I'm wondering if it's possible to create a solenoid actuator that would be very powerful, and fast enough to keep up with a human's movements, and also relatively long (roughly 7 inches).

I found some info I was looking for on this question: Long solenoid (50cm stroke)

Of which I learned that it's difficult to create a solenoid that large, as current diminishes over distance.

Is this sort of actuator possible?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Might also add: Is there a difference between using DC and AC on such a solenoid? \$\endgroup\$
    – AntiData
    Jun 20, 2017 at 4:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ You must specify Stroke with force spec and velocity then power and weight may exceed your spec. Start with specs.!! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


Do a Google search for "linear motor'.

The ones that I am familiar with are used in AC generator transfer panels. Think of an induction motor that is opened up to be flat instead of circular. They are available in many different lengths.

Unlike a solenoid, they keep their torque over their full travel.

They are also very quick.

  • \$\begingroup\$ WE used linear motors about the size of 1HP but with only 4 " stroke but were very fast in 14" disk drives until mid 80's \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 5:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.