While we’re busy celebrating many of the important recognitions during March, a simple, but very useful item, which we use nearly every day, goes unrecognized during this time… we are speaking of course, about National Umbrella Month. To celebrate this modest invention that protects us from the rain and the sun, we have a few ways to show you how to use micro linear actuators to automate sunshades, umbrellas and awnings.
Cover Image Credit: Zahra Umbrella by MakMax.com.au
How to Use Micro Linear Actuators to Automate Sunshades, Umbrellas and Awnings
In the past, umbrellas, shades and awnings have typically been controlled manually. In these days of the Internet of Things (IoT), Home Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we’re now finding ways to make even simple, mundane tasks work completely autonomously.
Examples of offices, homes and furniture becoming autonomous and how to use micro linear actuators to automate sunshades, umbrellas and awnings are everywhere… if you only look…
Take Shadecraft’s Sunflower, the autonomous sun shade for example. It was a huge hit at CES this year (2017)! For good reason. It’s stylish, functional and jam-packed with features. But best of all, you don’t need to do a thing to control it. It happens all on its own (of course you can control it if you so desire).
There are a few other types of automatic sunshade’s on the market, but none that are completely connected and autonomous the way the Sunflower is – and none nearly as well designed. No matter what type of automated sun shade you’re looking at, you can see micro linear actuators at work. In the four corners of the shade that open and close it, as well as the middle of the shaft where it tilts and straightens.
Handheld, personal umbrella makers are even starting to come out with, sturdier, automated versions as well, boasting fancy features such as weather forecasting and specialized rib-suspensions to guard against wind. Since they are much smaller, automated personal umbrellas could be easily designed using just one of our 6 inch Nexus micro linear actuators.
Awnings on buildings or over personal loungers are a couple more examples where we can see how useful micro linear actuators are for automation. An awning over a building door or window can be controlled with a simple switch of a button, or programmed to open and close at particular times of the day, temperature, humidity or other sensor.
Many luxury personal loungers are made with beautiful awnings designed to allow the user to control how much or little sun (and privacy) they get while relaxing. Taking that relaxation one step further by automating the awning will increase the users comfort so they don’t have to get up and wrestle with an awkward shade, rather, they simple press a button until they are satisfied – never leaving their comfortable position.
Now that you know how to use micro linear actuators to automate sunshades, umbrellas and awnings – take a look around. What other types of shades could you automate for yourself or for your clients? Blinds, projection screens, car covers, even shades on yachts can all be automated using micro linear actuators.