The Novalis consists of a power supply, microcontroller, two actuator driver boards, and accompanying input and output interfaces. The 500 watt power supply was chosen as its output voltage matches the majority of solenoid actuators used by the authors’ projects; the power supply’s current rating could handle switching potentially large number of actuators connected to the Novalis interface. As a meta-module whose role is to easily connect actuator modules with a host device, the means by which the Novalis interfaces with host devices and actuators is important. To interface with host devices, a USB cable is used; actuators are connected via 5 mm barrel-type jacks which are wired to the Persephone boards. While Novalis may be used with any compatible actuators, two new systems were developed to utilize its rapid deployability and ease of use.
Ajay Kapur, Jim Murphy, Ness Morris, Bruce Lott