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Development of Industry's Thinnest High-Precision Rotary Sensor

Alps Electric Co., Ltd. has developed the RDC506 rotary sensor, featuring highly accurate linearity* and a broad range of operational temperatures, with the industry's thinnest dimensions of 2.2 mm. Sample shipments will be available in early June 2001.


*Linearity is the deviation from the desired linear taper.


Robot pets have recently become runaway hit products in Japan, and rotary sensors are used in them as one component to control movement.


For instance, rotary sensors embedded in joints are able to detect the angle of a joint. This angle data is fed to an integrated circuit (IC) that controls the robot pet's movement. Based on this data, ICs activate motors that move joints, thereby controlling the movement of robot pets.


The RDC506 rotary sensor is able to detect such physical properties as joint angles and positions.


Applying its mold processing technology to make each component as thin as possible, Alps succeeded in achieving a thickness of 2.2 mm, the thinnest in the industry. Compared with previous products, the RDC506 rotary sensor is approximately 25% thinner, improving the freedom of set design. Thanks to the Company's proprietary resistor printing technologies, the new product realizes ±2% linearity, an improvement over the ±3% linearity of competitors' products. Limiting irregularities in taper, the new product makes it possible to detect changes with high accuracy, owing to the linear movement of resistance values.


In addition, the new product boasts an operating life of one million cycles, far more than the 100,000 cycles of former products, owing to the utilization of materials that are highly resistant to abrasion. It also features operating temperatures ranging from -40°C to 120°C due to the employment of highly heat-resistant plastics, making it available for a wide range of applications.




* Broad range of applications due to thin body, high precision, long lifespan and variable operating temperatures


  • Realizes thin body of 2.2 mm, the thinnest in the industry, owing to making each component as thin as possible with mold processing technologies
  • Highly accurate linearity of ±2% thanks to the Company's proprietary resistor printing technology
  • Realizes a one million cycle operating life due to the use of materials resistant to abrasion; longer lifespan 10 times greater than the Company's former products
  • Broad range of operating temperatures from -40°C to 120°C due to the employment of highly heat-resistant plastics; can be used in automobile electronics to detect changes in gear mechanisms, including position and angles of car navigation system displays
  • Enlarged lead-through for sensor operation from ø3.5 mm to ø4.0 mm (D shape); improves interlocking precision of shafts and gears for set manufacturers
  • Compatible with reflow soldering


Typical Specifications