What Does Motion Control Mean?

Advanced Motion Controls’ University Outreach says, “Servo control, which is also referred to as ‘motion control’ or ‘robotics’ is used in industrial processes to move a specific load in a controlled fashion.” Apple is calling its new human gesture controlled devices “motion control.”

Are we heading toward a time when “motion control” will mean something completely different to engineers and to the general public?

Who decides what motion control means?

The technical jargon used by a small group of professionals is often lost on the public. If you work closely with something, you have to learn what all the terminology is for each and every action or piece of equipment.

This is important for precise and exact communication with other experts.

However, people who don’t work in a field don’t necessarily need to know the most accurate or exact language to communicate with others who are in the same position. They can use general terms, rather than completely correct language.

A chef who studies at Le Cordon Bleu might ask for a skillet, a braiser, and a saucier. A novice cook on the other hand asks for a pan, a pan, and another pan. While the layman’s terms are correct and technically make sense, they aren’t the most correct, or most technical names for the different instruments.

Jargon getting watered down to layman’s terms happens all the time. However, it’s not every day that the general public uses the same word as experts to mean two different things. Motion control might become one of these words.

Industrial motion control vs. motion tracking

3D motion tracking has become popular with video gaming and electronics. The Kinect for the Xbox 360 was one of the first systems to bring this technology into peoples homes.

Apple now seems to be following suit. The massive electronics company made a $345 million purchase for PrimeSense, the company responsible for developing the original Kinect system for Microsoft’s gaming console. It appears that Apple TV could be implementing 3D motion tracking in the near future.

Many are starting to refer to 3D motion tracking as motion control.

We know that motion control and servo control are the same thing for engineers. However, there are by far more people familiar with Apple TV and Xbox consoles than engineers familiar with servo control. If motion control becomes the popular term for 3D motion tracking, engineers and the public will have two different understandings of the word.

The meaning of motion control could go in a few directions. It could stay the same, change, or have two separate meanings used by different groups of people. It will be interesting to see what happens with that over time.

Something that won’t change is the need for smooth-running machinery on your factory floor. We specialize in Indramat industrial motion control systems. Call 479-422-0390 for immediate Indramat service, support, or repair.