MIT EECS — Lincoln Laboratory Research and Innovation Scholar
Developing a Capacitor-Based System for Permanent Magnet Magnetization
Many robotics systems rely on permanent magnets, from Lorentz force actuators to magnetic imaging devices. However, permanent magnets are often expensive and there is little opportunity for customization. Machining unmagnetized magnets and then magnetizing them in a lab setting reduces costs and allows researchers to experiment with different geometries and magnetic field parameters. In the past, creating permanent magnets in labs involved unsafe high energy sources, such as arrays of lead-acid batteries. The goal of this project is to develop a capacitor-based system capable of creating magnets using much lower levels of stored energy, resulting in a safer inhouse production process. Producing custom magnets will transfer important design decisions to individual researchers, enabling more innovative robotics systems.
I began working as a UROP in the BioInstrumentation Lab in the Spring of 2015, where I gained familiarity with robotics systems and realized the need for the magnetizing machine. Having greater control over the magnetization process will be extremely useful, and I’m excited to see the opportunities that this device will enable.