What they call NForcer technology should reduce the number of motors, electronic drives, and the mass of moving parts, thus delivering higher acceleration and operating speeds.

In conventional motors, the conductors are coils, with only their vertical sides in the magnetic field. As a result, they only generate lateral motion. To get two-dimensional motion from one motor, the researchers shifted the coils so the lower horizontal part of the coils sits in the magnetic field, where it generates force and, consequently, vertical motion.

Researchers predict the technology could control magnetic levitation, leading to fully floating, bearing- less platforms.

A researcher at Philips Applied Technologies in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, shows how NForcer technology allows three-dimensional motion control using a single conventional linear motor.