15. A magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is powered by mechanical movement of a lever (810) or a knob (840), or powered by electronic digital key insertion. 16. A software program product (1100) configured to control operation of a magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) comprising at least two magnets, characterized in that,

one magnet is a semi-hard magnet (310); other magnet is a hard magnet (320); and - a processing module (1200) configured to operate the magnetic actuator (100,

1001, 1002), the processing module comprising: an input module (1210) configured to receive an input from a user interface; an authentication module (1220) configured to authenticate the input received by the user interface (140); a database (1230) to store identification information of one or more users; and an output module (1240) configured to control a power source to power a magnetization coil (250) to change magnetization polarization of the semi hard magnet (310) in response to successful identification of a user, and configured to control the hard magnet (320) to induce mechanical movement thereinlOO, 1001, 1002.

17. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the semi-hard magnet (310) is inside the magnetization coil (250), and wherein the magnetization coil (250) is controlled by the output module (1240) for magnetization of the semi-hard magnet (310), which has a coercivity less than a coercivity of the hard magnet (320), optionally at least 5 times less than the coercivity of the hard magnet (320).

18. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the semi-hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet () are configured adjacent to each other, and wherein the output module (1240) is configured to change the magnetization polarization of the semi-hard magnet (310) to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet (320) to move the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) between an open position (400) or a close position (300).

19. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, rest state of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is closed, and wherein the output module (1240) configures the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) to return to a close position (300).

20. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, rest state of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is open, and wherein the output module (1240) configures the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) to return to an open position (400).

21. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is a self-powered actuator powered by any of the following: Near Field Communication (NFC), solar panel, user’s muscle power, power supply and/or battery.

22. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, a magnetic actuator body comprises a first axle (120), a second axle (130) and a user interface (140) connected to the first axle (120), and the semi-hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet (320) are inside the first axle (120).

23. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator () comprises a position sensor (240), configured to position a notch (330) of a second axle (130) in place for the hard magnet (320) to enter the notch (330).

24. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator electronics is connected to an identification device (210) via a communication bus (220), and the identification device (210) is configured to identify a user by any of the following: electronic key, electronic key tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, NFC phone, and a 3D camera and/or scanner configured to authenticate the user by scanning or capturing the user’s face.

25. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, in a close position (300), the hard magnet (320) is configured to be inside a first axle (120), and a second axle (130) does not rotate, and a user interface (150) rotates.

26. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, in an open position (400), the hard magnet (320) is protruded into a notch (330) of a second axle (130).

27. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator (100) features at least one blocking pin (500) that is configured to protrude into a notch (520) of actuator body (110) in the event of any of the following: external magnetic field is applied, external hit or impulse is applied, and/or a first axle is turned too fast, to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator (100).

28. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is powered by mechanical movement of a lever (810) or a knob (840), or powered by electronic digital key insertion.

29. A software program product (1100) as claimed in claim 16, characterized in that, instructions to provide notification of a close position (300) and/or an open position (400) of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002).

30. A method for controlling a magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002), the method (900) comprising;

providing at least two magnets, characterized in that, one magnet is a semi- hard magnet (310) and other magnet is a hard magnet (320) and the hard magnet (320) induces mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002).

31. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring the semi- hard magnet (310) to be inside a magnetization coil (250), and the semi-hard magnet has a coercivity less than a coercivity of the hard magnet (320), optionally at least 5 times less than the coercivity of the hard magnet (320).

32. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring the semi- hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet to be adjacent to each other, and configuring a change in magnetization polarization of the semi-hard magnet (310) to push or pull the hard magnet (320) to move the hard magnet between an open position (400) or a close position (300)100, 1001, 1002.

33. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) to return to a close position (300) when rest state of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is closed.

34. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) to return to an open position (400) when rest state of the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) is open. 35. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring the magnetic actuator (100, 1001, 1002) to be a self-powered actuator powered by any of the following: Near Field Communication (NFC), mechanical movement, solar panel, power supply and/or battery. 36. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, further comprising a first axle (120), a second axle (130) and a user interface (140) connected to the first axle (120), and the semi-hard magnet (310) and the hard magnet (320) are inside the first axle (120). 37. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, further comprising a position sensor (240) that positions a notch (330) of a second axle (130) in place for the hard magnet (320) to enter the notch (330).

38. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, connecting the magnetic actuator electronics to an identification device (210) via a communication bus (220), and the identification device (210) identifies the user by any of the following: electronic key, electronic key tag, electronic tag fingerprint, magnetic stripe, NFC phone, and a 3D camera and/or scanner to authenticate the user by scanning or capturing the user’ s face.

39. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring the hard magnet (320) to be inside a first axle (120) to cause a close position of the magnetic actuator (), and a second axle (130) does not rotate, and a user interface (150) rotates.

40. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, protruding the hard magnet (320) into a notch (330) of a second axle (130) to cause an open position of the magnetic actuator ().

41. A method as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, configuring at least one blocking pin (500) of the magnetic actuator () to protrude into a notch of actuator body (110) in the event of any of the following: external magnetic field is applied, external hit or impulse is applied, and/or a first axle is turned too fast, to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator (100).

42. A magnetic actuator (100) for a flow control valve (2700) as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that, the hard magnet (320) is attached to a plunger (2700) that is configured to move between a close position (300) or an open position (400) within the flow control valve (2700) to restrict or allow flow of fluid through a conduit (2730), the hard magnet is configured to be repelled by the semi-hard magnet (310) by changing magnetization polarization of the semi-hard magnet (310) to move the plunger (2720) to the open position (400) , and the hard magnet is attracted to the semi-hard magnet by changing the magnetization polarization of the semi -hard magnet (310) to move the plunger to the close position or vice versa.

43. A software program product as claimed in claim 16 configured to control a magnetic actuator (100) for a flow control valve (2700), characterized in that, the hard magnet (320) is attached to a plunger (2720) that is configured to move between a close position (300) or an open position (400) within the flow control valve (2700) to restrict or allow flow of fluid through a conduit (2730), the hard magnet (320) is configured to be repelled by the semi-hard magnet (310) by changing magnetization polarization of the semi-hard magnet (310) to move the plunger (2720) to the open position (400), and the hard magnet (320) is configured to be attracted to the semi- hard magnet (310) by changing the magnetization polarization of the semi -hard magnet (310) to move the plunger (2720) to the close position (300) or vice versa. 44. A method for controlling flow of fluid using a flow control valve (2700) as claimed in claim 30, characterized in that, the hard magnet (320) is attached to a plunger (2720) that moves between a close position (300) or an open position (400) within the flow control valve (2700) to restrict or allow flow of fluid through a conduit (2730), the hard magnet (320) is repelled by the semi hard magnet (310) by changing magnetization polarization of the semi-hard magnet (310) to move the plunger (2720) to the open position (400), and the hard magnet (320) is attracted to the semi-hard magnet (320) by changing the magnetization polarization of the semi- hard magnet (310) to move the plunger (2720) to the close position (300) or vice versa.

Description:
ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTUATOR

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention generally relates to actuators, and more particularly to electromagnetic actuators for applications like digital lock and/or fluid control valves.

BACKGROUND

Electromagnetic actuators are actuating devices operated using magnetic field forces or electric current. Magnetic actuators are sometimes stand-alone with an electronic control assembly mounted directly to the actuator. Further, the magnetic actuators use magnets, solenoids, or motors to actuate the actuator by either supplying or removing power. The magnetic actuators are configured to operate between a close position and an open position.

A solenoid valve may be used to actuate the magnetic actuator by either supplying or removing power. The solenoid valve is an integrated device containing an electromechanical solenoid which actuates either a pneumatic or hydraulic valve, or a solenoid switch, which is a specific type of relay that internally uses an electromechanical solenoid to operate an electrical switch. To maintain a certain open or close state, the solenoid valve will need to have electricity for its electromagnet, as not all states can be configured as rest states. The magnetised state, i.e. the state in which the electromagnet of the solenoid will be generating a magnetic field by consuming current will always cause energy consumption, as this state cannot be a rest state

Prior art solenoids are burdened by the continuous consumption of electricity required by the electromagnet of the solenoid to maintain an electrically magnetised state. An electromechanical lock utilizing magnetic field forces is disclosed in EP 3118977A1. This document is cited here as reference.

A reduced power consumption electromagnetic lock is disclosed in US 20170226784A1. This document is also cited here as reference.

A pulse controlled microfluidic actuators with ultra-low energy consumption is disclosed in Sensors and Actuators A 263 (2017) 8-22. This document is also cited here as reference.

A switchable gas and liquid release and delivery actuator is disclosed in US 20180154034A1. This document is also cited here as reference.

An information recording/reproducing device having an actuator is disclosed in JP 2009187632A. This document is also cited here as reference.

However, the prior art actuators are deficient in having many unnecessary parts and consuming a lot of energy. “Electromagnetic actuator” and“magnetic actuator” are used interchangeably in this application.

SUMMARY

It is an object of the invention to address and improve the aforementioned deficiency in the above discussed prior art (s).

It is an object of the invention to reduce energy consumption of an actuator when in a close position, and when in an open position. This is achieved by the actuator having two magnets that change states with a current pulse. In the electromagnetic actuator of the invention, the polarity between the semi-hard magnet and the hard magnet is changed causing a move to a new position with a current pulse energising the semi- hard magnet, and repelling or attracting the hard magnet. In the invention only the change of state consumes energy, the maintenance of a state does not consume electricity.

It is an object of the invention to control operation of a magnetic actuator using magnets. The magnetic actuator includes at least two magnets. The magnets are responsible for actuating the magnetic actuator. The magnetic actuator is a self- powered standalone actuator independent of grid electricity powered by any of the following: NFC (near field communication), solar panel, power supply and/or battery or it is powered by the user’s muscle (user-powered). In one aspect of the invention, the magnetic actuator includes a semi hard magnet inside a magnetization coil and a hard magnet configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator. The semi hard magnet and the hard magnet are placed adjacent to each other. The semi hard magnet has a coercivity less than a coercivity of the hard magnet, optionally at least 5 times less than the coercivity of the hard magnet. A change in magnetization polarization of the semi hard magnet is configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet to move the hard magnet between an open position or a close position .

In a further aspect of the invention, the magnetic actuator comprises a first axle, a second axle, and a user interface attached to an outer surface of an actuator body and connected to the first axle. The semi hard magnet and the hard magnet are inside the first axle. The magnetic actuator also comprises a position sensor configured to position a notch of the second axle in place for the hard magnet to enter the notch. In another aspect of the invention where the actuator is used as a lock, the magnetic actuator features at least one blocking pin configured to protrude into a notch of the actuator body. The blocking pins may protrude from the actuator body from all different angles.

In another aspect of the invention, when a rest state of the magnetic actuator is to be in the close position, the magnetic actuator is configured to return to the close position. Also, when a rest state of the magnetic actuator is to be in the open position, the magnetic actuator is configured to return to the open position. In the close position, the hard magnet is configured to be inside the first axle, and the second axle does not rotate, and the user interface rotates freely. In the open position, the hard magnet is protruded into the notch of the second axle.

A magnetic actuatorcomprising at least two magnets, characterized in that, one magnet is a semi-hard magnet and other magnet is a hard magnet and the hard magnet is configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator.

A software program product configured to control operation of a magnetic actuator comprising at least two magnets, characterised in that,

one magnet is a semi-hard magnet; other magnet is a hard magnet; and - a processing module configured to control operation of the magnetic actuator, the processing module comprising: an input module configured to receive an input from a user interface; an authentication module configured to authenticate the input received by the user interface; a database to store identification information of one or more users; and an output module configured to control a power source to power the magnetization coil to change the magnetization polarization of the semi hard magnet in response to successful identification of a user, and configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet to move the hard magnet between an open position or a close position.

A method for controlling a magnetic actuator, the method comprising;

providing at least two magnets, characterised in that, one magnet is a semi- hard magnet and other magnet is a hard magnet and the hard magnet is configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator.

The invention has sizable advantages. The invention results in a magnetic actuator that is cheaper compared to the existing actuators. The magnetic actuator of the present invention eliminates the use of expensive motors and gear assembly. In addition, the magnetic actuator is smaller in size and easier to implement for different actuating systems. The magnetic actuator consumes less energy as compared to the existing mechanical and electromechanical actuators even when the magnetic actuator is in the close position. The magnetic actuator manufacturing process is cost effective and the number of components that constitute the magnetic actuator are also less. The assembling cost of the magnetic actuator is cost effective. The magnetic actuator is reliable as it is capable of operating in a wide range of temperatures and is corrosion resistant. As the magnetic actuator is capable of returning to the close position, the magnetic actuator of the present invention is rendered secure when used as a lock.

The magnetic actuator described herein is technically advanced and offers the following advantages: It is secure, easy to implement, small in size, cost effective, reliable, and less energy consuming.

The best mode of the invention is considered to be a less energy consuming motor less magnetic actuator. The magnetic actuator operates based on the magnetization of a semi hard magnet. The change in polarity of the semi hard magnet is done by means of a magnetization coil located around the semi hard magnet. The change in magnetization of the semi hard magnet pushes or pulls a hard magnet into a notch in a actuator body of the magnetic actuator, thereby actuating the magnetic actuator. In the best mode, the close position is the rest state, and a minimal amount of energy available from actuation of the magnetic actuator or from an NFC device is sufficient to actuate the magnetic actuator, as there is no energy consumption in the close rest position of the magnetic actuator. When used as a lock the blocking pins will be activated if the magnetic actuator is tampered by an external magnetic field or external hit or impulse. Further, if excess force is applied on the magnetic actuator, the axles of the magnetic actuator would break or there may be a clutch, which limits the torque against the pins.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 demonstrates an embodiment 10 of a magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 2 demonstrates an embodiment 20 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 3 demonstrates an embodiment 30 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock in a close position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 4 demonstrates an embodiment 40 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock in an open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 5A demonstrates an embodiment 50 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock having blocking pins, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 5B demonstrates an embodiment 51 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock having the blocking pins and multiple notches in an actuator body, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figures 6A, 6B, and 6C demonstrate an embodiment 60 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock showing process of alignment of a hard magnet with a notch, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 7 demonstrates an embodiment 70 showing magnetization and magnetic materials that constitutes the magnetic actuator, in accordance with the invention as a graphical representation. Figures 8 A, 8B, and 8C demonstrates an embodiment 80 showing various methods of actuating the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 9 demonstrates an embodiment 90 of a method for controlling the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock, in accordance with the invention as a flow diagram.

Figure 10 demonstrates an embodiment 91 of a method for magnetizing the magnetic actuator, in accordance with the invention as a flow diagram.

Figure 11 demonstrates an embodiment 92 of a software program product configured to control the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. Figure 12 demonstrates an embodiment 93 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram.

Figure 13 demonstrates an embodiment 94 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram.

Figure 14 demonstrates an embodiment 95 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. Figure 15 demonstrates an embodiment 96 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. Figure 16 demonstrates an embodiment 97 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram.

Figure 17 demonstrates an embodiment 98 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 18 demonstrates an embodiment 99 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock having the blocking pins, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 19 demonstrates an embodiment 101 of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock showing magnetization and power consumption in the close position and in the open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 20 demonstrates an embodiment 102 of a method for actuating the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock, in accordance with the invention as a flow diagram.

Figure 21 demonstrates an embodiment 103 of the software program product, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram.

Figures 22A-F demonstrate an embodiment 104 of the invention depicting energy consumption of the magnetic actuator used for example as a digital lock in various implementation scenarios.

Figure 23A demonstrates an embodiment 105 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 23B demonstrates an embodiment 106 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator in the close position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 23C demonstrates an embodiment 107 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator in the open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figures 23D, 23E, and 23F demonstrate an embodiment 108 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator showing the close position, the open position, and an opened position in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 24A demonstrates an embodiment 109 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 24B demonstrates an embodiment 116 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator in the close position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 24C demonstrates an embodiment 111 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator in the open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 24D demonstrates an embodiment 112 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator in the opened position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 25 A demonstrates an embodiment 113 of the magnetic actuator used as a digital lock and associated software in the open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 25B demonstrates an embodiment 114 of the magnetic actuator used as a digital lock and associated software in the opened position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figures 26 A and 26B demonstrate an embodiment 115 of the magnetic actuator showing the close position and the open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Figure 27 A demonstrates an embodiment 117 of the magnetic actuator for operating a flow control valve in the close position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Figure 27B demonstrates an embodiment 118 of the magnetic actuator for operating the flow control valve in the open position, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram.

Some of the embodiments are described in the dependent claims. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

The present disclosure provides a magnetic actuator system, method, and a software program product for use in various applications, such as for locking and unlocking of doors and for allowing flow of fluid through fluid control valves.

The magnetic actuator includes at least two magnets. One magnet is a semi hard magnet and the other magnet is a hard magnet. The hard magnet is configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator. The semi hard magnet and the hard magnet are placed adjacent to each other. A change in magnetization polarization of the semi hard magnet is configured induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet to move the hard magnet between an open position or a close position. The magnetic actuator includes at least one blocking pin configured to protrude into a notch of an actuator body. The blocking pins may protrude from the actuator body from all different angles. The blocking pins will be activated if the magnetic actuator is tampered by an external magnetic field or external hit or impulse. Figure 1 demonstrates an embodiment 10 of a magnetic actuator 100, as a block diagram. The magnetic actuator 100 may be low powered actuator without the requirement of electrical components such as motors. In case of digital lock, the digital lock may provide keyless convenience to a user to lock and unlock the door. The digital lock may include assisting technologies such as, fingerprint access, smart card entry or keypad to lock and unlock the door.

In the illustrated embodiment, the magnetic actuator 100 includes an actuator body 110, a first axle 120 configured to be rotatable, a second axle 130 configured to be rotatable, and a user interface 140. The first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are located within the actuator body 110. In an example, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 may be a shaft configured to be rotatable. In addition, the user interface 140 is connected to the first axle 120 of the magnetic actuator 100. In one implementation, the user interface 140 is attached to an outer surface 150 of the actuator body 110. In digital lock implementation, the user interface 140 may be a door handle, a door knob, or a digital key. In the illustrated embodiment, the user interface 140 may be an object used to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. The user interface 140 may include the identification device 210. Any features of embodiment 10 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention. Figure 2 demonstrates an embodiment 20 of the magnetic actuator 100, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The magnetic actuator 100 further includes an electronic actuator module 200 connected to an identification device 210 via a communication bus 220. The communication bus 220 is configured to communicate data between the identification device 210 and the electronic actuator module 200.

The identification device 210 is configured to identify a user by any of the following: key tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) device. The identification device 210 is capable of identifying the user and allowing access to the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 upon authenticating the user from any of the above-mentioned methods of authentication. The fingerprint method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating an impression left by the friction ridges of a finger of the user.

When the impression of the finger of the user matches above a threshold with the impression stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the electronic actuator module 200 via the communication bus 220 authenticates the user. Such authentication of the use leads to actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the threshold may be defined as 80 percentage match of the impression of the finger.

The magnetic stripe method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating the identification information stored in the magnetic stripe. When the identification information stored in the magnetic material pertaining to the user substantially matches with the identification information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the electronic actuator module 200 via the communication bus 220 authenticates the user which leads to actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the key tag method of authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 is similar to that of the method used in the magnetic stripe. The key tag method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating the identification information stored in the key tag. When the identification information stored in the key tag pertaining to the user substantially matches with the identification information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the electronic actuator module 200 via the communication bus 220 authenticates the user which leads to actuation of the magnetic actuator 100.

In some embodiments the key, tag, key tag, or NFC device are copy protected by The Advanced Encryption (AES) standard or a similar encryption method. This encryption standard is cited here as reference. The magnetic actuator 100 includes a power supply module 230 for powering the magnetic actuator 100 by any of the following: NFC source, solar panel, power supply and/or battery. In some embodiments the magnetic actuator 100 may also derive its power from key insertion by the user, or the user may otherwise perform work on the system to power the magnetic actuator 100. Further, the magnetic actuator 100 includes a position sensor 240 configured to position a notch (not shown) of the second axle 130. The position sensor is optional as some embodiments can be realized without it. The position sensor 240 is connected to the electronic actuator module 200 for positioning the notch of the second axle 130 in place for a moveable magnet to enter the notch. In the illustrated embodiment, when the notch of the second axle 130 is not aligned with respect to the moveable magnet, the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position (as shown in FIG. 3). The electronic actuator module 200 uses the power supply module 230 to energize a magnetization coil 250 that magnetizes a non-moveable magnet 260 (also referred to as semi hard magnet as shown in FIG. 3). More particularly, the electronic actuator module 200 is electrically coupled with the magnetization coil 250 to magnetize the non-moveable magnet 260.

Any features of embodiment 20 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 3 demonstrates an embodiment 30 of the magnetic actuator 100 in a close position 300, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The magnetic actuator 100 includes a semi hard magnet 310 and a hard magnet 320 configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. The semi hard magnet 310 is placed adjacent to the hard magnet 320. Further, the semi hard magnet 310 is located inside the magnetization coil 250. In the present implementation, the semi hard magnet 310 is made up of Alnico and the hard magnet 320 is made up of SmCo. In particular, the semi hard magnet 310 is made up of iron alloys which in addition to Iron (Fe) is composed of Aluminium (Al), Nickel (Ni), and Cobalt (Co). In an example, the semi hard magnet 310 may also be made up of copper and titanium. The hard magnet 320 is a permanent magnet made of an alloy of Samarium (Sm) and Cobalt (Co).

The hard magnet 320 may be realized inside a titanium cover in some embodiments. For example, the SmCo hard magnet can be placed inside a titanium casing. The casing or cover preferably increases the mechanical hardness and strength of the hard magnet 320 to reduce the effects of wear and tear over time. The casing or cover is preferably also made of light material by weight to limit the aggregate weight of the hard magnet 320. Other materials, not only titanium, may also be used to realize the casing or cover in accordance with the invention.

In an example, the hard magnet 320 may be an object made from a material that can be magnetised and which can create own persistent magnetic field unlike the semi hard magnet 310 which needs to be magnetised.

The semi hard magnet 310 is configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between an open position 400 (as shown in FIG. 4) or the close position 300, in response to change in polarization of the semi hard magnet 310 by the magnetization coil 250. In particular, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are attracted to each other. As a result of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 does not enter into the notch 330 of the second axle 130 of the magnetic actuatorlOO. In some implementations, it may be understood that the polarity of the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 may be such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the north pole of the hard magnet 320, causing the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 to be attracted to each other.

In an example, the magnetic actuator 100 is said to actuate between the close position 300 and the open position (as shown in FIG. 4). Further, when a rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is to be in the close position 300, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the close position 300. In an example, the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 may be defined as the lowest energy state to which the system relaxes to. Further, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are not connected to each other. When the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300, the hard magnet 320 is configured to be inside the first axle 120. In such a condition, the second axle 130 does not rotate as it is not connected to the first axle 120, and the user interface 140 rotates. Flowever, as the hard magnet 320 does not protrude into the notch 330 of the second axle 130, the user may not actuate the magnetic actuator 100, as the rotation is not translated to turn both axles, as the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300.

Any features of embodiment 30 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 4 demonstrates an embodiment 40 of the magnetic actuator 100 in the open position 400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. As described earlier with respect to FIG. 3, the magnetic actuator 100 includes the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. The semi hard magnet 310 is placed adjacent to the hard magnet 320. Further, the semi hard magnet 310 is located inside the magnetization coil 250. The semi hard magnet 310 is configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between the open position 400 or the close position 300, when there is a change in polarity of the semi hard magnet 310 by the magnetization coil 250. In particular, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400 to actuate the magnetic actuator 100, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 repels away from the semi hard magnet 310. As a result of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 enters into the notch 330 of the second axle 130 of the magnetic actuator 100. In some implementations, it may be understood that the polarity of the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 may be such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the north pole of the hard magnet 320, causing the hard magnet 320 to be repelled away from the semi hard magnet 310.

When a rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is to be in the open position 400, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the open position 400.

Further, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are connected with each other. When the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130, the user may be able to actuate the magnetic actuator 100, as the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400.

According to the present disclosure, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are placed inside the first axle 120 of the magnetic actuator 100. The semi hard magnet 310 is placed below the hard magnet 320 in the first axle 120. Change in polarization of the semi hard magnet 310 by the magnetization coil 250 causes the hard magnet 320 to repel into the notch 330 of the second axle 130. Owing to such movement, the magnetic actuator 100 changes to the open position 400, enabling the opening of the magnetic actuator 100. In some alternate implementations, it may be understood that the semi hard magnet 310 may be placed on top of the hard magnet 320. Flowever, change in polarization of the semi hard magnet 310 by the magnetization coil 250 may cause the semi hard magnet 310 to move into the notch 330 of the second axle 130. Owing to such movement of the semi hard magnet 310 into the notch 330 of the second axle 130, the magnetic actuator 100 may be in the open position 400, thereby allowing the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. Any features of embodiment 40 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 5A demonstrates an embodiment 50 of the magnetic actuator 100 having blocking pins 500, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The magnetic actuator 100 includes at least one blocking pin 500 configured to protrude into a notch

510 of the actuator body 110 due to any of the following: when an external magnetic field is applied, when external hit or impulse is applied, and/or when the first axle 120 is turned too fast, to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the blocking pins 500 may be pins preferably made up of magnetic material for example Iron (Fe) configured to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. More particularly, the blocking pins 500 are activated to prevent rotation of the first axle 120, thereby preventing unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. In an embodiment, in the close position 300, if the notch 330 of the second axle 130 is aligned with the hard magnet 320, and due to the external force, such as, magnetic field or external impulse, the hard magnet 320 may be protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130, resulting in the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 being connected with each other. Further, the blocking pins 500 are normally inserted and returned back to the first axle 120 after an external force has hit the magnetic actuator 100, by virtue of magnetic force exerted by the hard magnet

511 or mechanical force such as spring force. That is, the magnetic or spring force moves the blocking pins 500 both into the notch when blocking is required, and out of the notch when blocking is no longer required. More specifically, the force applied by the hard magnet 511 or the mechanical force may be greater compared to the magnetic force applied by the external magnetic field and/or the external impulse, resulting in the blocking pins 500 returning to the first axle 120. Additionally, inertia and magnetic force of the hard magnet 511 and the blocking pins 500 are designed such that the blocking pins 500 are activated before movement of the hard magnet 320. As the blocking pins 500 are moved to a notch in the actuator body 110 due to the external magnetic field and/or the external impulse, this results in prevention of unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. Any features of embodiment 50 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 5B demonstrates an embodiment 51 of the magnetic actuator 100 having the blocking pins 500 and multiple notches 520 in the actuator body 110, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. As described earlier, to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100, the magnetic actuator 100 includes at least one blocking pin 500 configured to protrude into the notch 510 of the actuator body 110 due to any of the following: when an external magnetic field is applied, when external hit or impulse is applied, and/or when the first axle 120 is turned too fast. During the unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100 the blocking pin(s) 500 may protrude from the actuator body 110 from different angles. Further, the actuator body 110 includes the multiple notches 520 located at various positions in the actuator body 110. The blocking pin 500 may prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100 when the blocking pin 500 is aligned with the notch 510 as shown in bottom of page configuration of Figure 5B. The multiple notches 520 are designed such that the blocking pins 500 are configured to enter the multiple notches 520 when an unauthorized attempt is made to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 in all angles/positions. On the contrary, the blocking pin 500 may not prevent unauthorized unlocking of the magnetic actuator 100 when the blocking pin 500 is not aligned with the notch 520 as shown in top of page configuration of Figure 5B.

Any features of embodiment 51 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figures 6 A, 6B, and 6C demonstrates an embodiment 60 of the magnetic actuator 100 showing process of alignment of the hard magnet 320 with the notch 330, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. In operation, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are inside the first axle 120. When the first axle 120 is not turned and the position sensor 240 is not in position, the notch 330 of the second axle 130 is not aligned with the hard magnet 320 to receive the hard magnet 320 as shown in FIG. 6A. In such a condition, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are not connected with each other. Referring to FIGs 6B and 6C, when the first axle 120 is turned, the position sensor 240 is configured to position the notch 330 of the second axle 130 with the hard magnet 320. The hard magnet 320 is configured to enter into the notch 330 of the second axle 130 upon changing the polarity of the semi hard magnet 310. Owing to such change in polarity of the semi hard magnet 310 and as the hard magnet 320 is forced to enter the notch 330, the magnetic actuator 100 is said to be in the open position 400 allowing actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. In such a condition, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are connected with each other. Further, the alignment of the hard magnet 320 and the notch 330 may be done by mechanical arrangement in applications where the user interface 140 and the second axle 130 is returned to the same position after opening. One example of this is a lever operated actuator. In these arrangements position sensor 240 may not be needed. Any features of embodiment 60 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention. Figure 7 demonstrates an embodiment 70 showing magnetization and magnetic materials that constitutes the digital lock 100, in accordance with the invention as a graphical representation. As described earlier, the magnetic actuator 100 includes the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. The semi hard magnet 310 is made up of Alnico and the hard magnet 320 is made up of SmCo. In particular, the semi hard magnet 310 is made up of iron alloys which in addition to Iron (Fe) is composed of Aluminium (Al), Nickel (Ni), and Cobalt (Co). In an example, the semi hard magnet 310 may also be made up of copper and titanium. The hard magnet 320 is made up of samarium-cobalt (SmCo), the hard magnet 320 is a permanent magnet made of an alloy of Samarium (Sm) and Cobalt (Co). The hard magnet 320 may be an object made from a material that is magnetised and creates own persistent magnetic field unlike the semi hard magnet 310 which needs to be magnetised.

Any features of embodiment 70 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figures 8 A, 8B, and 8C demonstrates an embodiment 80 showing various methods of actuating the magnetic actuator 100, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Referring to FIG. 8 A, the magnetic actuator 100 is actuated by a lever 810 which is in communication with an identification device (ID) reader 820. The ID reader 820 is configured to identify a user by any of the following: a Radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, a Near Field Communications (NFC) phone, a magnetic stripe, a fingerprint, etc. The ID reader 820 is capable of identifying the user and allowing access to the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 upon authenticating the user by authenticating the user from any of the above-mentioned methods of authentication. The fingerprint method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating an impression left by the friction ridges of a finger of the user. When the impression of the finger of the user matches above a threshold with the impression stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, a latch 830 is operated by the lever 810, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the threshold may be defined as 80 percentage match of the impression of the finger. The magnetic stripe method of authenticating the user is performed by authentication the identification information stored in the magnetic stripe. When the identification information stored in the magnetic material pertaining to the user substantially matches with the identification information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the latch 830 is operated by the lever 810, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. In one embodiment if the actuator is user powered the electric power is harvested form the lever movement.

In an example, the RFID tag method of authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 is similar to that of the method used in the magnetic stripe. The RFID tag method of authenticating the user is performed by authentication the identification information stored in the RFID tag. When the identification information stored in the RFID tag pertaining to the user substantially matches with the identification information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the latch 830 is operated by the lever 810, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. Further, the NFC phone method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating a user specific information. When the user specific information matches threshold with user information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the latch 830 is operated by the lever 810, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the user specific information may be a digital token, user id or any other information pertaining to the user. The lever 810 has an angular movement as shown in FIG. 8 A.

Referring to FIG. 8B, the digital lock 100 is operated by a knob 840 which includes an identification device (ID) reader (not shown). The ID reader is configured to identify a user by any of the following: A Radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, a Near Field Communications (NFC) phone, a magnetic stripe, a fingerprint, etc. The ID reader is capable of identifying the user and allowing access to the user to actuate the magnetic actuatorlOO upon authenticating the user by authenticating the user from any of the above mentioned methods of authentication. The fingerprint method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating an impression left by the friction ridges of a finger of the user. When the impression of the finger of the user matches above a threshold with the impression stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, a latch 850 is operated by the knob 840, thereby allowing the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the threshold may be defined as 80 percentage match of the impression of the finger. The magnetic stripe method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating the identification information stored in the magnetic stripe. When the identification information stored in the magnetic material pertaining to the user substantially matches with the identification information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the latch 850 is operated by the knob 840, thereby allowing the user to actuate the digital lock 100.

In an example, the RFID tag method of authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 is similar to that of the method used in the magnetic stripe. The RFID tag method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating the identification information stored in the RFID tag. When the identification information stored in the RFID tag pertaining to the user substantially matches with the identification information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the latch 850 is operated by the knob 840, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. Further, the NFC phone method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating a user specific information. When the user specific information matches threshold with user information stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, the latch 850 is operated by the knob 840, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, the user specific information may be a digital token, user id or any other information pertaining to the user. The knob 840 has a circular movement as shown in FIG. 8B. If the actuator is user powered, the electric power is harvested from the turning of the knob 840 by the user.

Referring to FIG. 8C, the magnetic actuator 100 is operated by an electronic digital key 860. The electronic digital key 860 method of authenticating the user is performed by authenticating identification information pertaining to the electronic digital key 860. When the electronic digital key 860 inserted by the user matches with identification information pertaining to the electronic digital key 860 stored in the database of the electronic actuator module 200, a latch 870 is operated by the electronic digital key 860, thereby authenticating the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. The magnetic actuator 100 and digital key 860 may abide to the AES standard as said before. The magnetic actuatorlOO and the digital key 860 operate via electromagnetic contact, or wirelessly over the air.

In some embodiments the mechanical energy produced by the human user to move the digital key 860 in the digital lock 100 is collected to power the magnetic actuator 100, or digital key 860.

Any features of embodiment 80 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 9 demonstrates an embodiment 90 of a method for controlling the magnetic actuator 100, in accordance with the invention as a flow diagram. The method could be implemented in a system identical or similar to embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, and 80 in Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5A, 5B, 6, 7, and 8 for example, as discussed in the other parts of the description.

In phase 900, at least two magnets are provided in the magnetic actuator 100. One magnet is the semi hard magnet 310 and the other magnet is the hard magnet 320. The hard magnet 320 is configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. As described with reference to FIG. 1, the magnetic actuator 100 includes the first axle 120, the second axle 130, and the user interface 140 attached to the outer surface 150 of the actuator body 110. The user interface 140 is connected to the first axle 120. The semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are located inside the first axle 120.

In phase 910, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are configured to be placed adjacent to each other. In the illustrated embodiment, as shown in FIGs 3, 4, and 5 the hard magnet 320 is placed above the semi hard magnet 310. In phase 920, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to be inside the magnetization coil 250. When required, the magnetization coil 250 is responsible for changing polarity of the semi hard magnet 310. In phase 930, the change in the polarity of the semi-hard magnet 310 is configured to push or pull the hard magnet 320 to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between the open position 400 or the close position 300. In phase 940, the hard magnet 320 is configured to be inside the first axle in the close position 300. In such a condition, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are not connected to each other. Thus, the second axle 130 does not rotate due to the movement of the first axle 120. Further, owing to the connection between the first axle 120 and the user interface 140, when the first axle 120 is rotated, the user interface 140 also rotates in a direction similar to that of the first axle 120. When the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is to be in the close position 300, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the close position 300.

In phase 950, the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130 in the open position 400. The position sensor 240 is configured to position the notch 330 of the second axle 130 in place for the hard magnet 320 to enter the notch 330. When the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is to be in the open position 400, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the open position 400. Further, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are connected with each other. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130, the user may be able to actuate the magnetic actuator 100, as the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400. The protrusion of the hard magnet 320 typically causes wear and tear on the components over time. To increase the durability of the system, the hard magnet 320 may be realized inside a titanium cover in some embodiments. For example, the SmCo hard magnet can be placed inside a titanium casing. The casing or cover preferably increases the mechanical hardness and strength of the hard magnet 320 to reduce the effects of wear and tear over time. The casing or cover is preferably also made of light material by weight to limit the aggregate weight of the hard magnet 320. Other materials, not only titanium, may also be used to realize the casing or cover in accordance with the invention.

In phase 960, the blocking pin 500 is protruded into the notch 330 of the actuator body 110 due to any of the following: when an external magnetic field is applied, when external hit or impulse is applied, and/or when the first axle 120 is turned too fast, to prevent unauthorized actuating of the magnetic actuator 100.

Further, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to be a self-powered lock powered by any of the following: NFC, solar panel, user-powered, power supply and/or battery. As described with reference to FIG. 2, the magnetic actuator 100 includes the electronic actuator module 200 connected to the identification device 210 via the communication bus 220. The communication bus 220 is configured to transfer data between the identification device 210 and the electronic actuator module 200. The identification device 210 is configured to identify a user by any of the following: key tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) device, which may be a smartphone.

Any features of embodiment 90 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 10 demonstrates an embodiment 91 of a method for magnetizing the magnetic actuator 100, in accordance with the invention as a flow diagram. The method could be implemented in a system identical or similar to embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 in Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 for example, as discussed in the other parts of the description. In phase 1000, the magnetic actuator 100 is self-powered. In particular, the magnetic actuator 100 is powered by any of the following: NFC, solar panel, power supply and/or battery as explained in the earlier embodiments.

The identification device 210 is configured to identify the user by any of the following: key tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) smartphone. In phase 1010, the identification device 210 checks access rights of the identification information pertaining to the user.

In phase 1020, if the access rights of the identification information pertaining to the user is correct, then a check for threshold of the close position 300 power storage is carried out in phase 1030. On the contrary, if the access rights of the identification information pertaining to the user is incorrect, in phase 1040, magnetization to the close position 300 is performed.

In phase 1030, upon checking the threshold of the close position 300 power storage, if the close position 300 power storage is beyond the threshold, then a check for positioning of the notch 330 of the second axle 130 is performed in phase 1050. If the close position 300 power storage is less than the threshold, then magnetization to the close position 300 is performed in phase 1040. After the magnetization to the close position 300, in the phase 1040, the process magnetizing the magnetic actuator 100 is completed in phase 1050.

In phase 1060, upon checking positioning of the notch 330 of the second axle 130, if the notch 330 of the second axle 130 is in place, then magnetization to the open position 400 is performed in phase 1070. If the notch 330 of the second axle 130 is not in position, then again the check for the threshold of the close position 300 power storage is carried out in phase 1030. Any features of embodiment 91 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 11 demonstrates an embodiment 92 of a software program product 1100 configured to control the magnetic actuator 100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. The software program product 1100 controls the magnetic actuator 100 including at least two magnets. One magnet is the semi hard magnet 310 and the other magnet is the hard magnet 310 configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. The software program product 1100 includes a screen interface 1110 to display the status of the magnetic actuator 100. More particularly, the close position 300 and the open position 400 is displayed on the screen interface 1110. Further, the software program product includes a fingerprint scanner 1120, a NFC reader 1130, a magnetic stripe access 1140, and/or a keypad access 1150. For the sake of brevity, implementation and authentication of the user using the fingerprint scanner 1120, the NFC reader 1130, the magnetic stripe access 1140, and/or the keypad access 1150 is explained with reference to the above figures. In an example, although, the keypad access 1150 is illustrated, it may be understood that the keypad access 1150 may be replaced with a touchpad access within the screen interface 1110 of the software program product 1100. In another example, although, the fingerprint scanner 1120 is illustrated, it may be understood that the fingerprint scanner 1120 may be replaced with an iris scanner in the software program product 1100.

Any features of embodiment 92 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 12 demonstrates an embodiment 93 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. This software product may abide to the AES standard. The software program product 1100 as discussed herein is defined to encompass program instructions, processing hardware, necessary operating systems, device drivers, electronic circuits, the first axle 120, the second axle 130, the semi hard magnet 310, the hard magnet 320, and/or the blocking pin 500 for the operation of the magnetic actuator 100. The software program product 1100 is elaborated below.

The software program product 1100 includes a processing module 1200. The processing module 1200 includes an input module 1210 configured to receive an input indicative of identification information pertaining to the user. The method of inputting the identification information, by the user may be done by any of the following: the keypad access 1150, fingerprint scanner 1120, magnetic stripe access 1140, and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) reader 1130. The processing module 1200 further includes an authentication module 1220 in communication with the input module 1210. The authentication module 1220 is configured to authenticate the input received by the user interface 140 and is responsible for providing access to the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. Also, the authentication module 1220 is communication with a database 1230 of the software program product 1100. The database 1230 is configured to store identification information of one or more users. The authentication module 1220 authenticates the identification information inputted by the user with the identification information already stored in the database 1230 of the software program product 1100. Authenticated identification information from the authentication module 1220 is communicated to an output module 1240 of the software program product 1100. The output module 1240 is in communication with the magnetic actuator 100. The output module 1240 is configured to control a power source to power the magnetization coil 250 to change the magnetization polarization of the semi hard magnet 310 in response to successful identification of the user, and configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between the open position 400 or the close position 300. Thus, the identification information communicated by the authentication module 1220 to the output module 1240 is responsible for allowing the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. As described earlier, the software program product 1100 controls the magnetic actuator 100 having the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320. The semi hard magnet 310 is located inside the magnetization coil 250 and the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are placed adjacent to each other and located inside the first axle 120. The magnetic actuator 100 is a self-powered lock powered by any of the following: NFC field, solar panel, power supply and/or battery. Further, the digital lock 100 includes the first axle 120, the second axle 130, and the user interface 140. The user interface 140 is attached to the outer surface 150 of the actuator body 110. The user interface 140 is further connected to the first axle 120. The magnetic actuator 100 includes the electronic actuator module 200 that is connected to the identification device 210 via the communication bus 220. The identification device 210 is configured to identify the user by any of the following: electronic key, tag, key tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, NFC device.

Any features of embodiment 93 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 13 demonstrates an embodiment 94 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. In the illustrated embodiment 94, a process of inputting the identification information pertaining to the user is displayed. The screen shot displays date and time. In the illustrated embodiment, an option for inputting the user id and passcode is displayed in the screen shot. Although, the option for inputting the user id and passcode is displayed to the user, it may be understood that an option of inputting the identification information by any of the following: user id and passcode, the fingerprint scanner 1120, the NFC reader 1130, electronic key, the magnetic stripe access 1140, and/or the keypad access 1150 pertaining to the user may be displayed to the user. Any features of embodiment 94 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 14 demonstrates an embodiment 95 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. In the illustrated embodiment

95, a process of authentication of the identification information pertaining to the user is displayed. The process of authentication upon the user inputting the user id and passcode pertaining to the user is displayed to the user as shown in the screen shot. The identification information inputted by the user is then received by the authentication module 1220 which compares the inputted identification information with the identification information stored in the database 1230. During this process, the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300. When the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the close position 300. In the close position 300, the hard magnet 320 is configured to be inside the first axle 120, the second axle 130 does not rotate, and the user interface 140 rotates. Any features of embodiment 95 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention. Figure 15 demonstrates an embodiment 96 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. In the illustrated embodiment

96, a screen shot of the user being authenticated is displayed. The user is authenticated to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 when the user id and passcode inputted by the user matches with the user id and passcode stored in the database 1230. The authenticated information is then communicated to the output module 1240 which sends a signal to the magnetic actuator 100 to be in the open position 400 as shown. In addition, an authentication confirmation notification to the user is provided. The notification may be any of the following: an audio notification, a video notification, a multimedia notification, and/or a text notification. In an example, the text notification may be provided on a phone. The software program product 1100 is configured to change the polarity of the semi hard magnet 310 to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between the open position 400 or the close position 300. More particularly, the position sensor 240 is configured to position the notch 330 of the second axle 130 in place for the hard magnet 320 to enter the notch 330. In the open position 400, the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130. When the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the open position 400.

In some embodiments the time stamps of openings and closings of the magnetic actuator 100 are stored into the database 1230 or some other memory medium.

Any features of embodiment 96 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 16 demonstrates an embodiment 97 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. In the illustrated embodiment 96, a screen shot of the magnetic actuator 100 being tampered is displayed. In particular, tampering of the magnetic actuator 100 happens due to any of the following: when an external magnetic field is applied, when an external hit or impulse is applied, and/or when the first axle 130 is turned too fast. When the magnetic actuator 100 is tampered, the blocking pin(s) 500 are activated. The blocking pin 500 is configured to protrude into multiple notches 520 of the actuator body 110. If the user is found to be tampering the magnetic actuator 100, the user id along with the time stamp would be recorded in the database 1230. Any features of embodiment 97 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 17 demonstrates an embodiment 98 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. In the illustrated embodiment 98, the magnetic actuator 100 is in communication with a network 1700, a cloud server 1710, and a user terminal device 1720. The magnetic actuator 100 and the user terminal device 1720 communicate with the cloud server 1710 via the network 1700. The network 1700 used for the communication in the invention is the wireless or wireline Internet or the telephony network, which is typically a cellular network such as UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System), GSM (Global System for Mobile Telecommunications), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and/or WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) -network.

The user terminal device 1720 is in communication with the network 1700 and the cloud server 1710. The user terminal device 1720 may be configured as a mobile terminal computer, typically a smartphone and/or a tablet that is used to receive identification information pertaining to the user. The user terminal device 1720 is typically a mobile smartphone, such as iOS, Android or a Windows Phone smartphone. Flowever, it is also possible that the user terminal device 1720 is a mobile station, mobile phone or a computer, such as a PC-computer, Apple Macintosh computer, PDA device (Personal Digital Assistant), or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System), GSM (Global System for Mobile Telecommunications), WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), Teldesic, Inmarsat-, Iridium-, GPRS- (General Packet Radio Service), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), GPS (Global Positioning System), 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), Wi- Fi and/or WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) mobile station. Sometimes in some embodiments the user terminal device 1720 is a device that has an operating system such as any of the following: Microsoft Windows, Windows NT, Windows CE, Windows Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, GEOS, Palm OS, Meego, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, BlackBerry OS, Google Android and/or Symbian or any other computer or smart phone operating system. The user terminal device 1720 provides an application (not shown) to allow the user to input identification information pertaining to the user to be authenticated with the cloud server 1710 to enable actuating of the magnetic actuator 100. Preferably the user downloads the application from the Internet, or from various app stores that are available from Google, Apple, Facebook and/or Microsoft. For example, in some embodiments an iPhone user with a Facebook application on his phone will download the application that is compatible with both the Apple and Facebook developer requirements. Similarly, a customized application can be produced for other different handsets. In an example, the cloud server 1710 may comprise a plurality of servers. In an example implementation, the cloud server 1710 may be any type of a database server, a file server, a web server, an application server, etc., configured to store identification information related to the user. In another example implementation, the cloud server 1710 may comprise a plurality of databases for storing the data files. The databases may be, for example, a structured query language (SQL) database, a NoSQL database such as the Microsoft ® SQL Server, the Oracle ® servers, the MySQL database, etc. The cloud server 1710 may be deployed in a cloud environment managed by a cloud storage service provider, and the databases may be configured as cloud-based databases implemented in the cloud environment.

The cloud server 1710 which may include an input-output device usually comprises a monitor (display), a keyboard, a mouse and/or touch screen. However, typically there is more than one computer server in use at one time, so some computers may only incorporate the computer itself, and no screen and no keyboard. These types of computers are typically stored in server farms, which are used to realize the cloud network used by the cloud server 1710 of the invention. The cloud server 1710 can be purchased as a separate solution from known vendors such as Microsoft and Amazon and HP (Hewlett-Packard). The cloud server 1710 typically runs Unix, Microsoft, iOS, Linux or any other known operating system, and comprises typically a microprocessor, memory, and data storage means, such as SSD flash or Hard drives. To improve the responsiveness of the cloud architecture, the data is preferentially stored, either wholly or partly, on SSD i.e. Flash storage. This component is either selected/configured from an existing cloud provider such as Microsoft or Amazon, or the existing cloud network operator such as Microsoft or Amazon is configured to store all data to a Flash based cloud storage operator, such as Pure Storage, EMC, Nimble storage or the like.

In operation, the user enters the identification information in the user terminal device 1720. In an example, the identification information may be fingerprint, passcode, and/or personal details associated with the user. The identification information entered by the user may be through any of the following: the keypad access 1150, fingerprint scanner 1120, and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) reader 1130. The identification information entered by the user is communicated to the cloud server 1710 through the network 1700. The cloud server 1710 authenticates the entered identification information by comparing with the identification information stored in the database of the cloud server 1710. A notification associated with the authentication is communicated through the network 1700 and displayed on the application in the user terminal device 1720. In an example, the notification may be an alert indicative of success or failure of authentication. In some implementation, the notification may be any of the following: an audio notification, a video notification, a multimedia notification, and/or a text notification. If there is a mismatch of the identification information, the magnetic actuator 100 is not opened through the application. If the identification information entered by the user matches with the identification information stored in the database of the cloud server 1710, the magnetic actuator 100 is opened through the application in the user terminal device 1720. In some embodiments the power from the user terminal device 1720 is used to power the magnetic actuator 100. Any features of embodiment 98 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 18 demonstrates an embodiment 99 of the magnetic actuator 100 having the blocking pins 500, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The magnetic materials are divided into two main groups, namely soft and hard magnetic materials. The method of differentiating between the soft magnetic material and the hard magnetic material is based on the value of coercivity. In an example, magnetic induction of materials may be reduced to zero by applying reverse magnetic field of strength and such a field of strength is defined as coercivity. Further, coercivity is the structure-sensitive magnetic property that can be altered by subjecting the magnetic material to different thermal and mechanical treatment. The hard and soft magnetic materials may be used to distinguish between ferromagnets on the basis of coercivity. Standard IEC Standard 404- 1 proposed 1 kA/m as a borderline value of coercivity for the soft and hard magnetic materials. In one example, soft magnetic materials with coercivity lower than 1 kA/m is considered. In another example, hard magnetic materials with coercivity higher than 1 kA/m is considered. Further, between soft and hard magnetic materials there is a group of magnetic materials called semi-hard magnetic materials and coercivity of the semi -hard magnetic materials is 1 to 100 kA/m. Typically semi-hard magnet 310 will feature these values, and hard magnet 320 will have coercivity higher than 100 kA/m. All magnetic materials are characterized by different forms of hysteresis loop. The most important values are: remanence Br, coercivities Flc and maximum energy product (BH) max that determines the point of maximum magnet utilization. Maximum energy product is a measure of the maximum amount of useful work that a permanent magnet is capable of doing outside the magnet. Typically magnets small in size and mass, and high in maximum energy product are preferable in this invention. As described earlier, the magnetic actuator 100 includes at least one blocking pin 500 configured to protrude into the notch 510 of the actuator body 110 due to any of the following: when an external magnetic field is applied, when external hit or impulse is applied, and/or when the first axle 120 is turned too fast, to prevent unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100. The magnetic actuator 100 includes the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 configured to to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. The semi hard magnet 310 is placed adjacent to the hard magnet 320 and located inside the magnetization coil 250. Further, changing the magnetic polarization of the semi-hard magnet 310 having a coercivity of 58kA/m requires roughly ten times lower energy as compared to the hard magnet 320 having a coercivity of 695kA/m. Please refer to Figure 7 for coercivities of various materials. Magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 lacks sufficient strength to change the hard magnet 320 remanence magnetization. Sources responsible for influencing magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 may be a primary field generated by the magnetization coil 250. In an example, when the the magnetic actuator 100 is set to be in the open position 400, magnetization power peak is shorter than lms. Successful magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 requires that the hard magnet 320 can move freely into the notch 330 during the open position 400. Otherwise the magnetic field of the hard magnet 320 may have effect to the magnetic field of the semi-hard magnet 310 and the magnetic actuator 100 may not be opened. Free movement of the hard magnet 320 is ensured by the position sensor 240 or mechanical arrangement. Further, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400 the hard magnet’s 320 field which is opposite to the semi hard magnet’s 310 field is trying to turn the semi-hard magnet’s 310 field back to the locked state

300, but the gap between reduces the field and the semi hard magnet’s 310 coercivity can resist it. More particularly, the hard magnet 320 is always trying to set the magnetic actuator 100 back to the secure and the close position 300. In another example, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 300, or the open position 400, magnetization power peak is shorter than lms. Successful magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 may happen at all times. The hard magnet 320 can or can’t move back freely. The magnetic actuator 100 and the semi-hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are aligned, the magnetic actuator 100 is in the rest state. Very high coercivity of the hard magnet 320 keeps the semi-hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 together, thereby ensuring the magnetic actuator to be in the close position 300.

In some implementation, sources responsible for influencing magnetization of the semi -hard magnet 310 may be a secondary field. The hard magnet 320 has high energy product providing constant magnetic field towards the semi-hard magnet 310, thereby trying to keep or turn the semi -hard magnet 310 to the close position 300.

Any features of embodiment 99 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 19 demonstrates an embodiment 101 of the magnetic actuator 100 showing magnetization and power consumption in the close position 300 and in the open position 400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Since the magnetic actuator 100 of the present disclosure overcomes requirement of cabled power supply, energy and power consumptions in autonomous microsystems employing the magnetic actuator 100 are very limited. The energy consumption of the magnetic actuator 100 is strongly the function of the volume of the semi-hard magnet 310. In particular, smaller the size of the semi-hard magnet 310, smaller will be the power consumption by the magnetic actuator 100. The magnetization field strength is a function of the magnetization coil 250 characteristics, such as number of turns, wire diameter and resistance and its electric current (I). Relative high electric current is provided by the sufficient voltage (U). The main factor for low power consumption by the magnetic actuator 100 is very short power consumption time (t). Energy consumed by the magnetic actuator 100 is equal to function of the sufficient voltage (U), electric current (I), and power consumption time (t). Memory of the mechanical status of the magnetic actuator 100 lays on the remanence of the semi-hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 and coercivity properties of the semi -hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320, thereby ensuring zero power consumption by the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300, power consumption by the magnetic actuator 100 is zero. Upon setting the magnetic actuator 100 to the open position 400, less than 0,lms long magnetization pulse is provided. In another example, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, power consumption by the magnetic actuator 100 is zero. Upon setting the magnetic actuator 100 to the close position 300, less than 0,lms long magnetization is provided. Total energy consumption of the locking mechanism of the magnetic actuator 100 may be in magnitude lOmVAs per opening cycle of the magnetic actuator 100. The duration of the open position 400 in Figure 19 is exemplary and non-limiting. The duration in either close position 300 or open position 400 depends on the use of the magnetic actuator 100.

Any features of embodiment 101 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97,

98, 99, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 20 demonstrates an embodiment 102 of a method for actuating the magnetic actuator 100, in accordance with the invention as a flow diagram. The method could be implemented in a system identical or similar to embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, and 80 in Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5A, 5B, 6, 7, and 8 for example, as discussed in the other parts of the description. In phase 2000, at least two magnets are provided in the magnetic actuator 100. One magnet is the semi hard magnet 310 and the other magnet is the hard magnet 320. The hard magnet 320 is configured to to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, hard magnet’s 320 with coercivity higher than 500 kA/m is considered. In another example, semi-hard magnet’s 310 with coercivity 50 to 100 kA/m is considered. The magnetic actuator 100 operates well when the coercivity of the hard magnet is 10 times higher than that of the semi-hard magnet. Flowever, in some embodiments it is sufficient for the coercivity of the hard magnet 320 to be 5 times higher than the coercivity of the semi-hard magnet 310. The semi hard magnet 310 is made up of Alnico and the hard magnet 320 is made up of SmCo. In particular, the semi hard magnet 310 is made up of iron alloys which in addition to Iron (Fe) is composed of Aluminium (Al), Nickel (Ni), and Cobalt (Co). In an example, the semi hard magnet 310 may also be made up of copper and titanium. The hard magnet 320 is a permanent magnet made of an alloy of Samarium (Sm) and Cobalt (Co). In an example, the hard magnet 320 may be an object made from a material that can be magnetised and which can create own persistent magnetic field unlike the semi hard magnet 310 which needs to be magnetised.

In phase 2010, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are configured to be placed adjacent to each other.

In phase 2020, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to be inside the magnetization coil 250. Sources responsible for influencing magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 may be a primary field generated by the magnetization coil 250. In an example, when the magnetic actuator 100, magnetization power peak is shorter than lms. Successful magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 requires that the hard magnet 320 can move freely into the notch 330 during the open position 400. Otherwise the magnetic field of the hard magnet 320 may have effect to the magnetic field of the semi -hard magnet 310 and the magnetic actuator 100 may not be opened. Free movement of the hard magnet 320 is ensured by the position sensor 240 or mechanical arrangement. Further, when the to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400 the hard magnet’s 320 field which is opposite to the semi hard magnet’s 310 field is trying to turn the semi-hard magnet’s 310 field back to the close position 300, but the gap between reduces the field and the semi hard magnet’s 310 coercivity can resist it. More particularly, the hard magnet 320 is always trying to set the to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100 back to the secure and close position 300.

In another example, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the close position 300 or open position 400, magnetization power peak is shorter than 1 ms. Successful magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 may happen at all times. The hard magnet 320 can or can’t move back freely. The magnetic actuator 100 and the semi -hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are aligned, the magnetic actuator 100 is in the rest state. Very high coercivity of the hard magnet 320 keeps the semi-hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 together, thereby ensuring the magnetic actuator 100 to be in the close position 300. In some implementation, sources responsible for influencing magnetization of the semi-hard magnet 310 may be a secondary field. The hard magnet 320 has high energy product providing constant magnetic field towards the semi -hard magnet 310, thereby trying to keep or turn the semi-hard magnet 310 to the close position 300.

In phase 2030, the change in the polarity of the semi-hard magnet 310 is configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between the open position 400 or the close position 300.

In phase 2040, the hard magnet 320 is configured to be inside the first axle in the close position 300. In such a condition, the first axle 120 and the second axle 130 are not connected to each other. Thus, the second axle 130 does not rotate due to the movement of the first axle 120. Further, owing to the connection between the first axle 120 and the user interface 140, when the first axle 120 is rotated, the user interface 140 also rotates in a direction similar to that of the first axle 120. When the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is to be in the close position 300, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the close position 300. In phase 2050, the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130 in the open position 400. The position sensor 240 is configured to position the notch 330 of the second axle 130 in place for the hard magnet 320 to enter the notch 330. When the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 is to be in the open position 400, the magnetic actuator 100 is configured to return to the open position 400. Further, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400 the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 330 of the second axle 130, the user may be able to actuate the magnetic actuator 100, as the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400. The notch 330 ensures easy actuation of the magnetic actuator 100 as the hard magnet 320 protrudes into the notch 330. The notch 330 also prevents unauthorized actuation of the magnetic actuator 100, when the first axle 120 is turned too fast.

In phase 2060, the blocking pin 500 is protruded into the notch 330 of the actuator body 110 due to any of the following: when an external magnetic field is applied, and/or when external hit or impulse is applied.

Any features of embodiment 102 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 21 demonstrates an embodiment 103 of the software program product 1100, in accordance with the invention as a screen shot diagram. In the illustrated embodiment 103, a screen shot of the user actuating the magnetic actuator 100 is displayed. The hard magnet 320 is configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 100. In an example, hard magnet’s 320 with coercivity higher than 500 kA/m is used. The hard magnet 320 is a permanent magnet made of an alloy of Samarium (Sm) and Cobalt (Co). In an example, the hard magnet 320 may be an object made from a material that can be magnetised and which can create own persistent magnetic field unlike the semi hard magnet 310 which needs to be magnetised. The parameters responsible for actuating the magnetic actuator 100 is stored and saved in the cloud server 1710. Upon the user pressing on an icon 2100 that operates the magnetic actuator 100, the computer instructs the hard magnet 320 of the magnetic actuator 100 to enter the notch 330. Thus, creating traction, and actuating the magnetic actuator 100. In such a case, the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400.

Any features of embodiment 103 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

In some embodiments of the invention, the hard magnet 320 and/or the semi -hard magnet 310 may be realized from SENSORVAC (FeNiAlTi).

The default position of the magnetic actuator 100 can be either one, open position 400 or the close position 300 in accordance with the invention. This can be tuned by altering the distance between the hard magnet 320 and the semi-hard magnet 310 within the magnetic actuator 100. The magnetic actuator 100 could be in the open position 400 forever, or could be configured to automatically return to the close position without consuming electricity, which would create energy and power savings.

Figure 22 demonstrates the different energy budgets needed by the inventive magnetic actuator 100 in different configurations in embodiment 104. The different magnetic actuator 100 configurations are shown in a series of Figures 22A-F, where gravity is in the up-down direction of each individual figure, i.e. in the up-down direction of the landscape page.

Figures 22A, 22B, 22C demonstrate the openable pulse energy, i.e. the energy budget used when the magnetic actuator 100 is brought from the close position 300 to the open position 400.

Figure 22A shows the configuration at an angle 0 degrees to gravity. This configuration needs the highest energy, as the hard magnet 320 is lifted and kept up. The potential energy of the hard magnet 320 in the lifted state increases the required energy pulse to actuate the magnetic actuator 100.

Figure 22B shows the configuration at an angle 90 degrees to gravity, which is equivalent also to the 270 degrees to gravity configuration. Friction between the hard magnet 320 and the notch 330 walls increases the energy consumption required to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 in this configuration.

Figure 22C shows the configuration at an angle 180 degrees to gravity. This is the lowest energy case. The hard magnet’s 320 potential energy reduces the openable pulse energy as the hard magnet 320 falls into the notch 330.

If the lock is configured with the close position 300 being the rest or default state the energy budget needs to exceed the requirement of Figure 22A configuration for the magnetic actuator 100 to be openable in all configurations 22A-C. In a prototype 3*47pF capacitors were required to produce the opening pulse.

Figures 22D, 22E, 22F demonstrate the locked pulse energy, i.e. the energy budget used when the magnetic actuator 100 is brought from the open position 400 to the close position 300.

Figure 22D shows the configuration at an angle 0 degrees to gravity. This configuration needs the least energy, as the hard magnet 320 drops back out of the notch 330. The potential energy of the hard magnet 320 decreases the required energy pulse to stop actuation of the magnetic actuator 100.

Figure 22E shows the configuration at an angle 90 degrees to gravity, which is equivalent also to the 270 degrees to gravity configuration. Friction between the hard magnet 320 and the notch 330 walls increases the energy consumption required to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 in this configuration.

Figure 22F shows the configuration at an angle 180 degrees to gravity. This is the highest energy case. The hard magnet’s 320 potential energy increases the locking pulse energy as the hard magnet 320 is lifted out of the notch 330. This sets the requirement for the energy budget to cover all configurations. In a prototype 47 pF capacitor was used to stop to close position 300 in all positions. Thus in some embodiments the closing energy pulse may be 1/3 of the opening energy pulse. In a preferred embodiment the motion distance between the semi hard magnet 310 and hard magnet 320 is optimised so that the hard magnet 320 almost changes the polarity of the semi hard magnet 310. Then only a small magnetization pulse is required to the semi-hard magnet, and the reversal happens, for example to close the magnetic actuator 100 as shown in Figure 22C.

In one embodiment the distance between the hard magnet 320 and the semi hard magnet 310 is set so long, that a magnetization pulse is required in both directions of movement.

In an alternative embodiment, the hard magnet 320 relaxes out of the notch 330 to return to the close position, which would be the rest state of the magnetic actuator 100 system in this case. Also the surrounding material matters and should be optimised to a particular motion distance that the hard magnet 320 is designed to move.

The embodiment that requires the smallest amount of magnetic pulse energy is the one shown in 22A, where the hard magnet 320 simply drops back out of the notch 330.

It has been observed experimentally that the magnetic actuator 100 consumes 30% less magnetic pulse energy when the hard magnet 320 moves to close the magnetic actuator 100, than when the hard magnet 320 moves to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 and pushes into the notch 330.

Any features of embodiment 104 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention. The invention has been explained in the aforementioned and sizable advantages of the invention have been demonstrated. The invention results in a digital lock that is cheaper to manufacture as the number of components that constitute the digital lock are also less. The digital lock consumes less energy as compared to the existing mechanical and electromechanical locks even when the digital lock is in the locked state. The digital lock is reliable as it is capable of operating in different ranges of temperatures and is corrosion resistant. Further, the digital lock is a self -powered lock, user powered, Near Field Communications (NFC) powered, solar panel powered and/or battery powered which ensures a better life span of the digital locks.

Figure 23 A demonstrates a single axis rotational embodiment 105 of the magnetic actuator 1001, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram, as applied to a digital lock. The magnetic actuator 1001 includes the actuator body 110, only one axle 2300 configured to be rotatable, and the user interface 140. The axle 2300 is located within the actuator body 110. In an example, the axle 2300 may be a shaft configured to be rotatable. In addition, the user interface 140 is connected to the axle 2300 of the magnetic actuator 1001. In one implementation, the user interface 140 is attached to the outer surface 150 of the actuator body 110. In an example, the user interface 140 may be a door handle, a door knob, or a digital key reading device. In the illustrated embodiment, actuation of the magnetic actuator 1001 is due to rotational movement of the user interface 140. In an example, if a user intends actuate the magnetic actuator 1001, the user interface 140, for example, a knob, may be operated with a rotational movement by the user. More particularly, the user interface 140 may be rotated sideways, by the user, to actuate the magnetic actuator 1001.

The single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1001 may be powered by a photovoltaic solar cell 2310 without the requirement of electrical components such as motors. The photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be an electrical device that converts the energy of sunlight into electricity by the photovoltaic effect to power the magnetic actuator 1001. The photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may also be a semiconductor device made from wafers of highly purified silicon (Si) doped with special impurities giving abundance of either electrons or holes within their lattice structure. In an example, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be located on the outer surface 150 of the actuator body 110 to receive the sunlight and power the magnetic actuator 1001. In another example, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be located on an inner surface of the actuator body 110 to power the magnetic actuator 1001. In yet another example, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be located at any portion on the actuator body 110 suitably to receive light and power the actuator body 110. Further, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be located on an outer surface of the user interface 140. In such an implementation of the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 on the user interface 140, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be used to receive the sunlight and power the single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1001 in the digital lock.

In an example, a 3D camera 2330 may be located on the user interface 140 to capture the image of the user. In another example, the 3D camera 2330 may be located at any appropriate location on the door to capture the image of the user. In the aforementioned example, the 3D camera 2330 may be connected to the user interface 140. The 3D camera 2330 may be an imaging device that enables the perception of depth in images to replicate three dimensions as experienced through human binocular vision. In an example, the 3D camera 2330 may use two or more lenses to record multiple points of view. In another example, the 3D camera 2330 may use a single lens that shifts its position.

The 3D camera 2330 may be used to capture an image of the user and communicate the captured image to the identification device 210. Since the identification device 210 is a part of the user interface 140 and the 3D camera 2330 is located on the user interface, the identification device 210 is capable of identifying and allowing access to the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. Access to the user is allowed upon authenticating the user by comparing the captured image with an image of the user stored in the database of the electronic lock module 200. In an example, the image captured may be any of the following: user’s face, palm, forearm, eyes, or any other feature of the user. In an example, the 3D camera 2330 may be any of the following: Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3, Sony Alpha SLT- A55, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20, Olympus TG-810, and/or Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77. Any features of embodiment 105 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 23B demonstrates an embodiment 106 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1001 in the close position 300, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. As described earlier, the magnetic actuator 1001 includes the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 1001. The semi hard magnet 310 is provided within the actuator body 110 and is inside the magnetization coil 250 and the hard magnet 320 is a permanent magnet. The hard magnet 320 may be an object made from a material that can be magnetised and which can create its own persistent magnetic field unlike the semi hard magnet 310 which needs to be magnetised.

The semi hard magnet 310 is configured to induce mechanical movement in the hard magnet 320 to move the hard magnet 320 between the open position 400 or the close position 300, in response to change in polarization of the semi hard magnet 310 by the magnetization coil 250. In particular, when the magnetic actuator 1001 is in the close position 300, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are attracted to each other. As a result of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 is partially received in the notch 2340 of the axle 2300 and a notch 2320 of the actuator body 110. In some implementations, it may be understood that the polarity of the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 may be such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the north pole of the hard magnet 320, causing the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 to be attracted to each other.

The dual axis magnetic actuator 100 is configured to operate between the close position 300 and the open position 400 (as shown in Figures 3 and 4). When the single axis magnetic actuator 1001 is in the close position 300, the hard magnet 320 is configured to be partially inside the axle 2300 and partially inside the body 110, in the notches 2320 and 2340. In such a condition, the hard magnet 320 blocks the rotation of the axle 2300. Further, when the user attempts to actuate the magnetic actuator 1001 by rotating the user interface 140, in the close position 300, force may be exerted on the hard magnet 320 via the axle 2300. The exerted force is then transferred to the hard magnet 320 owing to the connection between the axle 2300 and the hard magnet 320. Since the hard magnet 320 is made of an alloy of Samarium (Sm) and Cobalt (Co), the hard magnet 320 is strong and may withstand force exerted through the axle 2300. Sometimes a Titanium Pin is used as a covering shell for the hard magnet 320 to provide a mechanically strong outer surface for the hard magnet 320. A limiting mechanism may be provided in the axle 2300 to prevent any force exerted from the user interface 140 to be transferred onto the hard magnet 320. In an example, the limiting mechanism may be any mechanism/component provided to limit the force from being transferred to the hard magnet 320 through the axle 2300.

Any features of embodiment 106 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 23C demonstrates an embodiment 107 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1001 in the open position 400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. When the magnetic actuator 1001 is in the open position 400, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 repels away from the semi hard magnet 310. As a result of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 enters into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300, the user may be able to actuate the single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1001. When the user rotates the user interface 140, the axle 2300 also rotates. Rotation of the axle 2300 is possible owing to the connection between axle 2300 and the user interface 140. In an example, a return spring may be used to bring the axle 2300 to its initial position when the user rotates the user interface 140. In one implementation, the return spring may be a torsional spring disposed in a gap defined between the axle 2300 and the actuator body 110 of the magnetic actuator 1001. The single axis magnetic actuator 1001 is typically simpler and more energy efficient in contrast to locks with multiple axes.

The single axis actuator is typically simpler in contrast to actuators with multiple axes.

Any features of embodiment 107 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figures 23D, 23E, and 23F demonstrate an embodiment 108 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1001 showing the close position 300, the open position 400, and the opened state 2400 in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. When the magnetic actuator 1001 is in the close position 300, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are attracted to each other. As a result of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 is partially received in the notch 2340 of the axle 2300 and the notch 2320 of the actuator body 110 as shown in Figure 23D, preventing the rotation of the axle 2300. Referring to Figure 23E, when the magnetic actuator 1001 is in the open position 400, the hard magnet 320 enters into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300, the user may actuate the magnetic actuator 1001 by e.g. turning the user interface 140 and rotating the axle 2300. Referring to Figure 23F, in the opened state 2400, when the user rotates the user interface 140 in clockwise direction, the hard magnet 320 is rotated for a predefined angular position. In an example, the predefined angular position of the hard magnet 320 is about 120 degrees.

Any features of embodiment 108 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 24A demonstrates an embodiment 109 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator 1002, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. The magnetic actuator 1002 includes the actuator body 110, the axle 2300 configured to be moved linearly, and the user interface 140. In the illustrated embodiment, actuation of the magnetic actuator 1002 is due to linear movement of the user interface 140. In an example, if a user intends to actuate the magnetic actuator 1002, the user interface 140, for example, a lever or a push button, may be operated with a linear movement by the user. More particularly, the user interface 140 may be moved backward and forward, by the user, to actuate the magnetic actuator 1002.

The magnetic actuator 1002 may be powered by the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 without the requirement of electrical components such as motors. In an example, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be located on the outer surface 150, inner surface, and/or at any portion of the actuator body 110 to receive light and power the magnetic actuator 1002. Further, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be located on the outer surface of the user interface 140. In such an implementation of the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 on the user interface 140, the photovoltaic solar cell 2310 may be used to receive light and power the actuator body 110.

The 3D camera 2330 may be located on the user interface 140 to capture the image of the user. The 3D camera 2330 may be used to capture an image of the user and communicate the captured image to the identification device 210. Since the identification device 210 is a part of the user interface 140 and the 3D camera 2330 is located on the user interface, the identification device 210 is capable of identifying and allowing access to the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 1002. Access to the user is allowed upon authenticating the user by comparing the captured image with an image of the user stored in the database of the electronic lock module 200. Any features of embodiment 109 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention. Figure 24B demonstrates an embodiment 116 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator 1002 in the closed state 300, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. When the magnetic actuator 1002 is in the close position 300, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are attracted to each other. Because of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 is partially received in the notch 2340 of the axle 2300 and the notch 2320 of the actuator body 110. When the magnetic actuator 1002 is in the close position 300, the hard magnet 320 is configured to be partially inside the axle 2300 inside the notch 2340. In such a condition, the hard magnet 320 blocks the translation, i.e. push or pull of the axle 2300 inisde the body 110, as part of the hard magnet is also inside the notch 2320. Further, when the user attempts to actuate the magnetic actuator 1002 by moving the user interface 140 linearly, in the close position 300, force may be exerted on the hard magnet 320 via the axle 2300. The exerted force is then transferred to the hard magnet 320 owing to the connection between the axle 2300 and the hard magnet 320. A limiting mechanism may be provided in the axle 2300 to prevent any force exerted from the user interface 140 to be transferred onto the hard magnet 320.

Any features of embodiment 116 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 24C demonstrates an embodiment 111 of the translational single axis magnetic actuator 1002 in the open position 400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. When the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320.

By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 repels away from the semi hard magnet 310. Because of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 enters the notch 2340 of the axle 2300. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300, the user may be able to actuate the magnetic actuator 1002 by pushing the axle 2300 up the page. Any features of embodiment 111 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96,

97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention. Figure 24D demonstrates an embodiment 112 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator 1002 in the opened state 2400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram as applied to a digital lock. When the user moves the user interface 140 linearly, the axle 2300 also moves in a forward direction to actuate the magnetic actuator 1002. Movement of the axle 2300 in the forward direction is possible owing to the connection between axle 2300 and the user interface 140. In an example, a return spring may be used to return the axle 2300 along with the hard magnet 320 to its initial position when the user moves the user interface 140 linearly. In another example, a compression spring may be used to return the axle 2300 along with the hard magnet 320 to its initial position when the user moves the user interface 140 linearly. The return spring may be disposed in a gap defined between the axle 2300 and the actuator body 110 of the magnetic actuator 1002. Any features of embodiment 112 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 25 A demonstrates an embodiment 113 of the single axis rotational magnetic actuator 1002 in the open position 400, and associated authentication software and hardware, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The 3D camera 2330 may be used to capture an image of the user and communicate the captured image to the identification device 210. Since the identification device 210 is a part of the user interface 140 and the 3D camera 2330 is located on the user interface 140, the identification device 210 is capable of identifying the user to actuate the magnetic actuator 100. The user is authenticated to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 when the image of the user captured by the 3D camera 2330 matches with the image of the user stored in the database. When the user is authenticated, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 repels away from the semi hard magnet 310. Because of such arrangement, the hard magnet 320 enters the notch 2340 of the axle 2300. In such a condition, as the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300, the user may be able to actuate the magnetic actuator 100.

The authenticated information is communicated to the output module 1240 which sends a signal to the magnetic actuator 1002 to move to or remain in the open position 400 as shown. In addition, an authentication confirmation notification to the user is provided. The notification may be any of the following: an audio notification, a video notification, a multimedia notification, and/or a text notification. In an example, the captured image of the user may be any of the following: user’s face, palm, forearm, eyes, or any other feature of the user. In another example, the user may be authenticated by any of the following: electronic key, tag, key tag, fingerprint, magnetic stripe, NFC device. Any features of embodiment 113 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 25B demonstrates an embodiment 114 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator 1002 in the opened state 2400, and associated authentication software and hardware, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. In response to the signal received by the output module 1240, the axle 2300 moves in a forward direction to actuate the magnetic actuator 100 to be in the opened state 2400. Movement of the axle 2300 in the forward direction is possible in response to the authentication of the user. In an example, a return spring may be used to return the axle 2300 along with the hard magnet 320 to its initial position when the user is authenticated.

Any features of embodiment 114 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 115, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figures 26 A and 26B demonstrate an embodiment 115 of the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002 showing the close position 300 and the open position 400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. Referring to FIGs 26 A and 26B, the hard magnet 320 is a much smaller magnet compared to the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 may be located inside a pin 2600, which may be made of plastic or titanium. Further, when the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002 is in the close position 300, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 are attracted to each other. As a result of such arrangement, the pin 2600 along with the hard magnet 320 is partially received in the notch 2340 of the axle 2300 and the notch 2320 of the actuator body 110. Referring to FIG 26B, when the magnetic actuator 100 is in the open position 400, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the south pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 repels away from the semi hard magnet 310. As a result of such arrangement, the pin 2600 along with the hard magnet 320 enters into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300. In such a condition, as the pin 2600 along with the hard magnet 320 is protruded into the notch 2340 of the axle 2300, the user may be able to actuate the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002. The magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002 may be placed in the thickness of the door to allow the user to lock or unlock the digital lock 100, 1001, 1002. Also in another implementation, the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002 may be used for restricting and/or allowing flow of fluid through a fluid control valve 2700 shown in Figures 27 A and 27B.

In preferable embodiments, the hard magnet 320 is much shorter than the locking pin 2600, which makes the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002 easily resettable as the pin does not attach too strongly to the body 110, if the body 110 is made of iron for example. This will result in the magnetic actuator 100, 1001, 1002 requiring a smaller resetting energy between states. Vice versa, a longer hard magnet 320 increases the magnetic resetting energy and is preferable in some embodiments, for example the blocking pins 500.

Any features of embodiment 115 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 116, 117, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 27A demonstrates an embodiment 117 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator 100 for operating a flow control valve 2700 in the close position 300, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The flow control valve 2700 includes a body 2710 and the magnetic actuator 1002. The magnetic actuator 1002 includes the semi hard magnet 310 placed adjacent to the hard magnet 320. Further, the semi hard magnet 310 is located inside the magnetization coil 250 and the hard magnet 320 configured to induce mechanical movement by the magnetic actuator 1002. The hard magnet 320 is attached to a plunger 2720 that is configured to move between the close position 300 or the open position 400 within the flow control valve 2700 to restrict or allow flow of fluid through a conduit 2730. The hard magnet 320 is a much smaller magnet compared to the semi hard magnet 310 and the hard magnet 320 may be located inside the plunger 2720. Further, when the magnetic actuator 1002 is in the close position 300, the semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the north pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the north pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 repels away from the semi hard magnet 310. As a result of such arrangement, the plunger 2700 restricts flow of fluid through the conduit 2730 of the fluid control valve 2700.

Any features of embodiment 117 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, and/or 118 in accordance with the invention.

Figure 27B demonstrates an embodiment 118 of the single axis translational magnetic actuator 1002 for operating the flow control valve 2700 in the open position 400, in accordance with the invention as a block diagram. The semi hard magnet 310 is configured to have a polarity such that, the south pole of the semi hard magnet 310 faces the north pole of the hard magnet 320. By virtue of magnetic principle, the hard magnet 320 and the semi hard magnet 310 are attracted to each other. Because of such arrangement, the plunger 2700 allows flow of fluid through the conduit 2730 of the fluid control valve 2700. The open command is communicated to the output module 1240 which sends a signal to the magnetic actuator 1002 to move to or remain in the open position 400 as shown. In the current example, the magnetic actuator 1002 has been be implemented as a single axis translational flow control valve as explained with respect to the single axis translational digital lock 1002 in Figs 24A, 24B, 24C, and 24D.

Flowever, the magnetic actuator of the valve may also be implemented as a single axis rotational flow control valve as explained with respect to the single axis rotational digital lock 1001 in Figs 23 A, 23B, 23C, 23D, 23E, and 23F.

Any features of embodiment 118 may be readily combined or permuted with any of the other embodiments 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 60, 70, 80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, and/or 117 in accordance with the invention.

Any type of control electronics can be configured to operate the electromagnetic actuator of the invention, which may receive a control signal from for example any of the following: An external process control system, as in an industrial valve embodiment, or an Identification device as in the digital lock embodiments.

The magnetic actuator may be configured to use any biometric identification methods. The use of the position sensor is optional, as the inventive actuator can also be realised without a position sensor. Drawings are for illustrative purposes, not to scale.

The magnetic actuator of the invention has the remarkable advantage that it does not consume considerable energy to maintain an open or closed state. Instead, energy is consumed in changing between states. This is a remarkable advantage for all applications where the actuator needs to operate for a long time, but needs to change between open or closed states very rarely or infrequently.

The invention has been explained above with reference to the aforementioned embodiments. Flowever, it is clear that the invention is not only restricted to these embodiments, but comprises all possible embodiments within the spirit and scope of the inventive thought and the following patent claims. REFERENCES

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