Carlsbad, CA-based Dynes Unlimited Products Inc has developed the Golf Laboratories Hitting Machine, a golf swing simulation product ideal for golf-club testing. The computerized machine is equipped with an MTS Custom Servo Motor XDC 710 controller and 6-in servo motor for simulating open-loop downswing. It offers speed, swing plane and trajectory control as well as programmable torque curves.
Golf-club manufacturers have more testing options with the new Golf Laboratories Hitting Machine. The mechanical golfer swings a lighter club faster than a heavier one because the controller performs the downswing in open-loop instead of closed-loop mode, which would force the club to swing at a certain speed. That is how pneumatic and spring robots function, and the resulting head speed is not an accurate human imitation.
The open loop of the motor from MTS Custom Servo Motors Inc., New Ulm, Minn., allows for the difference in inertia and the difference in clubs and shafts to affect the way the arm swings. Standard servomotor controllers, on the other hand, compensate for the differences in inertia. The Custom Servo motor switches from open to closed loop to decelerate so the club doesn’t break, says Sean Dynes, president of Dynes Unlimited Products Inc., the Carlsbad, Calif., robot manufacturer.
Trajectories, swing planes, and speeds can be controlled as the computerized machine swings drivers, irons, putters, and wedges. Torque curves can be programmed, and speed can be adjusted within 1 mph. The drive system swings up to 140 mph and positions the arm at different points to simulate players who swing with their wrists ahead, behind, or square at impact. A rotating portion lets the machine swing straight out, outside-in, or inside-out up to 45 degrees open or closed. This allows for different sidespin on the ball from the clubface. The tee table can be moved on the X, Y, and Z axis to any clubhead position during the lower portion of the swing. Initial head and ball velocity are recorded. The computer control terminal can change all the variables of the swing. There is also a PC adapter for computer interfacing.